Dive in, take a dip this Summer!
We are spoiled for choice when it comes to beaches and ocean rock pools in Sydney. From the Northern Beaches of Mona Vale down to North Curl Curl, Freshwater Beach, Fairy Bower across to the eastern beaches of Bondi, Bronte, Coogee to Maroubra and down through to the beaches of Cronulla in the Sutherland Shire, heres a collection of some of my favourite summer getaways where you will find me on a hot day either swimming or taking photographs both from land and the sky. I love to capture sunrises and aerial oceanscapes and Sydney’s ocean rock pools certainly are a playground for beautiful imagery and make for gorgeous prints to be hung in a home. Check out the most incredible and most instagrammable places to dip your toes into this Summer and enjoy Sydney’s Best Ocean Pools.
Mona Vale Rockpool
A northern beaches favourite, the two rockpools sit at the tip of a sand spit near the northern end of Mona Vale Beach and is one of the most spectacular sights especially photographed from the sky. Both pools are surrounded by crashing waves at high tide creating a magical illusion as if the pools are floating in the middle of the ocean. This makes for a stunning aerial photography.
North Curl Curl Rockpool
A hidden gem on the norther beaches. It’s a 25 metre pool located towards the end of the headland at North Curl Curl Beach, is perhaps one of the most spectacular looking rock pools, due to its ‘islands’ in the middle of the pool. Tucked into the cliff face that is overhanging on one side, the 2 big island peaks rise above the waters creating a unque area for sun worshippers to spend the day.
In 1925 Freshwater rock pool became the first ocean pool in the Northern Beaches. The 50 metre lap rock pool at the northern end of Freshwater Beach is the perfect spot to get your daily lap intake in. Sitting under the cliff on one side the surf crashes in on all 3 sides. As you take a break from laps soak up the spectacular view and watch the waves roll in onto Freshwater Beach.
Fairy Bower Pool, Manly
A short stroll from Manly Beach, enroute to Shelly Beach is this lovely little ocean pool. The unique triangular shape of Fairy Bower Rockpool, built by residents in 1929, still lighting up Marine Parade, Manly nearly ? years on ?✨ The centrepiece of the pool is the iconic Manly Sea Nymphs sculpture of two curving creatures on the pools edge, creating a dramatic and beautiful statement, especially when the surf’s up, looking like dancing aquatic spirits.
North Bondi Children’s Pool
World famous Bondi Beach is one of Australia’s most sought after stretch of sand and ocean on a Summers Day. Popular with tourists and locals alike. The small rock and paddle pool is a popular option for families with small children.
The most famous beach in Australia lays claim to the worlds most photographed instagramable place, with good reason too, the historical landmark of Bondi Beach for over 100 years, Bondi Icebergs features both a large lap pool and small kids pool. Perched up on rocks against a backdrop of ocean and crashing waves, the crystal clear calm turquoise waters creates a beautiful contrast, and the place to be seen all year long.
Opened in 1887, Bronte Baths is one of Sydney’s oldest and photographed ocean rock pools. It’s the perfect spot to catch a sunrise or to cool off on a hot sunny day. Sheltered from the ocean, yet still filled with its salty waves, its a ideal spot from sunrise through sunset. The Bronte Baths viewpoint and stairway with its white banister leading down to the crystal clear blue waters have become a social media star for travelers and locals alike.
Clovelly Ocean Pool
The cool thing about Clovelly is having the 25m lap pool and the big open ocean water in the Clovelly Bay itself for you to choose which to take the plunge. The bay itself is like a concrete sunbathing playground with a giant ocean rock pool as the centrepiece, as its largely protected and sheltered from the surf and large swell because it lies inside a narrow bay which has been concreted on either side. On a calm day the mass of marine life make this a beautiful spot to go snorkelling and a must do.
Giles Baths, Coogee
Located at the base of the headland of Coogee beach. Its a natural rock pool known as the “Bogey Hole”. Steeped in history, the archway entry from the original ‘Giles Gym and Baths’ still remains, and once you pass through you feel as if you have stepped backed in time. Fun fact about this ocean rockpool is that it is actually named after my friends great grandfather who the gym was named after.
Ross Jones Memorial Ocean, Coogee
Built in 1947 this beautiful rockpool is located at the southern end of Coogee Beach maintaining its old world charm. I love the uniquness of the rectangular shaped pool which boast a gorgeous design jutting out geometrically from a curved rockface. It makes me think of a giant sandcastle with its castle-like turrets emerging from the water along the concrete pool walls. This historic pool remains a timeless place to swim at.
McIver’s Ladies Baths, Coogee
Fun in the sun for females. This historic ladies only retreat is the last of its kind in Australia. Established in the 1800’s. Located in a perfect spot to soak up the endless ocean horizon straight out to Wedding Cake Island.
Wylies Baths, Coogee
Wylie’s Baths is one of Sydney’s oldest and most beautiful ocean tidal pools. Open 365 days a year, Wylie’s Baths is a heritage-listed tidal swimming pool located near Coogee Beach, an absolute must do in Sydney. With its natural ocean bottom, you see fish, the occasional octopus and plenty of other sea creatures. The 50metre pool offers 180-degree panoramas of the ocean, including views of Wedding Cake Island.
Ivor Rowe Rockpool, Coogee
One of the lesser known and photographed swimming spots in the area. Ivore Rowe Rockpool is teeming with sealife, and a gorgeous spot to watch the sunrise as the waves crash over the weathered wooden poles.
Mahon Pool, Maroubra
My top place for Sydney’s Best Ocean Pools, and my all time favourite where you will find me in Summer. Having grown up only a stones throw from this pool its somewhere I like to call home. Open to the elements the 30m long pool is home to marine life which drop in as the high tide and big waves come crashing in. Flanked by stunning natural rock formations, it is mainly inhabited by locals and the perfect spot to spend and entire Summers day.
North & South Cronulla Rock Pools
Located in the heart of Gods Country, Cronulla is home to 5 ocean pools. Located along the esplanade you will find North & South Cronulla roclk pools. Cronulla rock pool is the smaller of the two and especially at low tide the pool is shallow enough to relax and wade through, ideal for those seeking a relaxed dip. South Cronulla Beach rock pool, on the other hand, is a full-sized, eight-lane pool which is perfect for swimming laps right next to the ocean.
Oak Park Rock Pool
I love the shape of this pool. Adjacent to The Esplanade sits this cronulla favourite and locally known as ‘Sandshoes’. This pool is nice getaway to enjoy sideways laps whilst waves lap over the edge, making for a fun swim. A great spot for kids and for taking aerial photographs.
Shelly Beach Rock Pool, Cronulla
Like nearby Oak Park Rock pool, Shelly Beach Rock Pool is a rock pool that merges ino the beach, so you can enter on the sand and gradually make your way deeper into the pool. Great for that morning swim, there is a nice flow from the tide keeping the pool fresh and clean.
‘Figure 8 Pools, Royal National Park
Located on a dangerous rock shelf in the Royal National Park, near Burning Palms Beach, and only accessible during low tide, a visit to these pools is all about timing. Timing that you go during low tide but also that your fortunate enough to be there and experience without the crowds. Accessed by a tricky 3.5km track which winds down more than a 100m of elevation, be ready to endure rock-hopping and challenging walk across wet and slippery rock ledges. Soon enough the hordes of people will arrive, so its important to get your instagram worthy shot quickly. Theres multiple little pools but there’s only one main one from where it gets it’s name. Roughly 4metres long by a metre wide, it’s definitely worth the trek.