12 March 2017
Before surf lifesaving clubs had been established, and before daylight beach swimming was allowed, gender-separated ocean baths provided Sydneysiders with a safe place to cool off while protecting their modesty. Sheltered from the ocean yet filled by its waves, these picturesque saltwater seaside pools have become an iconic part of Sydney’s coastal lifestyle. With over 30 coastal pools spread between Palm Beach and Cronulla, you’re never too far from one of Sydney’s cherished ocean baths. Check out some favourites below:
Opening in 1907, Wylies Baths was the first mixed-gender pool in Sydney. Visitors to Wylies Baths can enjoy the 46-metre-long pool as well as shaded areas, a shower, changing rooms and virtually endless views of the Pacific Ocean. For an extra-relaxing day, pay a visit to Massage By The Sea, which operates on the decks of the baths during summer.
Located at Greenwich Point, Greenwich Baths is a small ocean pool protected by shark nets. The fully-enclosed pool boasts amazing views of Cockatoo Island and the skyscrapers of Sydney’s CBD. The pool’s calm waters are perfect for all kinds of visitors, including younger children and lap swimmers.
Bronte Baths sits right on the edge of Bronte Beach, offering swimmers stunning beachside views. The pool is big enough for the more advanced swimmers to practice and shallow enough for the little ones – and it’s free to swim.
Manly’s Fairy Bower Rockpool was built by local residents in 1929. The pool can be found along Marine Parade in a quiet spot near Shelly Beach. The small, triangular rockpool is easily recognisable thanks to two prominent sculptures by Helen Leete, known as ‘The Oceanides’, or ‘The Sea Nymphs’.
Situated next to Sydney’s most iconic beach, the Bondi Baths offer a relaxing swim and amazing views without having to venture into the greater ocean. Patrolled by qualified lifeguards during opening hours, Bondi Baths features two pools which spill into endless ocean. The 50-metre pool has been around for over 100 years; the smaller pool great is for swimming with children. Visit Bondi today to discover why its ocean baths are more popular than ever.