Sydney Beaches – What’s With All the Ocean Pools Along Sydney Beaches?

If you love swimming and are curious about Australia’s unique coastal and harbourside pools, you’re not alone. A few months ago, Meegan Zen asked us on Facebook if we could tell her “what’s with all these ocean pools along Sydney beaches?”. So we decided to find out more, with the help of some expert locals and national and international historians.

The answer is that our love affair with ocean pools dates back at least two centuries. The convicts carved – and dynamited – the first pool at Newcastle, and by the late 1800s we were already building them in Sydney. The pools offered recreational and competitive swimmers a safe place to swim, away from waves, and they also provided protection from shark attacks.

As a result, there are now 6 outstanding ocean pools around the city. Here are some of them:

Mahon Pool, Maroubra

Located just south of Double Bay, the stunning Mahon Pool was created in 1929 by residents to provide swimmers with a safe harbourside tidal enclosure. Set among rocky outcrops, the pool provides spectacular sea views and a sense of seclusion. Steep steps descend from the cliffs above to reach the pool, which is accessible via a coastal walking track at Jack Vanny Reserve.

Murray Rose Pool, Balmain

Another picturesque tidal pool is the historic Murray Rose Pool (formerly Elkington Park Baths), a corrugated iron and painted cream and green pavilion tucked below Balmain’s sandstone cliffs. Originally built in 1883, the pool is popular with families and offers a sheltered spot to enjoy the water and the magnificent view.

It is a great place to relax and unwind with a picnic, or just enjoy the scenery and ocean breezes. There are also a few BBQs available for your use. There is a small entrance fee, but well worth it for the beautiful scenery and great location.

The pool is a wonderful place for young children to get into the water and learn how to swim. The pool is also an excellent place for adults to practice their strokes or relax. The water is warm and the location is beautiful. The only drawback is that it can be quite crowded on weekends.

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