When you are on holiday in Sydney, one of the best things to seek out is the variety of outdoor pools all across the city. They are a refreshing way to experience Sydney’s amazing views and coastal beaches in a safe environment without having to deal with waves or strong currents. Although it should be noted that during rough tides, some pools can experiences waves and often times sea life gets into them. The outdoor pools are also referred to as rock pools and some are called baths. Baths are the historic name from many pools because they were used for bathing throughout history. The rock pool name comes from being hammered and carved from the rocks of Sydney’s coastal cliffs or some of them started out as naturally occurring rock pools, shallow and sheltered from the tides by rocks strategically placed by nature. Almost every major beach in Sydney has a rock pool and there are several harbourside outdoor pools too, Most outdoor pools are free and open to the public. Before planning to visit any of these outdoor pools, check for their schedules online, many are cleaned on Thursdays. Also, websites for the different pools list conditions, entrance fees (if applicable) and special events. Even though we are highlighting these outdoor pools for fun in the summer, most are open all year long and some are even heated in the winter. Research the different outdoor pools in Sydney and be sure to incorporate some of them into your Sydney holiday.

Sydney Rock Pool

Sydney “Rock” Pools at Bronte Beach Photo Credit: Answers.com

Bondi Baths

Bondi Baths

Bondi Baths Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Bondi Baths

Bondi Paths Photo Credit: Icebergs.com.au

The Bondi Baths are one of the most popular and well known of Sydney’s outdoor pools. This is because Bondi Beach is one of the most popular of Sydney’s beaches. The baths are located at the southern end of Bondi Beach and they were built over 100 years ago. There is a 50 metre pool for laps  and also a kids pool. both pools have lifeguards on patrol during opening hours. The Bondi Baths are one of the pools that charge a small entrance fee. While there, learn about the interesting history of the Icebergs swim club. Several other outdoor beach pools are located in walking distance from Bondi Beach, you can take the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk south to get to them all.

Bronte Beach Rock Pools

Sydney Outdoor Pools

Outdoor Pools at Bronte Beach Sydney Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Bronte Beach

Bronte Beach Pool Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Some of the lesser known beaches of Sydney’s suburbs are gems not only because they can be less crowded but also peaceful havens for beach lovers. Bronte Beach is a short walk from Bondi Beach and the rock pools here are some of the most photographed of all the outdoor pools. You find Bronte by following the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk for less than a kilometre. It gives you a chance to see and experience Bondi but then also have some space on Bronte Beach. Bronte Beach is a hot spot for surfers and known for the challenging surf which is why the saltwater lap pool and child-friendly ocean pool are great alternatives.

Clovelly Beach Pool

Clovelly Beach - Pool

Clovelly Beach Pool Photo Credit: “Clovelly 2” by J Bar – Own work. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons

Clovelly Beach is a little further south from Bronte Beach along the headland. Clovelly is situated in a small bay and the beach there is much calmer. The ocean pool is cut into the rocks of the headland. There is also a beautiful, grassy park with picnic tables so this is an excellent spot for families or anyone wanting a beachside picnic.

Coogee Beach Pool

Coogee Ocean Pool - Sydney

Coogee Beach Pool Photo credit: Sydney.com

Coogee Ocean Pool - Sydney

Coogee Beach Pool Photo credit: Sydney.com

Coogee Beach is the last spot on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk. The beach is patrolled and Coogee is a popular destination for holiday goers and families because of the swimming baths and the promenade with barbeque areas and playgrounds.

McIvers Baths – Coogee

McIvers Bath

McIvers Baths Photo Credit: Sydney.com

McIvers Baths is one of the other outdoor pools near Coogee Beach, the McIvers Baths are on the face of the cliff and rock platform between Coogee Beach and Wylies Baths. McIvers Baths are significant because they are the last remaining women’s and children’s only pool in Australia. It is a historic spot and has been used as a women’s bathing spot since 1876, even before the baths were built in 1886. In addition to the baths, there is a brick sunbathing area, changing rooms, an amenities block and a small clubhouse.

Wylies Baths – Coogee

Wylie Baths

Wylies Baths Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Wylie Baths

Wylies Baths Photo Credit: Sydney.com

As you will notice, each of Sydney’s baths or outdoor pools has something different to offer. Wylies Baths is a tidal pool built by Henry Alexander Wylie 1907. He was a champion long distance and under water swimmer. Wylies Baths offer a magnificent 180 degree view of the Pacific Ocean and and dramatic Wedding Cake Island. In addition to swimming, there is a kiosk with refreshments, and massages or yoga classes are available.

Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach

Freshwater Beach Photo Credit: Warringah.nsw.gov.au

Freshwater Beach is within walking distance of Manly, Sydney’s other popular beach. Manly is well known for surfing and Freshwater Beach, specifically, is where Hawaiian Duke Kahanamoku carved a surfboard from local timber and gave his famous surfing demonstration on January 1915. The rest is Australian surfing history and a statue of the legendary “Duke” still stands at the northern headland of Freshwater Beach. The north end of the beach is also where the 8 lane, 50 metre saltwater pool is. All of Freshwater Beach is known as a great spot for families too. Facilities include showers, public toilets, a playground, a viewing platform, picnic area, parking, kiosk, barbeques, garbage bins, and a walking trail.

Balmoral Beach


Balmoral Beach Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Balmoral Beach is located close to Sydney Harbour and the foreshore and is walking distance to Taronga Zoo. The beach features a family friendly netted tidal pool in Little Sirius Cove where you will also find several sheltered beaches and a playground. Balmoral Beach itself is an enclosed swimming area and is a harbour beach that is nestled within the parklands. There is much outdoor fun to be had at Balmoral Beach including exploring on the footbridge, beach walking with picturesque ocean views of the North and South Headlands, and plenty of waterside restaurants and alfresco cafes by the beach and in the Mosman area.

North Sydney Olympic Pool – Milsons Point

North Sydney Olympic Pool

North Sydney Olympic Pool Photo Credit: Sydney.com

North Sydney Olympic Pool

North Sydney Olympic Pool Photo Credit: Sydney.com

This pool is situated right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and adjacent to Sydney Harbour. So you can swim and relax in the sun with some of the most amazing and iconic views of Sydney. The facilities include a 50 metre heated pool, gymnasium, sauna, spa, and an indoor 25 metre pool and cafe. The pool is also very close to other highlights of the city like the Sydney Opera House and Luna Park.

Maccallum Pool

Maccallum Pool

Maccallum Pool Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Maccallum Pool is a harbourside pool with beautiful views of Sydney Harbour. It is located on the western side of Cremorne Point. Its locations make it an excellent sun bathing spot. It was originally a rock pool with an architectural style of the 1920s. Its history and the architectural theme were preserved and restored in 1985 – 1986.

Andrew Boy Charlton Pool – The Domain

Andrew Boy Charlton Pool

Andrew Boy Charlton Pool Photo Credit: Sydney.com

Visitors at this harbourside pool are welcome to swim laps, relax, or socialise with some of the best views of Sydney Harbour. The Andrew Boy Charlton Pool (ABC) is located on the shores of Woolloomooloo Bay right near the Royal Botanic Gardens. It is a heated, salt water pool with a learners pool that is heated and shaded. Terrace seating is available and you can grab a bite to eat at the Poolside Cafe.

Hiring a Car in Sydney

Sydney Map

Sydney Map Photo Credit: Google Maps

Sydney Car Hire Map

Sydney Car Hire Map Photo Credit: Budget.com.au

The Budget Car Rental location in Kings Cross  is centrally located in Sydney and is a popular choice because of its close proximity to Sydney Harbour. However, there are plenty of other car hire locations in Sydney where you can rent a car. Budget rental agents are knowledgeable and will help you find the right vehicle rental for you at the right price. Having your own vehicle to get around lets you explore the city on your own schedule. While in Sydney, in addition to all the lovely outdoor pools, other things to do include:

Things to Do on Holiday in Sydney

Sydney Holiday Ideas for Families with Kids

Free Things to Do in Sydney

A Spectacular New Year’s Eve in Sydney

Places to See in and Around Sydney

5 Day Trips from Sydney

Sydney’s Famous and Secret Beaches

Scenic Drive from Sydney to Melbourne

Experience the Vast Beauty of Wollemi National Park

Royal National Park

Best Scenic Drives in Australia: Greater Blue Mountains

Scenic Drives in the Snowy Mountains

Snow Valley Way: A Delicious Scenic Drive