Sydney’s Best Outdoor Swimming Pools To Cool Off At This Spring

By Jessica Best
21st Sep 2021

person diving off swimming block into pool

Sydney rules the roost when it comes to surf beaches, secret beaches, and cliffside ocean pools. But we’re also a city rich with incredibly stunning swimming pools. And, in the latest easing of lockdown restrictions across Sydney, outdoor public swimming pools will be allowed to open from Monday 27 September, provided they have government-approved COVID safety plans. 

So, in the spirit of springtime—here we bring you Sydney's best spots to swim some laps. Some harbourside, some Art Deco, some brand new beauties built with sustainability front of mind.

Before you head out, we recommend checking the pool's website to see whether they have reopened. And remember, for now, you'll need to stick to pools within your LGA or 5km from home

Ready? Check out Sydney’s best swimming pools.

Gunyama Park Aquatic And Recreation Centre


​​Located in Sydney’s Green Square development, Gunyama Park Aquatic And Recreation Centre is the largest built in Sydney since the 2000 Olympics. Having opened earlier this year, the pool is the result of over three years of design and construction and it takes its inspiration from Sydney’s famed ocean pools. The kicker? It’s also one of the most accessible and sustainable pools in Australia.

The outdoor pool here spans an Olympic 50-metres and sits within a larger beach pool. There’s also an indoor leisure pool, a 25-metre pool, and a heated hydrotherapy pool. Alongside all the water fun, Gunyama Park also includes picnic facilities, training circuits, a health and fitness centre, an outdoor yoga deck, and even a multipurpose sports field—just casually.

Dawn Fraser Baths


Contemplating your first dip of the season? Even if you're one of those Sydneysiders who swims year-round, if you live in the Inner West you'll be pleased to know Balmain's iconic swimming hole, the Dawn Fraser Baths, has reopened to the public. To fit with COVID safety measures, the heritage-listed public harbour pool is taking one-hour bookings only for either the lap pool or the beach for a "swim and splash". Bookings are filling up fast—head over here for more details. 

Mount Druitt Swimming Centre

Mount Druitt

outdoor swimming pool surrounded by treesHaving opened back in 1975, Mount Druitt Swimming Centre easily sports one of the most beautiful outdoor pools in Sydney. Unsurprisingly, this local swimming haven is the place to be in summer with its large sprawling grass areas, picnic tables, sun shelters and natural shade for a bit of respite from the sun too. Still bearing its 70s pool vibe, the eight-lane outdoor pool (Olympic-size) is the main attraction here, perfect for a few laps any time of the day.

Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool


person swimming down lane of poolIt doesn’t get much better than doing a couple of laps harbourside on a sunny day. The piece de resistance here is the eight-lane 50m outdoor swimming pool which gets heated to a glorious 25-degrees and treated with a touch of seawater (kisses fingers). You’ll find a flurry of sunbeds around the pool deck, perfect for a post-swim dry-off and the grandstand also offers up a recluse from the sun with shaded protection. The pool is also wheelchair accessible and individual entry for a swim is $8.20.

North Sydney Olympic Pool

North Sydney

aerial view of pool in sydney harbourIf doing a couple of laps with Australia’s most iconic landmark as your backdrop is hot on your to-do list, you’re going to want to make a splash at North Sydney Olympic Pool and fun fact, 86 world records were set at this pool by legends of the sport including Shane Gould and Lorraine Crapp (plus, it’s also been the pool of choice for Dawn Fraser, Murray Rose, and other Aussie swimming greats). 

This open-air pool is Olympic-size and with the Harbour Bridge’s arches stretching into the sky behind it, it truly is one of the most beautiful swimming spots in Sydney. On the harbourside, you’ll find remnants of the pool’s 1930s architecture with a series of multi-coloured brick arches with various keystones shaping into parrots, scallop shells, and fish.

North Sydney Olympic Pool is currently closed for construction.

Victoria Park Pool


people swimming in open air lap poolVictoria Park Pool may be in one of the unlikeliest locations in Sydney. The inner-city pool rests in the apex of Victoria Park just opposite The Lansdowne. The main outdoor swimming pool here is an eight-lane, 50m heated pool (sitting around 26-degrees). There's also has a range of facilities to assist anyone with additional needs or rehabilitation needs and a lane space available at all times with a pool access hoist for full support on entry and exiting the water. Entry here for a casual swim will set you back $6.90.

Prince Alfred Park Pool

Surry Hills

prince alfred pool at sunsetAlso known as “Redfern Beach”, Prince Alfred Park Pool is the swimming hole of choice for inner-city and Inner West locals keen to skip the traffic and the crowds at Bondi. Beneath bright yellow sunshades, Prince Alfred Park Pool has a fully accessible heated outdoor pool that features a green roof of native grass to regulate temperature. Entry to the pool costs $6.90. Keep an eye out for the park's permanent rainbow path oo, which was created to commemorate the legalisation of same-sex marriage in Australia.

Des Renford Aquatic Centre 


outdoor pool at des renford aquaticLocals will still remember this Sydney swimming pool as Heffron Pool but it was renamed Des Renford Aquatic Centre just before the 2000 Olympics in honour of Aussie long-distance swimmer Desmond Renford. Des held the impressive title of King of the Channel, having swum the English Channel 19 times through his life (with 19 attempts). The aquatic centre has long been a place for long-distance swimmers to train and holds a rich history of young competitive athletes too.

The Des Renford Aquatic Centre has undergone huge revamps over the years and you’ll find five different pools here to make the most of. The 50m outdoor pool is the most famous (and it’s the pool of choice for many a school swimming carnival at the start of each year too). A casual swim here will cost you $7.20.

Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre


art deco like pool in sydney's inner westLeichhardt Park Aquatic Centre is the ultimate place to be on a hot summer’s day in Sydney and yes, that’s a pastel pink dive tower bringing an old school Olympic aesthetic. The outdoor Olympic-size pool features seven lanes and a pool hoist and big wide-open views of the Parramatta River. And good news, if you’re here to crawl your way through a few laps on the weekend, you can always hit the epic Rozelle Markets for a post-swim feed.

For something a little more coastal, check out this list of Sydney's best ocean pools.

Image credit: Gunyama Park Aquatic Centre, Destination NSW, Blacktown Council, Destination NSW, Destination NSW, Victoria Park Pool, Prince Alfred Pool, Randwick Council, Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre

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