Sydney’s Best Outdoor Pools

By Henry Brydon
5th Dec 2015

best pools in sydney

Summer’s officially started, and Boy Charlton are we sweating.

Where do our moments of relief hide, we hear your cry? 

The answer (of course) is a combination of the Big Three:

  1. Gelato
  2. Cocktails 
  3. Swimming

We’ve already got one and two covered for you, so what about a good old-fashioned paddle? We’ve recently suggested some hidden beach escapes, but it’s not all barrels and boardshorts.

We’re blessed with some of the finest swimming pools known to humanity, and we’ve picked out three ocean pools and three inland pools so you can tame the rising mercury this summer.

Wylie’s Baths


Looking like something from a rickety 1970s Disney World ride, there’s nowhere quite as enchanting as Coogee’s finest outdoor pool offering. With mind-bending sunrise views, the only difficulty at these heritage listed baths is swimming in a straight line—the clusters of coral and seaweed beneath you may throw your aim off slightly! 

Bondi Icebergs


Don’t be foolish and forget to pack a pair of your darker lenses sunglasses—crafty, guilt free perving is par for the course at Icebergs. Pack your skimpiest bikinis / banana hammocks, find your square inch of sunbathing space and let the good times roll. With a fully licensed bar within oil-spray distance away, this really is a dreamy experience for sand-haters and vista junkies alike. Pools simply don’t get more iconic than Icebergs. 

Mahon Pool


Less well known but no less epic, Mahon is a place to go to start your day with a swan dive (on entry) and heel click (on exit). Pick a wild ocean day to visit here, and it’s an apt replacement for 10 morning espressos, such is the turbulent nature of her waters. With towering cliffs behind and spectacular views in front, Mahon is a real treat.

Prince Alfred Park Pool

Surry Hills

Having undergone a massive transformation in recent years, Prince Alfred Park Pool has become one of the premium all-year-round swimming experiences in Sydney. With a water temperature set to perfecto and a sweeping grassy knoll this inviting, it’s no surprise that inner west folk have forgotten what the ocean feels like. Lunchtime dipping cranks up in summer thanks to Central Station being no further than 200m away.

Andrew (Boy) Charlton


A gentle breaststroke post work is the best way to soak up the scene at ABC—the Royal Botanic Gardens, Sydney’s sweeping skyline, the harbour, Woolloomoolloo Bay... it begs the question: why would you ever swim indoors?! There’s also a bar and the opportunity for yoga, karate and massage therapy sessions. Tucked away in Sydney’s beating heart, this is another top contender for the city’s best outdoor pool. 

North Sydney Pool

Milsons Point

Unless you’re a fan of racing ferries, it’s not often you can backstroke and gawp at the harbour bridge towering above you. As such, it would be blasphemy to the swimming gods to not recognise North Sydney Pool on this list. More old skool than Run DMC’s Adidas tracksuit, the baths here are a sight to behold and best enjoyed post work as Sydney morphs into its night time city dreamscape.

Image credit: Federica Portentoso at Icebergs Dining Room and Bar

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