Things To Do

Sydney’s Best Ocean Pools To Visit This Summer

By Jessica Best

best ocean pools sydney fairy bower

Sydney/Eora is no stranger to a saltwater playground, with over 30 ocean pools—some heritage-listed and untouched since the 1960s—that Urban List's Sydney team loves to take a dip in.

Scattered along Sydney's coastline you’ll find a batch of natural rock pools, old-school baths and beautifully built landmarks, which will no doubt liven up your brave morning dips or sunset walks. Here are all the best ocean pools in Sydney to plan a plunge into.

South Curl Curl Rockpool

Curl Curl

South Curl Curl Rockpool's Olympic-sized ocean pool will add some serious mileage to your swim, with a dividing wall that dates back over a century. If you're just up for a dip, there's a separate shallow section so you can soak in some salty goodness without the exertion. 

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Mahon Pool

Maroubra


Image credit: Destination NSW | Anna Kucera

Look, there’s nothing like walking around the bend of Marine Parade on a cool day to the panoramic vista of Maroubra Beach. Jumpcut to diving into the open seaside goodness of Mahon Pool.

If you hit here at around 7am, this ocean pool is misty oasis perfect for a little surfer-watching; it's cleaned on a Wednesday, so we recommend visiting in the second half of the week.

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Fairlight Rockpool

Fairlight

There’s a timeworn argument (much like the chicken and egg debacle) around whether Fairlight Rockpool is a harbourside bath or true Sydney ocean pool—but for the purposes of blissful saltwater bathing, we're happy to include it on this list.

It features a smaller paddling pool on the side, all the rock space to maximise your lounging time, and a grassy knoll that offers a little respite from the sun.

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Bronte Baths

Bronte Beach

best ocean pools sydney bronte baths
​Image credit: Destination NSW | Andrew Gregory

There’s not much around Bronte that isn’t iconic. We’re talking the Bronte Gully (the dark underworld of every lost football ever), the coastal walk, the East’s most hectic kiosk, the age-old train loop (if you know, you know) and, of course, the Bronte Baths.

We’ll be honest, this ocean pool attracts a manic crowd in summer and gets a good run on the flight path of every Eastern Suburbs drone, but should you rock up during the chilly months, this pool is a clear and quiet vision guaranteed to offer up some serious zen.

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Mona Vale Rockpool

Mona Vale

best ocean pools sydney mona vale
Image credit: Destination NSW | Daniel Tran

Located off Surfview Road at the northern end of Mona Vale Beach is a mammoth ocean pool aptly titled Mona Vale Rock Pool. Here, you’ll find two spots worthy of a splash, but we suggest you hit the larger ocean pool, which comes in close to 30 metres in length, if you're keen to get in some laps.

This one's opposite the popular Apex Park which has electric BBQs, picnic tables and a childrens play area and childrens bike path, and there are plenty of cafes nearby too.

Free entry, toilet facilities.

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Collaroy Rockpool

Collaroy


Image credit: Destination NSW | Guy Williment

A favourite for families thanks to its mix of lap-friendly lanes and a wading pool, the Collaroy Rockpool is set apart by its friendliness to people with disability, with a ramp to access the ocean pool and disabled facilities nearby.

Free entry, toilet and shower facilities.

Shelly Park Ocean Pool

Cronulla

When you hit up Shelly Park Ocean Pool in Cronulla (not to be confused with Manly's Shelly Beach), you’ll be a stone’s throw from sprawling picnic areas and BBQs. This ocean pool offers a bit more seclusion compared to Cronulla’s other tidal pools and is surrounded by a rocky area, which generally works to hold big swell at bay.

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Wylie’s Baths

Coogee Beach

best ocean pools sydney wylie's baths coogee
Image credit: Destination NSW | Hamilton Lund

Coogee is a hoarder when it comes to amazing spots for a swim, but Wylie’s Baths, if we had to choose, beats the lot. Founded by long-distance and underwater champion Henry Alexander back in 1907, this seaside pool was one of the first mixed-gender baths in Australia.

These days this heritage-listed beauty houses a killer kiosk, pilates, massages, and a cliff-hanging deck with one of the most insane coastal views around—which is great for when it's too cold for a swim. Entry is $6 (or $3 for concessions), and you can buy a value bundle or annual pass.

Toilet and shower facilities.

Icebergs

Bondi Beach


Image credit: Destination NSW | Jem Cresswell

Icebergs Pool is to Bondi what Kim is to the Kardashians. Arguably the face of the Eastern Suburbs, this iconic landmark has been enticing local lifesavers and swimming enthusiasts since 1929. It’s received a whole lot of love on the renovation and restoration front so you can expect an epic white pool deck, a beloved sauna, and post-swim fuel from the Icebergs Club Bistro.

For something fancier, head upstairs to the iconic Iceberg's Dining Room and Bar. Entry is $9 for adults, or $6 for kids.

Toilet and shower facilities.

Newport Rockpool

Newport

This one’s possibly the most beautiful ocean pool out of them all. Newport’s famous salty pool is 50 metres long and is lined with BBQ facilities for all your beachside picnic plans. Tides here can be pretty formidable, so make sure you check surf conditions. 

Free access, toilet and shower facilities.

Fairy Bower Rockpool

Manly


Image credit: Destination NSW | Kristen Greaves

This triangular 20-metre ocean pool is one of the oldest in Sydney and casually rests alongside the Cabbage Tree Bay walking track. It features the famous sculpture “The Sea Nymphs” created by Helen Leete and, though a bit too awkward in shape to conquer actual laps, is one of the most refreshing pitstops for a quick swim any time of the year.

Free entry, toilet facilities.

McIver’s Baths

South Coogee

Located on a mammoth cliff face, McIver’s (Ladies) Baths is hidden between Coogee Beach and the iconic Wylie’s Baths. You can access the pool from Grant Reserve and it sports a brick platform to bake on and a small clubhouse.

This ocean pool has a big history having been built way back in 1886 and is the last women-only (and children) seawater pool in Australia. Entry is $2.50, or you can commit to ten swims or an annual pass.

Toilet and shower facilities.

Want more summer inspiration? Check out

Main image credit: Destination NSW | Keith McInnes

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