Wedding Cake Rock – Royal National Park, Australia - Atlas Obscura
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Royal National Park, Australia

Wedding Cake Rock

A sparkling limestone cliffside that's worth a visit while it still exists. 

Wedding Cake Rock is a gleaming anomaly along Australia’s rugged coastline.

Although it seems like a carefully crafted sculpture with its bleached white color, illusion of layers, and straight lines, this incredible cliffside is an entirely natural formation. Unlike the iron-rich and orange-tinged sandstone found across the rest of the area, Wedding Cake Rock is a light limestone. Its peculiar shape is the result of a fortuitous original formation and millions of years of erosion.

Suspended at 82 feet above sea level, the cuboid rock is almost impossibly scenic. Unfortunately, its beauty may also be its undoing. Time has been tough on the spectacular formation, and a steady stream of photo-happy tourists have sped its decline.

Although new viewing platforms are in the works, public access to the rock was closed off in 2015. A recent geotechnical assessment of the formation by the New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) found Wedding Cake Rock to be “precariously balancing on the edge of the cliff and severely undercut.” The implication is that the entire rock formation could collapse into the ocean… in as little as ten years time.

Curious visitors wanting a slice of Wedding Cake Rock’s incredible views are advised to make their way to the cake sooner rather than later, before the Tasman Sea gobbles up more than its fair share.

Know Before You Go

Take the ferry from Cronulla to Bundeena. Once there follow the signs to the Royal National Park and take the 'Coastal Walk' route. It's about 1.8 miles (3km) from the beginning of the walk. Wedding Cake Rock is unstable and now has a fence around it. It's a good idea to stay behind the fenced off areas. Standing or sitting on the rock or cliff edges poses a very high safety risk. Enter at own risk.