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  • Sydney
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  • These are the Best Harbour Swimming Spots in Sydney

These are the Best Harbour Swimming Spots in Sydney

Soak up the sun and take in stunning views with the best harbour swimming spots in Sydney,

Maccallum Pool

Sydney is swimmable all year round so it's crucial to have harbour beaches and swimming spots in rotation to keep you motivated for a dip. 

With so many beaches and waterholes to choose from, narrowing down the location for your next beach day can be difficult. We’ve found the best harbour swimming spots in Sydney so you can cool off, stretch out and soak up some of the city's most spectacular views all at the same time.

Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool

Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool

You don’t have to travel far from the city to find this saltwater gem. Located behind the Domain, the Boy Charlton Pool feels worlds away but is in fact just down the road from the Botanic Gardens and as such, affords stunning views of the city, wharves and a number of navy battleships that dock across the water.

The 50 metre outdoor pool is perfect for lap swimming although families prefer the smaller 20-meter alternative which is 1 metre-deep throughout and suited to beginners. Recline on the wooden terrace or grab a bite to eat at the poolside café while you watch the ships roll in.

1C Mrs Maquarie’s Road, The Domain

Little Manly

Little Manly

Little Manly is another beloved harbour beach well worth a splash at. The calm, non-threatening waters are perfect for little ones to play in and there are lots of shady trees on the grass if you want to make a day of it. The biggest attraction without doubt is the glorious views Little Manly boasts of the eastern suburbs and Mosman. Pro-tip, the sunset here is magnificent. 

Further up the hill at Little Manly Point there's a bigger playground that's recently undergone a massive glow-up. Plus if you get peckish, there's also an on-site Ripples which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and is all about affordable beachfront dining with contemporary cuisine.

Stuart Street, Manly

Maccallum Pool

Maccallum Pool

Take a step back in time and visit the charming Maccallum Pool. Its wooden boardwalk and picket fence will have you in your vintage bathers in no time. Situated on the western side of Cremorne Point, this lower north shore secret provides swimmers with uninterrupted views of the city and ample opportunity to gush over some of Sydney’s finest yachts. At only 33 meters it does have a tendency to fill up on hot days so best to get in early!

Milson’s Road, Cremorne Point

Northbridge Baths

Northbridge Baths

Sitting on the edge of Middle Harbour, the Northbridge Baths are surrounded by pristine bushland, and grandiose homes and are one of the best harbour swimming spots in Sydney. Perfect for families and much loved by the locals the tidal bath has a jetty for jumping, barbeques, change rooms, toilets and parking. Enjoy the harbour foreshore from a tranquil location close to the city yet in the middle of nature.

Widgiewa Road, Northbridge

Nielsen Park (Image Credit: @meganshhhhhh)

Nielsen Park and Shark Beach

One of Sydney’s iconic heritage parks, Nielsen Park, and adjoining Shark Beach is the ideal place to come for a quiet picnic on the Sydney Harbour foreshore. Surrounded by National Park and offering breathtaking views across the city it’s no wonder the Eastern Suburbs try to keep it under wraps. Ideal for a walk along the foreshore, a kayaking adventure, or a picnic lunch under an ancient fig tree, families and individuals alike can enjoy this location year-round. 

*Sitchu Note: Construction to replace the concrete seawall at Nielsen Park is currently taking place and is scheduled to be completed in February 2024. Shark Beach will be closed during this time. 

Neilsen Park, Vaucluse

Camp Cove

Camp Cove

Calm waters meet harbour views in friendly Camp Cove. The sunny foreshore is frequently occupied by busy children building sandcastles and the surrounding grassy areas are perfect for the solo punters to stretch out with a book.

The multitude of café and dining options around the beach make it a perfect location for a day out with nearby Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel providing the perfect excuse to carry on into the night. Pick out your favourite million-dollar waterfront mansion while children dive bomb off the wharf.

Camp Cove, Watsons Bay

Murray Rose Pool (Image Credit: @enricobecker)

Murray Rose Pool

Accessed through the Woollahra Council Building and previously known as Redleaf, this harbourside netted pool is part of Seven Shillings Beach and nestled next to Blackburn Gardens. Recline on the boardwalk that runs along the top of the shark nets or swim out to one of the floating pontoons. Busy on weekends, get down early to snag yourself a spot on the sand and pop over to the kiosk for a cold drink and some classic hot chips.

536 New South Head Rod, Double Bay

Dawn Fraser Baths (Photo Credit: @innerwestaquatics)

Dawn Fraser Baths

Built in the early 1880s these historic baths are the oldest in Sydney and make for a truly unique harbour swimming spot. Named after Australian Olympic swimmer, Dawn Fraser, the swimming club is now a heritage building on the National Trust.

This tidal-flow saltwater pool is a much-loved fixture in the community and features swimming classes and water polo training. The first ever game of water polo in Australia was played here in 1888. With a wide timber boardwalk, change rooms and a waterside kiosk, this low-key swimming spot makes for a perfect trip down memory lane.

Elkington Park, Fitzroy Avenue, Balmain

Balmoral Beach

Balmoral Beach

A long-standing favourite for Sydneysiders, Balmoral Beach is a little slice of heaven on the Lower North Shore and one of the best harbour swimming locations in Sydney. The enclosed swimming area features shark nets and a wide boardwalk popular with children who regularly enjoy jumping and diving into the water from its elevated height.

Large fig trees provide ample shaded spots for picnics on the grass or those who prefer to catch some rays can stretch out on the sand. Eateries range from takeaway fish and chips to the famous Bathers' Pavilion and Boathouse right on the beach; there’s something for everyone.

Balmoral Beach, Mosman

Clontarf Reserve

Clontarf Reserve

Clontarf Reserve in Middle Harbour is the perfect water playground for families of all ages. The calm beach pool enclosed by a small timber barrier is relatively shallow and usually brimming with children and parents.

Kids make new friends as parents keep careful watch from the sandy beach. The nearby kiosk provides ample food options and the neighbouring shaded playground, which underwent a massive refurbishment in 2021, is steps from the beach. Also a great spot to launch into your Middle Harbour adventures with your kayaks, paddleboards and laser boats.

Sandy Bay Road, Clontarf

Finished floating your way through the best harbour swimming spots in Sydney and after more inspo? Check out our round-up of the best places in Australia to visit this year. Then, have a read our wrap-up of the most romantic destinations to visit in NSW.

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