The Wedding Cake Rock in Australia
- 6 months ago
The Wedding Cake Rock is an unusual geological formation located just north of Marley Beach near Bundeena within the Royal National Park, in New South Wales. The dazzling white sandstone rock has a perfect 90° corner and a flat top, as if it has been curved by a knife. Some say, it resembles a sliced wedding cake. Others see a block of tofu or cheese.
The Wedding Cake Rock is one of many limestone formations along the Royal Coastal Walk track —a 26km long track along the cliffs of the Royal National Park from Bundeena to Otford. The landscape consist of steep valleys, ridges and rocky outcrops with panoramic views of the ocean stretching for miles around. Along the way you’ll encounter streams, waterfalls and pools. Wedding Cake Rock is situated 5.1 kilometers from the start of the trail at Bundeena.
In early 2015, Wedding Cake Rock saw a sharp increase in popularity. The New South Wales National Parks and Wildlife Service reported that the number of visitors per month on the Royal National Park Coast Track rose from the average of 2,000 per month to over 10,000. This turned out not to be good thing. These visitors had come after they saw pictures of the rock on the social media site Instagram. They sat on the rock or dangled from it, and took selfies while performing dangerous stunts. And worse — some vandals wrote over the perfectly white formation with chalk.
Park officials became concerned, not only for the safety of the visitors, but for the safety of the rock itself. They feared that the weight of 30 or 40 people standing on the rock might damage it or tip the rock to one side. The site was eventually closed off in May 2015. A subsequent evaluation of the rock revealed, to the Park’s surprise, that the formation was not only unstable, but was certain to collapse at anytime within the next ten years. The study found that the entire structure was precariously balancing on the edge of the cliff, and severely undercut. The rock is now permanently cordoned off to the public.