Great Eastern Wine Week - Sponsored Ad Leaderboard

Great Eastern Wine Week - Sponsored Ad Leaderboard
Great Eastern Wine Week, 9-18 September 2022

Friday, 24 September 2021

Dive into summer as Sydney's iconic pools reopen

Sydney swimming pools are set to reopen from Monday, September 27 - just in time for the warmer weather,

The biggest conurbation in Australia has a unique number of harbour and seawater pools dotted across the city. 

The team from Tourism New South Wales has released a handy guide to the best places to for an al fresco dip and take in some fresh air and sunshine. 

Sydney Harbour  

Running along the edge of The Domain - 34 hectares of parkland on the eastern fringe of the city centre - the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool looks out over wharves of Woolloomooloo. The saltwater Olympic pool is popular with both serious lap swimmers and those who prefer to laze about on stylish wooden deckchairs. Depending on the time of year, the facility also hosts open-air yoga. 

Within a picturesque parkland setting in Sydney’s CBD, Cook + Phillip Park Pool features a 50m pool, as well as hydrotherapy and leisure pools. The pools are heated so ideal for swimming all year-round. 

There are many idyllic sandy beaches lining the shores of Sydney Harbour, including Redleaf Beach in Double Bay, a 10-minute drive east of the city centre. Pack your swimming gear for a dip in the Murray Rose Pool, a netted sea enclosure which is a favourite with locals. After a few laps, take a stroll along the wooden boardwalk that forms the perimeter of the enclosure while soaking up views of the harbour beyond.

Just 5km from the city centre, Balmain’s Dawn Fraser Baths is the oldest harbour pool in the southern hemisphere and was the home of Australia’s first swimming and water polo clubs. The pool was built in the early 1880s and the still water is surrounded by Victorian wooden pavilions painted cream and green. 

On the North Shore you’ll discover Maccallum Pool, cut into the coast on the western side of the waterside suburb of Cremorne Point. These historic 33m-long seawater baths ringed by a wooden boardwalk, with plenty of shady nooks to gaze over the harbour (including the Sydney Harbour Bridge) after you’ve had a splash about.  

Eastern Suburbs 

Start the morning with an invigorating early morning dip in the world’s most famous ocean pool, Bondi Icebergs on Bondi Beach, a 20-minute drive from the city centre. Named after its winter swimming club, the bright white pool dates back to 1929 and is an Instagram favourite. 

From Bondi, take the coastal walk around to Bronte Baths, built in 1887. Climb across the rocky headland to find the perfect place to spread your towel, before cooling off with a dip in the crystal-clear water of Gordons Bay. Divers and snorkellers can follow the Gordons Bay Underwater Nature Trail, marked by concrete-filled drums and a chain and with information displayed on steel plaques.  

Enjoy a casual swim followed by lunch at the café, or join onsite yoga and Pilates classes at Wylie’s Baths in Coogee (above), a short drive south of Bondi. It’s one of Sydney’s most beautiful tidal pools, with raised decking and views over the Pacific Ocean and Wedding Cake Island.   

Relax at the only ocean pool in Australia open exclusively to women and children, McIver’s Ladies Baths in Coogee which has been attracting swimmers for almost 150 years. The McIver family ran the baths from 1901 until 1922, when the Randwick Ladies Amateur Swimming Club was formed and took over the lease. The club still runs the pool, funded by a nominal charge, tossed into a bucket on entry. How very casual.

Soak in the views at Maroubra’s Mahon Pool, a five-minute drive south of Coogee and accessible along the coastal walking track. Cut into the inter-tidal rock platform, the pool is set among exposed rocky outcrops, providing spectacular seascapes and a sense of seclusion.

South of the city  

There are several ocean pools along Cronulla’s beaches and surrounding coastline in southern Sydney, 30km from the city. 

North Cronulla Rock Pool, on the flat rocks between South Cronulla Beach and North Cronulla Beach, is smaller and shallower, while the adjacent South Cronulla Beach Rock Pool is a full-size 50m pool with eight lanes, perfect for lap swimming. Head south along the popular coastal walk from South Cronulla Beach and you’ll find Shelly Beach, which is home to a beautiful ocean bath. Further along the coastal walk towards Port Hacking you’ll find Oak Park Rock Pool, which like Shelly Beach’s Ocean Bath, is perfect for kids.

Northern Beaches 

Start at the iconic beachside suburb of Manly, a 30-minute drive or ferry ride from Sydney city. Triangular Fairy Bower Pool lies between Manly and Shelly beaches on the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco Sculpture Walk; the Sea Nymphs sculpture sits on the pool’s outer edge. Around the next headland is the first ocean pool to be built on the North Shore, the 50m Freshwater Rock Pool, which opened in 1925.  

Curl Curl Beach’s ocean pool includes a shallow natural beach area, making it a firm favourite with young families - about 15 minutes’ drive north of Manly. A little further up the coast, North Narrabeen Rock Pool has a distinctive boardwalk that encloses a 50m pool with a wading pool for children. Other popular pools in this area include Mona ValeCollaroy and Dee Why.  

Sydney’s most northerly beach, Palm Beach, has an ocean pool offering views up towards the Central Coast, and is overlooked by Barrenjoey Headland with its famous sandstone lighthouse. There are also ocean pools at Avalon, Newport and Bilgola

# Images: Destination NSW 

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