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|
|Hazard rating||4/10 (moderately hazardous)|
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. 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.
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 
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.
- Sutherland Shire place names, fact sheet by the Sutherland Shire Council, August 2003
- Hughes, Thea Stanley (1984). Matthew Flinders. Erskineville, NSW: Movement Publications. pp. 19–20. ISBN 0-908076-21-5.
- A Voyage to Terra Australis by Matthew Flinders at Project Gutenberg
- The Life of Captain Matthew Flinders, by Ernest Scott at Project Gutenberg