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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″S151°07′04″E / 34.13750°S 151.11778°E / -34.13750; 151.11778
Length150 m
Hazard rating4/10 (moderately hazardous)
  • Wattamolla Road (transport)
  • Royal National Park Coast Track (foot)

Wattamolla is the name of a cove, lagoon, and beach on the New South Wales coast south of Sydney, within the Royal National Park.

New South Wales State of Australia

New South Wales is a state on the east coast of Australia. It borders Queensland to the north, Victoria to the south, and South Australia to the west. Its coast borders the Tasman Sea to the east. The Australian Capital Territory is an enclave within the state. New South Wales' state capital is Sydney, which is also Australia's most populous city. In September 2018, the population of New South Wales was over 8 million, making it Australia's most populous state. Just under two-thirds of the state's population, 5.1 million, live in the Greater Sydney area. Inhabitants of New South Wales are referred to as New South Welshmen.

Sydney City in New South Wales, Australia

Sydney is the state capital of New South Wales and the most populous city in Australia and Oceania. Located on Australia's east coast, the metropolis surrounds Port Jackson and extends about 70 km (43.5 mi) on its periphery towards the Blue Mountains to the west, Hawkesbury to the north, the Royal National Park to the south and Macarthur to the south-west. Sydney is made up of 658 suburbs, 40 local government areas and 15 contiguous regions. Residents of the city are known as "Sydneysiders". As of June 2017, Sydney's estimated metropolitan population was 5,230,330 and is home to approximately 65% of the state's population.

Royal National Park Protected area in New South Wales, Australia

The Royal National Park is a protected national park that is located in Sutherland Shire in the Australian state of New South Wales, just south of Sydney. The 151-square-kilometre (58 sq mi) national park is about 29 kilometres (18 mi) south of the Sydney central business district near the localities of Loftus, Otford, and Waterfall.



Wattamolla is the local Aboriginal name of the area, meaning "place near running water". [1] That name was recorded as Watta-Mowlee by Matthew Flinders, but is today spelt Wattamolla.

Indigenous Australians are the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples of Australia, descended from groups that existed in Australia and surrounding islands before British colonisation. The time of arrival of the first Indigenous Australians is a matter of debate among researchers. The earliest conclusively human remains found in Australia are those of Mungo Man LM3 and Mungo Lady, which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP. Recent archaeological evidence from the analysis of charcoal and artefacts revealing human use suggests a date as early as 65,000 BP. Luminescence dating has suggested habitation in Arnhem Land as far back as 60,000 years BP. Genetic research has inferred a date of habitation as early as 80,000 years BP. Other estimates have ranged up to 100,000 years and 125,000 years BP.

Matthew Flinders English navigator and cartographer

Captain Matthew Flinders was an English navigator and cartographer who led the second circumnavigation of New Holland that he would subsequently call "Australia or Terra Australis" and identified it as a continent. Abel Tasman had circumnavigated it more widely in 1642-43 and had charted its north coast in 1644.

Flinders, George Bass and a boy, William Martin were exploring in a small boat named Tom Thumb when, on the evening of 29 March 1796, a southerly gale (known as a southerly buster in Sydney), forced them to seek shelter. [2] They had been travelling northwards after having explored as far south as where Wollongong now is and in the darkness were using the cliffs and the noise of the surf to steer parallel with the coast.

George Bass British explorer

George Bass was a British naval surgeon and explorer of Australia.

Wollongong City in New South Wales, Australia

Wollongong, informally referred to as "The Gong", is a seaside city located in the Illawarra region of New South Wales, Australia. Wollongong lies on the narrow coastal strip between the Illawarra Escarpment and the Pacific Ocean, 68 kilometres (51 miles) south of central Sydney. Wollongong had an estimated urban population of 299,203 at June 2017, making it the third-largest city in New South Wales after Sydney and Newcastle, and the tenth-largest city in Australia. The city's current Lord Mayor is Gordon Bradbery AM who was elected in 2018.

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 [2]

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. [2] [3] [4]

Breaking wave A wave that becomes unstable as a consequence of excessive steepness

In fluid dynamics, a breaking wave is a wave whose amplitude reaches a critical level at which some process can suddenly start to occur that causes large amounts of wave energy to be transformed into turbulent kinetic energy. At this point, simple physical models that describe wave dynamics often become invalid, particularly those that assume linear behaviour.

Shoal A natural landform that rises from the bed of a body of water to near the surface and is covered by unconsolidated material

In oceanography, geomorphology, and earth sciences, a shoal is a natural submerged ridge, bank, or bar that consists of, or is covered by, sand or other unconsolidated material, and rises from the bed of a body of water to near the surface. Often it refers to those submerged ridges, banks, or bars that rise near enough to the surface of a body of water as to constitute a danger to navigation. Shoals are also known as sandbanks, sandbars, or gravelbars. Two or more shoals that are either separated by shared troughs or interconnected by past or present sedimentary and hydrographic processes are referred to as a shoal complex.

Lagoon A shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs

A lagoon is a shallow body of water separated from a larger body of water by barrier islands or reefs. Lagoons are commonly divided into coastal lagoons and atoll lagoons. They have also been identified as occurring on mixed-sand and gravel coastlines. There is an overlap between bodies of water classified as coastal lagoons and bodies of water classified as estuaries. Lagoons are common coastal features around many parts of the world.

See also

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  1. Sutherland Shire place names, fact sheet by the Sutherland Shire Council, August 2003
  2. 1 2 3 Hughes, Thea Stanley (1984). Matthew Flinders. Erskineville, NSW: Movement Publications. pp. 19–20. ISBN   0-908076-21-5.
  3. A Voyage to Terra Australis by Matthew Flinders at Project Gutenberg
  4. The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, by Ernest Scott at Project Gutenberg