In a city with an embarrassment of riches when it comes to beaches, if a plunge in the wild open ocean or the regular swimming pool is not quite your cup of tea, one of Sydney’s dreamy rockpools and ocean pools should do the trick. These natural baths offer the best of both worlds, and Sydney is replete with idyllic ocean pools that offer the thrill of seaside swimming with limitless sea and sky views to boot. Check out our picks for the most incredible rockpool and ocean pools in Sydney.
1. Mahon Pool, Maroubra Beach
Mahon Pool takes our pick for the most picturesque rockpool in Sydney. I mean, look at it. Surrounded by exposed rock outcrops and cliffs above, Mahon Pool offers stunning natural views and a number of changing rooms and toilet facilities just a few steps away. Built back in 1932, this medium-sized pool features waves crashing into the pool at high tide along with plenty of space to lounge on the rocks and soak up the rays.
15R Marine Parade, Maroubra, NSW 2035.
2. Fairy Bower Pool, Manly
Another scenic spot, the Fairy Bower Pool is a historic rockpool built by local residents in 1929. The unique triangular-shaped rockpool is located along Marine Parade between Manly Beach and Shelly Beach and is popular for its sculptures that sit along the rock edge known as The Sea Nymphs or The Oceanides, created by Helen Leete. The delightful 20-metre pool is the smallest of Sydney’s ocean pools but lacking in character it definitely is not.
5B Marine Parade, Manly NSW 2095.
3. MacCallum Pool
Another seawater swimming pool built in the 1920s, the MacCallum Pool is surrounded by a wooden deck and overlooks some of Sydney’s most iconic harbour and skyline views. The 33-meter sea pool is completely free to visit and ideal for early morning swims with quite the view complimenting it. Whether you’re local or visiting for the first time, a dip in MacCallum Pool is a must-do Sydney staple.
Milson Road, Cremorne Point NSW 2090.
4. Wylie’s Baths, Coogee
Coogee is home to a number of stunning rockpools and ocean pools but perhaps its biggest and most popular remains the Wylie’s Baths, first opened all the way back in 1907. With sweeping 180-degree views of the Pacific Ocean and Wedding Cake Island, this idyllic swimming spot is open from 7am to 7pm daily. You do have to pay $6 to enter the pool but those views sure are worth it. Conveniently, you can check their online webcam for swimming conditions before heading out.
4B Neptune Street, Coogee NSW 2034.
5. Bronte Baths
Constructed in the late 1880s, Bronte Baths is one of the most Insta-famous rockpools on this list and for good reason. Carved into the sandstone cliff at the southern end of Bronte Beach, the iconic Bronte Baths is roughly 30 metres in length with beautiful views over Bronte and out into the Pacific Ocean. Although safe from the ocean, waves often crash into the rocks on the edge which can make it a bit choppy but heaps of fun if you’re a confident swimmer.
Bronte Road, Bronte NSW 2024.
6. Bilgola Rockpool
Located at the southern end of Bilgola Beach, the Bilgola Rockpool remains a quieter swimming spot than its contemporaries, although still incredibly popular amongst locals. The 50-meter pool offers lovely views of the North Bilgola Headland and is an ideal spot if you’re looking to escape the crowds.
1 The Serpentine, Bilgola Beach NSW 2107.
7. Bogey Hole, Bronte
Bronte is home to a natural ‘Bogey Hole‘ which is close to the Bronte Baths and Bronte Park. Not quite as popular as the Bronte Baths, you’ll often find this spot with lesser crowds and a more relaxed vibe than its famous neighbour. This semi-enclosed rockpool at the southern end of Bronte Beach is especially great for kids and if you’re trying your hands at snorkelling.
Bronte Road, Bronte NSW 2024.
8. South Curl Curl Rockpool
Located at the Southern end of Curl Curl Beach on the Northern Beaches the South Curl Curl Rockpool is separated into two sections, one of which is a 50-metre ocean pool and the other, a smaller toddlers pool. This rockpool is a photographer favourite and comes with easy access to toilets, showers, car parking and a café. Entry to the pool is free and you can also snorkel around the headland on calmer days.
Carrington Parade, Curl Curl NSW 2096.
9. North Curl Curl Rockpool
Well we couldn’t list one without the other, could we? The 25-metre North Curl Curl Rockpool is sometimes tricky to access; at high tide you can only get there via the headland, whereas at low tide you’re able to approach it from the beachfront. Whenever you visit, the unusual shape, rock formations, and relative seclusion make it a particular favourite of swimmers in the Northern Beaches.
Huston Parade, North Curl Curl NSW 2099.
10. Bondi Icebergs
Bondi Icebergs is famously one of the most photographed pools in the world. With iconic views over Bondi, this Australian landmark has been open for swimming since 1929 and features sparkling blue waters along with adult plus kid pools by the sea. It’s open all year round and you have to pay $8 to enter but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better view to swim to – and neighbouring Icebergs Dining Room offers Italian fare for anyone who just wants to come along and watch. Quite simply an icon.
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi Beach NSW 2026.
11. Dee Why Rockpool
A short walk from the busy Dee Why Promenade is its 50-metre rockpool with lovely views over Dee Why Beach. The pool features a lap pool and a small toddler wading pool and dates back to 1915. Enjoy a leisurely swim in this bustling spot then discover a bunch of cosy coastal cafes along the Strand.
Oaks Avenue, Dee Why NSW 2099.
12. South Cronulla Rockpool
Cronulla Beach is blessed with a number of gorgeous rockpools and ocean pools, including North Cronulla Rockpool and the Cronulla Children’s Pool. Our pick, though, is the biggest of the lot: South Cronulla Rockpool, originally built in 1932 and commanding stunning views over the Sutherland Shire. You’ll find the Olympic-sized tidal pool adjacent to the Esplanade with public toilets, changing facilities and showers easily accessible on-site.
Cronulla NSW 2230.