Must-Visit Ocean Pools in Sydney

Do laps with an ocean view at one of Sydney's shoreside pools
Do laps with an ocean view at one of Sydney's shoreside pools | © John Warburton-Lee Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Georgie Young
6 August 2020

Can’t decide between a swimming pool and the beach? These alternative seaside experiences seamlessly blend sea spray with lane swimming. From Bronte Baths to Maccallum Pool, there’s no shortage of ocean pools in Sydney. We’ve asked our local insiders where’s best to dive in.

Bronte Baths

Natural Feature
Map View

Clamber along the hillside from Bondi Beach to find this oblong pool carved neatly out of the headland. A set of white wooden steps descend down into the water which is shallow enough for children. Further past the fenced gate is better suited for more serious swimmers to get a few laps in. Come at dawn to witness a spectacular ocean sunrise. You can always reward your early start with a coffee from one of the fuss-free cafés on Bronte Road. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

Wylie's Baths, Coogee

Natural Feature, Swimming Pool
Map View
Wylies Baths rock swimming pool at Coogee Beach
© frank'n'focus / Alamy Stock Photo
In 1907, champion Australian swimmer Henry Wylie decided that Coogee was missing was a tidal bath. Wylie’s Baths was carved below the cliffs that same year. Fast forward a century and it’s become such an institution that people even host their weddings on the blue and yellow striped decking. It’s one of Sydney’s only ocean pools that’ll charge you an entrance fee, but with a café, plenty of shaded decking to chuck your towel on and even sunrise yoga classes on the upper decks, it’s $5 (£2.75) well spent. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

Maccallum Pool

Swimming Pool
Map View
Maccallum Seawater Pool, Cremorne Point, Sydney, NSW, Australia
© Bjanka Kadic / Alamy Stock Photo
Looking for an alternative way to see the famous Sydney skyline? Try taking a dip in Maccallum Pool. Chipped out of the Cremorne Point hillside, the narrow stretch of salty water looks out over Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. Come for a swim and stay for an afternoon of yacht counting, although you’ll need to arrive well before lunchtime to bag the best spot on the decking to catch the 3pm rays. Recommended by local insider Angharad Jones

Mahon Pool Maroubra

Natural Feature, Swimming Pool
Map View
Mahon Pool, Maroubra, Sydney, NSW, Australia
© galit seligmann / Alamy Stock Photo
There’s no denying that this pool is owned by the ocean. At high tide, the Pacific hurls fish-filled waves over its ocean-facing frontier, creating a natural wave pool populated with startled sea creatures who remain when the tide retreats. The near absence of man-made features adds to a sense of wild abandon. Only a few battered wooden posts separate the pool from the sea and sunbathing is reserved to the surrounding flat rocks. To shatter the illusion, however, the cafés and surf-themed restaurants of Maroubra are just a short, steep walk away. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

Oak Park Rock Pool Cronulla

Natural Feature, Swimming Pool
Map View

The antidote to the crowds and rowdy waves at Sydney’s more well-lapped pools can be found at Oak Park. The fenced-off area of ocean is blissfully calm and licks a short-but-sandy shore that is ideal sandcastle terrain. Its gentle waves and proximity to a park with playgrounds and picnic facilities have made it a firm favourite among families, with many making the hour’s drive out of Sydney just to park themselves at this sunny spot. Recommended by local insider Susanna Smith

These recommendations were updated on August 6, 2020 to keep your travel plans fresh.