There are 24,000 pictures on Instagram under #weddingcakerock, featuring the Royal National Park’s slice of frosty white sandstone jutting out over the ocean. Worryingly, the most shared images are of people who’ve ignored the clearly marked warning signs by NSW Parks and Wildlife Service advising people to steer clear of the fragile rock formation.
Two years ago, NSW Parks and Wildlife Service started issuing fines up to $3,300 for anyone who climbed over the protective fencing and onto the cliff edge, as the very fragile Wedding Cake Rock is expected to collapse into the ocean “without warning”, according to a geotechnical report undertaken in 2015.
Speaking to ABC News, NSW Parks and Wildlife confirmed NSW Police have been assisting them with “site compliance” at Wedding Cake Rock. Park rangers have been overwhelmed with the number of visitors willing to risk their lives for social media.
So far, more than 100 people have been warned not to climb on Wedding Cake Rock and 13 fines have been issued for scaling the fence. There was one death at the site in 2014, which was due to a fall caused by the cliff crumbling beneath them.
A spokesperson for NSW Parks and Wildlife said, “It is extremely difficult to try to regulate this behaviour when people are intent on ignoring the signage, avoiding detection and intentionally going over the fence.”
Wedding Cake Rock joins its equally dangerous mate Figure Eight Pools in the Royal National Park’s headache list, as tourists still choose to ignore the Park’s advice to visit the rockpools only during low tide and in fair weather.
It is a very beautiful rock, but it's probably not worth risking your life for the 'gram.
Read our guide on how to make the most of your trip to the Royal National Park, safely. Or check out these other Insta-worthy sites in Sydney.