If rips and waves aren’t your thing there’s no need to bid Sydney’s beaches adieu. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of natural ocean pools on offer around the city. In fact, there are more than 100 rockpools scattered throughout the state, and luckily for Sydneysiders some of the best are close by. So take a dip this summer and dive into one of these beautiful ocean pools.
A list of ocean pools would be incomplete without mentioning Bondi icon, Icebergs. One of the most Instagrammed ocean pools around (and for good reason), the 50-metre ocean pool sits at the southern end of Bondi Beach and forms part of the Bondi Iceberg Club. Most recently, the Bondi icon underwent an extensive restoration that saw the upgrade of their bathrooms and change facilities, and the inclusion of massage rooms and a brand new sauna. Entry will set you back nine dollars (and just six dollars for under 12's), so settle in for the day and make the most of their facilities.
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi
McIver Baths, Coogee
This one is for the ladies. The McIver Baths are reserved for women only, and it’s been this way since 1922 when the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Swimming Club took helm of the premises. They still do things the old school way, with a 20-cent entry fee tossed into a bucket. Sorry boys, you’re missing out on a pretty incredible view. Of Coogee, that is.
145-149R Beach Street, Coogee
Dee Why Rockpool
Equally huge in its expanse and popularity, this 50 metre rockpool is just a moment’s stroll from the Dee Why promenade. You’ve most likely glimpsed an aerial shot of this icon, and there’s good reason for it. Enclosed with concrete walls, the large ocean pool is for enthusiastic swimmers while the second is small and shallow for toddlers and lazy adults.
Oaks Avenue, Dee Why
Bronte Baths, Bronte
One of Sydney’s oldest, Bronte Baths opened in 1887, today, it still draws a crowd. The pool sits pretty on the edge of Bronte Beach with tiled lines pointing swimmers in the right direction. However most pop in for a relaxing dip. Another notable mention is the Bronte Bogey Hole. Situated on the southern end of the beach, it’s at its best at low tide.
Bronte Beach, Bronte
Fairy Bower Sea Pool, Manly
A popular stop-off on the Manly to Shelly Beach walk, the Fairy Bower Sea Pool is a Northern Beaches icon. Unique with its triangular shape, the 20 metre rockpool was built by locals back in 1929 and has been well-maintained over the years.
Marine Parade, Manly
Figure Eight Pools, Burning Palms Beach
Look no further than Instagram to find this gem, however it’s much more difficult to access in real life. The Figure Eight Pools, is a collection of rockpools and sinkholes, however the journey to them doesn’t come easy. Based in the Royal National Park, it is a six-kilometre return walk from the nearest car park in Garrawarra Farm. Note: the final part of the trek is only accessible at low tide.
Burning Palms Beach, Royal National Park Trail, Lilyvale
Mahon Pool, Maroubra
One for the adventurous, Mahon Pool is nestled amongst the clifftops at the northern end of Maroubra Beach. Copping the brunt of the Pacific’s moody conditions, the pool is made for adrenaline junkies when high tide and strong winds align. Hidden down the stairs from Marine Parade car park, this local gem glistens on the still days but entertains on the messy. Regardless, it’s free each time.
15R Marine Parade, Maroubra
Swimming enthusiasts sick of sharing lanes with casual dippers can find respite in Bilgola Rockpool. The 50-metre pool sitting on the edge of Bilgola Beach includes eight lanes for swimmers, and is one of the most secluded natural pools. Finish the South Bilgola Headland Walk with a few laps or start your day right in the water here. Sunrise swims overlooking this elegant expanse don’t get much better.
1 The Serpentine, Bilgola Beach
Wylie’s Baths, Coogee
The biggest and boldest of Coogee’s ocean pools, Wylie’s Baths is all inclusive and has an entry fee of five dollars. Here you will find a 50-metre tidal pool, yoga, meditation and pilates lessons, massages and a kiosk stocked with refreshments. And to top it off, the views of Wedding Cake Island and Coogee Beach are pretty impressive.
4B Neptune Street, Coogee
Whale Beach Rock Pool
The bright blue paint of Whale Beach Rockpool is slightly worn, but only adds to its charm, which sums up this destination best. This 25-metre pool is based at the southern end of Whale Beach and frequented by locals for good reason. With killer views, showers, toilets and a picnic area nestled amongst the rocks, we recommend packing some snacks and settle in for the afternoon.
17 Malo Road, Whale Beach