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. Offering the best of both worlds, 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 the harbour city.
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1. Mahon Pool, Maroubra Beach
Mahon Pool takes our pick for the most Instagrammable 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.
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 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 rock pool is the smallest of Sydney’s rock pools but lacking in character it definitely is not.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 cafe. Entry to the pool is free and you can also snorkel around the headland on calmer days.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11. South Cronulla Rockpool
Cronulla Beach is blessed with a number of gorgeous rockpools and ocean pools. The South Cronulla Rockpool, originally built in 1932 is its biggest with 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.