New research reveals the iconic Wedding Cake Rock, so named due to its unusual shape and smooth, white surface, as likely to collapse in the next decade.
The white color of the rock is an indication that its structure is being weakened as its iron content subsides.
The famous rock, located south of Sydney in Bundeena, underwent a geotechnical investigation by the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The investigation concluded the rock was unstable and likely to collapse into the sea without warning.
According to NPWS regional manager Gary Dunnet, this short time frame is unusual in such geotechnical assessments.
“Usually when you get a geotechnical assessment, you’ll get a probability of something happening within the next thousand years,” said Dunnett. “To get one back telling you that collapse is likely within a decade is really unusual.
The service said it investigated the site because of how popular it had become for people performing risky stunts and posing precariously on the rock’s edge. Deaths have been reported in higher numbers as visitors strive to take impressive stunt photos on the unstable cliff.
“We will now take action to create a new and safer way to allows visitors to take in the beauty of the site without compromising their safety,” said Dunnett.
“This will likely mean a new viewing platform further back from the edge that will allow people to safely take those incredible shots of the rock formation that have become internationally recognizable. This is not about closing the site, it is about making it a safe place to visit and enjoy the view.”