Sydney's outdoor pools

Along with a glorious coastline and famous beaches, Sydney has a wonderful collection of ocean pools and swimming baths. Whether you're a lap swimmer or out for a leisurely family dip, you’ll love the magnificent views of Sydney Harbour or the deep blue ocean from the outdoor pools.

Popular ocean pools in Sydney include:

On beautiful Sydney Harbour at Milsons Point, next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Luna Park’s fun rides, is North Sydney Olympic Pool, home to 86 world swimming records. A postcard setting, you can gaze over the sparkling harbour to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Sydney Opera House.

Aerial shot of Bondi Beach, Sydney

Another gorgeous harbour spot is the Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, near the Royal Botanic Garden and the Art Gallery of NSW. Bringing style to lap swimming, the pool is between the giant Moreton Bay fig trees in The Domain and the sleek Navy ships moored at Garden Island, Woolloomooloo.

Ocean pools attract families and lap swimmers. At Bondi Beach’s southern end is the famous Bondi Baths. The saltwater pool is next to Bondi Icebergs, which has restaurants, bars and a cafe. Members of the Bondi Icebergs traditionally take a mid‐winter dip in the pool, with added ice for extra chill.

Sun rising over Bondi Icebergs at Bondi Beach, Sydney

You can take the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk and stop along the way at the Bronte Baths, perched right on the edge of Bronte Beach. At Coogee Beach are Wylie’s Baths and McIvers Baths, which is the only remaining women’s and children’s only ocean pool in Australia, dating back to 1886.

Among the rock pools of the Northern Beaches is the 50-metre pool at Palm Beach, a barefoot paradise for a starry cast of celebrities and the setting for hit TV series Home and Away. Palm Beach is Sydney’s northernmost stretch of soft sand and the adjacent park is perfect for a family picnic.

Sydney Swimming safety

NSW has a wide range of wonderful swimming options including beaches, ocean pools, harbourside pools, lakes, rivers, and swimming holes at the bottom of waterfalls. However to ensure maximum safety and enjoyment, swimmers should follow this general advice:

Look for patrolled beaches (this is where lifesavers are on duty; you will see red and yellow flags that indicate this). You should always swim between the red and yellow flags as they mark the safest place to swim.

Never swim alone at night, or under the influence of alcohol, or directly after a meal.

Always check water depth, as rocks or trees could be submerged, and never run and dive into the water from a beach, riverbank or other surface.

Check for signs regarding advice on water conditions at your chosen swimming spot and at any natural swimming hole. Always proceed with caution as surfaces could be slippery and water conditions may not be immediately apparent; particularly if the area has recently experienced heavy rain or flooding.

Pay attention to the advice of the lifesavers and safety signs. Visit SharkSmart to understand any potential risks in the area you are swimming.