Where is Wedding Cake Rock?
Wedding Cake Rock is located on the coast track in Royal National Park, about an hour’s walk south of Bundeena. Recently profiled on social media Wedding Cake Rock has become a popular destination for a young demographic wanting to take selfies on the rock.
Why is the rock so white?
The colour of the rock is a result of iron leaching which causes the rock to be very porous and makes it prone to cracking, making collapse highly likely.
How dangerous is it really?
To determine the true risk to visitors NPWS commissioned a consultant to undertake a geotechnical assessment. This assessment indicated that risks to visitor safety at Wedding Cake Rock were unacceptable. The report identified three types of site instability, all determined to be high to very high risk:
- large-scale detachment of the entire feature known as Wedding Cake Rock
- detachment of small overhangs on Wedding Cake Rock or adjoining cliffs
- slumping of soils along the cliff edge to the south of the site.
NPWS is now moving to direct infringement and will start issuing penalties for people blatantly ignoring warning signage at Wedding Cake Rock, putting themselves and potentially others at risk, usually for a photograph.
What is NPWS doing to reduce the risk?
As recommended by the risk assessment, NPWS will ensure that an exclusion zone be established across all of Wedding Cake Rock, including a 3-metre wide strip along approximately 50 metres of cliff edge.
How does NPWS propose to manage the site?
NPWS commissioned a landscape architect to design a new layout, introducing an exclusion zone, for the section of track passing Wedding Cake Rock. The design includes a boardwalk set back from the unstable zone. The boardwalk will incorporate at least one viewing platform that will offer a photographic opportunity of Wedding Cake Rock.
Interpretive and safety panels will be also be installed at the entrance to the site and in front of the boardwalk. Signage on-site will incorporate images captured by a drone which clearly illustrate the instability of the cliff edge under and adjacent to the rock formation.
Read more about the Wedding Cake Rock at the NPWS website.