Sydney / Lifestyle / Sydney’s Top 10 Harbourside Swimming Spots

Sydney’s Top 10 Harbourside Swimming Spots

With so many beaches and waterholes to choose from, narrowing down the location for your next beach day can be difficult. We’ve found the top 10 harbourside swimming spots so you can cool off, stretch out and soak up some of Sydney’s most spectacular views all at the same time.

Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool

You don’t have to travel far from the city to find this saltwater gem. Nestled behind the Domain, the Boy Charlton Pool feels worlds away but is in fact just down the road from the Botanic Gardens and as such, affords stunning views of the city, wharves and a number of navy battles ships that dock across the water. The 50 metre outdoor pool is perfect for lap swimming although families prefer the smaller 20-meter alternative which is 1-meter-deep throughout and suited to beginners. Recline on the wooden terrace or grab a bite to eat at the pool-side café while you watch the ships roll in.

Where:1C Mrs Maquarie’s Road, The Domain

Entrance Fee: Adult, $6.40 Concession, $4.80 Family, $18.00

North Sydney Olympic Pool

There are few places as ‘Sydney’ as the North Sydney Pool. Located between the iconic Harbour Bridge and Luna Park and positioned right on Sydney Harbour, views don’t get any better than this. This 50-meter outdoor pool is perfect for lap swimming day or night, and is joined by a gym, café and restaurant. Work on your tan during the day or marvel at the city lights during the night, whenever you decide to swim you’ll be treated to something special.

Where:4 Alfred Street South, Milsons Point

Entrance Fee:Adult, $7.80 Child, $3.90

Maccallum Pool

Take a step back in time and visit charming Maccallum pool. Its wooden board walk and picket fence will have you in your vintage bathers in no time. Situated on the western side of Cremorne Point, this lower north shore secret provides swimmers with uninterrupted views of the city and ample opportunity to gush over some of Sydney’s finest yachts. At only 33 meters it does have a tendency to fill up on hot days so best to get in early!

Where:Milson’s Road, Cremorne Point

Entrance Fee: Free

Northbridge Baths

Sitting on the edge of Middle Harbour, the Northbridge baths are surrounded by pristine bushland and grandiose homes. Perfect for families and much loved by the locals the tidal bath has a jetty for jumping, barbeques, change rooms, toilets and parking. Enjoy the harbour foreshore from a tranquil location close to the city yet in the middle of nature.

Where:Widgiewa Road, Northbridge

Entrance Fee: Free

Nielsen Park and Shark Beach

One of Sydney’s iconic heritage parks, Nielsen Park, and adjoining Shark Beach is the ideal place to come for a quiet picnic on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. Surrounded by National Park and offering spectacular views across the city it’s no wonder the Eastern Suburbs try to keep it under wraps. Perfect for a walk along the foreshore, a kayaking adventure or a picnic lunch under an ancient fig tree, families and individuals alike can enjoy this location year round. Nielsen Park Café will keep you caffeinated and nearby toilets and picnic tables can be used at your convenience.

Where:Neilsen Park, Vaucluse

Entrance Fee: Free


Camp Cove

Calm waters meet harbour views in friendly Camp Cove. The sunny foreshore is frequently occupied by busy children building sandcastles and the surrounding grassy areas are perfect for the solo sunbathers to stretch out with a book. The multitude of café and dining options around the beach make it a perfect location for a day out with nearby Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel providing the perfect excuse to carry on into the night. Pick out your favourite million-dollar waterfront mansion while children dive bomb off the wharf.

Where:Camp Cove, Watsons Bay

Entrance Fee: Free

Murray Rose Pool

Accessed through the Woollahra Council Building and previously known as Redleaf, this harbourside netted pool is part of Seven Shillings Beach and nestled next to Blackburn Gardens. Recline on the boardwalk that runs along the top of the shark nets or swim out to one of the floating pontoons. Busy on weekends, get down early to snag yourself a spot on the sand and pop over to the kiosk for a cold drink and some classic hot chips.

Where:Behind the Woollahra Council Buildings, New South Head Road, Double Bay

Entrance Fee:Free

Dawn Fraser Baths

Built in the early 1880’s these historic baths are the oldest in Sydney. Named after Australian Olympic swimmer, Dawn Fraser, the swimming club is now a heritage building on the National Trust. This tidal flow salt water pool is a much loved fixture in the community and features swimming classes and water polo training. The first ever game of water polo in Australia was played here in 1888. With a wide timber boardwalk, change rooms and waterside kiosk, this low key swimming spot makes for a perfect trip down memory lane.

Where: Elkington Park, Fitzroy Avenue, Balmain

Entrance Fee: Adults, $5.20 Children, $3.60 Family, $11.10

Balmoral Beach

A long standing favourite for Sydneysiders, Balmoral Beach is a little slice of heaven on the Lower North Shore. The enclosed swimming area features shark nets and a wide board walk popular with children who regularly enjoy jumping and diving into the water from its elevated height. Large fig trees provide ample shaded spots for picnics on the grass or those who prefer to catch some rays can stretch out on the sand. Eateries range from take away fish and chips, to the famous Bathers' Pavilion and Boathouse right on the beach; there’s something for everyone.

Where: Balmoral Beach, Mosman

Entrance Fee: Free

Clontarf Beach

Clontarf beach in Middle Harbour is the perfect water playground for families of all ages. The calm beach pool enclosed by a small timber barrier is relatively shallow and usually brimming with children and parents. Kids make new friends as parents keep careful watch from the sandy beach. The nearby kiosk provides ample food options and the neighbouring shaded playground is steps from the beach. Also a great spot to launch into your Middle Harbour adventures with your kayaks, paddleboards and laser boats.

Where: Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf

Entrance Fee:Free

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