The Best Sydney Pools

When it comes to Sydney pools, the city may not have as many as Cape Town, but what it lacks in quantity it makes up for in quality. Whether you’re looking to swim in tame municipal pools or wild rock pools cut into rocky seasides, there’s something for everyone at these aquatic escapes where the essential salty rhythm of Sydney life continues.

Founded by champion swimmers, ocean pools were originally sheltered refuges where swimmers could practice and compete without worrying about strong waves or the risk of shark attacks. But they also provided a unique opportunity for visitors to enjoy the spectacular coastal scenery. Today, there are more than 35 ocean pools in Sydney, and they’re still a draw for swimmers and sightseers alike.

Located in Coogee, the Wylie’s Baths, named after long-distance and underwater swimmer Henry Alexander Wylie, are one of Sydney’s most beautiful tidal pools. The clifftop pool is built into the rocks, offering stunning views of Wedding Cake Island and the Pacific Ocean beyond. It’s a place for serious swimmers and casual observers alike, with an ambiance that’s hard to beat.

Another of Sydney’s most beautiful tidal swimming spots is the Bronte Baths, which has a distinctly Victorian elegance. Tucked below the sandstone cliffs of Bronte Beach, the baths draw a mix of easy-going locals and university girls in bikinis. The water is calm, with gentle lapping waves – not the crashing breakers you’ll find at more secluded beaches.

The city’s other major seaside pools can be found in Balmain and Coogee. The latter was established by the NSW Amateur Swimming Association, first by men and then women in 1906. Its concrete walls protect swimmers from the pounding surf and provide a perfect place to do laps in the calm waters.

As the pool deteriorated, the local council decided to upgrade it in 2007. But the project has hit trouble. Tony, a Sydney resident and former employee of the company building the pools, has been emailing the council with his concerns about the construction work. He claims that he was promised that the job would be completed by April, but that no workers have turned up since March 21. An email from one of the directors to Tony says that a family tragedy and an influx of new work have kept them busy. However, Mr Afoa insists that the work will be finished on time and that he has personally stepped in to ensure this happens. Hopefully, the pools will be ready for summer.