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The Best Ocean Pools in Sydney for a Refreshing Dip

Take a dip in Sydney's best ocean pools.

Bilgola Rockpool (Image Credit: Hello Manly)

If rips and waves aren't your thing, no need to bid Sydney's beaches adieu. Fortunately, there's an abundance of natural ocean pools on offer around the city. In fact, there are more than 100 rock pools scattered throughout the state, and luckily for Sydneysiders, some of the best are close by. 

These iconic rock pools in Sydney offer a serene alternative to the bustling beaches. An invigorating and quick escape for those who prefer to take a leisurely swim, without the adrenaline-pumping waves. Nestled along the stunning coastline, these gems are perfect for a relaxed day by the sea. 

In case you haven’t booked your beach accommodation or planned your summer road trip just yet, consider this local guide that’ll take you on a journey to the most exquisite ocean pools and rock pools Sydney has to offer. Scroll on - a refreshing dip awaits...

South Curl Curl Rockpool

South Curl Curl Rockpool

South Curl Curl Beach unveils one of Sydney's best ocean pools that's been around since the roaring '20s. Split into two by a timeless, weathered wall, this haven caters to both serious swimmers with a 50-metre lane, and a shallower 'splash and play' zone for the little water adventurers. As if that's not enough, this Sydney rock pool has a boardwalk that'll whisk you towards the enchanting Freshwater Beach. With a charming cafe, essential facilities, and easy parking, South Curl Curl embodies Sydney's coastal spirit without the fuss. What’s more, you can easily hop on a bus from Manly or Wynyard to dive into the local favourite.

Carrington Parade, Curl Curl

North Narrabeen Rockpool

North Narrabeen Rockpool

At the serene entrance of Narrabeen Lagoon, North Narrabeen Rock Pool stands out as one of the top ocean pools in Sydney. Easily found on Narrabeen Park Parade, this 50-metre-long pool boasts a distinctive timber boardwalk separating the main lap area. Its unique feature? Adjacent natural rock pools, perfect for budding marine explorers. It's a family-friendly spot with conveniences like change rooms, showers, and a nearby café, making it a splendid spot for a dip. After your refreshing swim, take a moment to soak in the breathtaking views down to Long Reef. North Narrabeen Rock Pool is a timeless beauty, dating back to its construction in the 1930s under the Unemployment Relief Scheme. Local swimming clubs still gather here, and this Sydney rock pool remains a cherished gem among Sydney's northern beaches. 

Narrabeen Park Parade, North Narrabeen

Whale Beach Rock Pool

Whale Beach Rock Pool

If you're after the best ocean pools Sydney has to offer, Whale Beach Rockpool is a must-visit spot. The slightly worn, bright blue paint gives it a unique character, and that's precisely what makes this place special. Tucked away at the southern end of Whale Beach, this Sydney rock pool is a 25-metre oasis cherished by the locals. You'll find killer views, handy amenities like showers and toilets, plus a picnic area nestled among the rocks. So, grab some snacks, and make yourself at home for a relaxed afternoon by the sea.

17 Malo Road, Whale Beach

McIver Baths

McIver Baths, Coogee

For those looking to explore the best ocean pools and rock pools Sydney has to offer, there's a special spot that's stood the test of time – the McIver Baths. Exclusively reserved for women since 1922, thanks to the Randwick and Coogee Ladies Swimming Club. They still do things the old-school way, with a 20-cent entry fee tossed into a bucket. Sorry boys, you’re missing out on a pretty incredible view. Of Coogee, that is.

145-149R Beach Street, Coogee

Dee Why Rockpool

Dee Why Rockpool

A stone's throw from the Dee Why promenade lies a rockpool that's both expansive and well-frequented. At 50 metres, it's a behemoth of a water feature, a staple in the lineup of the best ocean pools Sydney has to offer. You've probably seen it from above in all its glory, and the fame is well-deserved. Enclosed with concrete walls, the large ocean pool is for enthusiastic swimmers while the second is small and shallow for toddlers and adults who are just looking to take it easy.

Oaks Avenue, Dee Why



A list of the best ocean pools in Sydney would be incomplete without mentioning Bondi icon, Icebergs. One of the most Instagrammed ocean pools around (and for good reason), the 50-metre ocean pool sits at the southern end of Bondi Beach and forms part of the Bondi Iceberg Club. The Bondi icon previously underwent an extensive restoration that saw the upgrade of its bathrooms and change facilities and the inclusion of massage rooms and a brand-new sauna. 

1 Notts Avenue, Bondi

Bilgola Rockpool (Image Credit: Hello Manly)

Bilgola Rockpool

Swimming enthusiasts sick of sharing lanes with casual dippers can find respite in Bilgola Rockpool. It's a generous 50-metre haven perched at the edge of Bilgola Beach and a prime pick among the best ocean pools Sydney offers. With eight dedicated lanes for the swimming aficionados, it's among the more tranquil and secluded natural rock pools in the area.  Finish the South Bilgola Headland Walk with a few laps or start your day right in the water here. Sunrise swims overlooking this elegant expanse don’t get much better.

1 The Serpentine, Bilgola Beach

Bronte Baths

Bronte Baths

One of the city’s oldest, Bronte Baths opened in 1887, and today, it still draws a crowd. This Sydney rock pool sits pretty on the edge of Bronte Beach with tiled lines pointing swimmers in the right direction. But truth be told, most folks just swing by for a laid-back soak. Don't forget to check out the Bronte Bogey Hole, nestled on the southern tip of the beach, especially delightful when the tides are low.

Bronte Beach, Bronte

Fairy Bower Sea Pool (Image Credit: Destination NSW)

Fairy Bower Sea Pool

A popular stop-off on the Manly to Shelly Beach walk, the Fairy Bower Sea Pool is a Northern Beaches icon. Unique with its triangular shape, this 20-metre pool was built by locals back in 1929 and has been well-maintained over the years. It’s no wonder it’s considered one of the best ocean pools in Sydney!

Marine Parade, Manly

Figure Eight Pools

Figure Eight Pools, Burning Palms Beach

You might have stumbled upon this well-kept secret on Instagram, but experiencing it in person is a far cry from a leisurely stroll. The Figure Eight Pools, which rank among the best ocean pools in Sydney, are a cluster of enchanting rock pools and sinkholes, but the journey to them doesn’t come easy. Based in the Royal National Park, it is a six-kilometre return walk from the nearest car park in Garrawarra Farm. Keep in mind that the final stretch of the trek is only accessible during low tide.

Burning Palms Beach, Royal National Park Trail, Lilyvale

Mahon Pool

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

Nestled among the cliffs at the northern end of Maroubra Beach, Mahon Pool stands as the best ocean pool in Sydney for thrill-seekers. Copping the brunt of the Pacific’s moody conditions, the pool is a magnet for adrenaline junkies, especially when high tides and strong winds align. Hidden down the stairs from the Marine Parade car park, this local gem glistens on the still days but entertains on the messy. Regardless, it’s free each time.

15R Marine Parade, Maroubra

Shelly Beach

Shelly Beach Rock Pool

Nestled along Cronulla's picturesque shoreline, Shelly Beach Rock Pool is a standout treasure among Sydney's best ocean pools. It's celebrated as one of the must-visit rock pools in Sydney, and for good reason. Unlike the bustling surf beaches nearby, Shelly Beach Rock Pool offers a serene, family-friendly experience. Its accessible features, including a pram and wheelchair-friendly ramp, make it an inclusive choice. The pool's calm, enclosed waters are perfect for novice snorkelers, while nearby grassy lawns and a playground ensure post-swim relaxation. It's a historical gem, too, dating back to the 1930s. While it’s not often patrolled, it's a fantastic spot for families to spend a quiet afternoon wading in cool waters.

70-110 Ewos Parade, Cronulla

Wylie's Baths

Wylie’s Baths, Coogee

The biggest and boldest of Coogee’s ocean pools, Wylie’s Baths is all-inclusive and has an entry fee of five dollars. Here you will find a 50-metre tidal pool, yoga, meditation and pilates lessons, massages and a kiosk stocked with refreshments. And to top it off, the views of Wedding Cake Island and Coogee Beach are pretty impressive.  

4B Neptune Street, Coogee

Loving our pick of the best ocean pools in Sydney? Discover where your furry bestie can roam the beach, our favourite family-friendly beaches as well as our complete guide to the best beaches in Sydney.

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