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Wattamolla facts for kids

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Wattamolla lagoon.jpg
Wattamolla lagoon, looking towards the Tasman Sea, with Wattamolla Beach in the distance and the waterfall in the foreground
Location Royal National Park, New South Wales, Australia
Coordinates 34°08′15″S 151°07′04″E / 34.13750°S 151.11778°E / -34.13750; 151.11778
Length 150 m
Geology Beach
Hazard rating 4/10 (moderately hazardous)
  • Wattamolla Road (transport)
  • Royal National Park Coast Track (foot)
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Wattamolla, also known as Wattamolla Beach, is a cove, lagoon, and beach on the New South Wales coast south of Sydney, within the Royal National Park.


Wattamolla is the local Aboriginal name of the area, meaning "place near running water". That name was recorded as Watta-Mowlee by Matthew Flinders, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Matthew Flinders, George Bass and a boy, William Martin had been exploring the south-coast from Port Jackson as far a Lake Illawarra, in a small boat named Tom Thumb. Returning on the evening of 29 March 1796, a southerly gale forced them to seek shelter.

At ten 'o'clock, the wind, which had been unsettled and driving electric clouds in all directions, burst out in a gale at south, and obliged us to get up the anchor immediately, and run before it. Matthew Flinders

Flinders, "steering with an oar", thought the dark outline of cliffs ended and believed he saw breakers, so he turned the boat towards shore. Catching a large wave, they "shot across a sandbar" and in moments were in the calm sheltered water of the lagoon, which in relief they named Providential Cove.

On 15 May 1797, three members of the crew of the Sydney Cove were spotted by a fisherman on Wattamolla beach, having trekked from the Ninety Mile Beach Victoria on route to Sydney, to seek help rescuing their crew.


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