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 as 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. 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.