Make a Splash in Sydney’s Ocean Pools

If you want to make a splash this summer, head to one of Sydney’s stunning ocean pools. Dotted along the coastline and harbour’s edge, these sheltered swimming spots are a delight at both low and high tide and are the original infinity pools. Serene at low and choppy at high, they’re the perfect place to swim, relax and take in the view.

Some of the city’s most famous include Bondi Icebergs (named after its winter swimming club), Shelly Beach, and Manly Beach, which are popular year-round and Instagram favourites. But there are also smaller gems, such as the Freshwater Rock Pool. Located just south of the Cabbage Tree Bay Eco Sculpture Walk on the northern beach’s headland, this pool is a true local treasure. Reached from the promenade linking Manly and Shelly beaches, this small, roughly triangular pool was built in 1929 and hasn’t changed much since then. Whether you’re swimming or just admiring the scenery from the concrete deck, you’ll leave with a sense of sea-salted rejuvenation.

Another venerable swimming spot is the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk’s starting point, the Freshwater Beach, or “Freshie” as it’s known to locals. The beach itself is a favourite among surfers, but swimmers tend to gravitate towards the sea pool nestled on the rocky platform against the cliff at the north end of the beach. This pool was the first to be built on the Northern Beaches and is a favourite among swimmers of all ages who come here to feel a sea-salted revitalization.

There are other more formal sea pools, too. In Balmain, for example, the Victorian elegance of the corrugated iron and painted cream and green wooden pavilion tucked beneath the sandstone cliffs makes it a standout among Sydney’s harbour pools. It was originally called Elkington Park Baths and opened in 1883, when recreational and competitive swimmers needed a place to do laps away from strong waves and the threat of shark attacks.

Alternatively, you could visit the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk’s starting point, the Bondi Icebergs. This iconic beach is one of the most well-known and most photographed beaches in the world, and is also home to Australia’s oldest sea pool. Despite its popularity, it still remains a very tranquil and peaceful swimming spot, which is just what you need on a hot, sunny day in Sydney. The pools are free for swimmers, and there are toilets and changing facilities onsite. The water is chlorinated and the entrances are supervised during peak times. You can check the opening hours here.