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TRAVEL & LEISURE

The Ten Best Outdoor Swimming Pools in Sydney

We want you to take full advantage of just how incredible Sydney can be when it’s hot and beautiful, so here are our ten favourite outdoor pools to cool down in.

By Madeleine Watts
January 16, 2015
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The Ten Best Outdoor Swimming Pools in Sydney

We want you to take full advantage of just how incredible Sydney can be when it’s hot and beautiful, so here are our ten favourite outdoor pools to cool down in.

By Madeleine Watts
January 16, 2015
  shares

Balmy, breezy and beckoning, the warmer months are well and truly here, bringing with them blue skies and long days. While Sydney's beaches are some of the best in the country, we sometimes forget we also have a collection of outdoor pools unlike anywhere else in the world.

We here at Concrete Playground want you to take full advantage of just how incredible this city can be when it's hot and beautiful, so here are our ten favourite outdoor pools to cool down in.

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icebergs-bondi

ICEBERGS

Undeniably the best place to see the spectacular views of Bondi Beach, Icebergs has been around almost one hundred years and has become a Sydney institution. No other pool can really compete with the views, atmosphere and history of Icebergs. It also has the added benefit of being one of the only licensed swimming pools in the world, and, being a swimming club, the drinks are pretty reasonably priced. Hang out by the side of the pool, or head upstairs to one of the balconies for a view of the ocean.

Where:
1 Notts Avenue, Bondi

How much:
$6.50

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prince-alfred-park-pool

PRINCE ALFRED PARK POOL

For the carless locals of inner Sydney who can't quite make it to the coast for a swim, Prince Alfred Park Pool is known as 'Redfern Beach'. It's the buttercup yellow sun umbrellas that bring the riviera vibe, as well as lawns strewn with sun bakers and cute cafe Meadow cheerily aiding post-swim recoveries. The shiny-new facilities nabbed two National Architecture Awards in 2014, and the 50m pool is always at that jump-right-in temperature. Consider getting the 360 Membership, which gives you access to the City of Sydney's three outdoor pools plus fitness facilities.

Where:
105 Chalmers Street, Surry Hills

How much:
$6

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boy-charlton-pool

ANDREW (BOY) CHARLTON POOL

Hidden away within the green expanses of The Domain, the Boy Charlton pool feels a world away from the city while still being in the heart of the CBD. The saltwater pool is perched on the edge of the Harbour, with spectacular views over the city and the Botanic Gardens. Lunch times can be crowded with stressy professional jogger types, and weekends can bring out the designer eyewear crowd, but every other time is lovely. Hang out on the wooden terrace or grab a drink upstairs in the open-air poolside cafe which, incidentally, also sells Pat and Stick's ice cream sandwiches, which are awesome.

Where:
1C Mrs Macquarie's Road, The Domain

How much:
$6.40

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wylies

WYLIES BATHS

Just south of Coogee Beach along the coastal walk, Wylies Baths have a picturesque canopy and kiosk elevated above the pool to provide panoramic views over the ocean. The pool also boasts 'Massage by the Sea,' Sydney's only outdoor seaside massage therapy centre, where they will happily place warm rocks on your naked back as you eavesdrop on the swimmers below. While it's pretty packed on weekends with families, the crowd gets a lot more diverse mid-week, and the old ladies with hip replacements sunbathing alongside the pool will be happy to assist you with your knitting pattern. It's probably also worth noting that there's a ladies pool just north of Wylies, popular with nuns and lesbians.

Where:
Neptune St, Coogee

How much:
$4.80

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redleaf

REDLEAF POOL

Technically, Redleaf is a fenced off section of the harbourside Seven Shillings Beach, adjacent to Blackburn Gardens. Mid-week, it can be a little piece of inner-east paradise, hidden from the road and only accessible by foot, down the stairs behind the Woolahra Council Offices on New South Head Road. It can get pretty busy on weekends during summer, though. A boardwalk runs around the top of the shark net, and there are two floating pontoons for those who enjoy attracting attention to themselves.

Where:
536 New South Head Road, Double Bay

How much:
Free

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dee-why-rockpool

DEE WHY ROCKPOOLS

Dee Why Rockpools are easily reached by the promenade along the beach, and formed out of concrete walls as well as the natural sandstone wall to the side. While the surfers head down to the beach, the slower-paced head to the rockpools. On weekends there are a lot of mums with little kids, so for a day filled with less high pitched squeals and splishy-splashing, weekdays or late afternoons will allow you to get the most out of the place.

Where:
Oaks Avenue, Dee Why

How much:
Free

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North-Sydney-Pool

NORTH SYDNEY POOL

Nothing says "you're in Sydney" so much as the Harbour Bridge, and nothing says "I'm swimming in Sydney" quite so well as backstroking right underneath it. North Sydney Pool is the only place which allows you to do just this, in a spectacular location overlooking Sydney Harbour and Luna Park. To make the most out of it, head down there at night, and go for a swim watched over by the lights of the city. The pool also features a gym, a cafe and a restaurant, so you can feasibly spend a whole night there gazing rapturously at the city.

Where:
4 Alfred Street South, Milsons Point

How much:
$7.80

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bronte-baths

BRONTE BATHS

The Baths lie a little south of the beach, surrounded by the cliffs and park, and currently plays neighbours with a children's train circuit which gives an old fashioned toot every half hour. Bronte Baths attract everyone from little kids to serious swimmers to old ladies in floral bathing caps. Hang out on the rocks, warming yourself like a lizard before diving into the rock pool, or stare out at one of Sydney's most photographed beaches.

Where:
Bronte Road, Bronte

How much:
Free

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freshwater-baths

FRESHWATER BATHS

Located at the northern end of the beach, Freshwater Baths was the first rockpool to be opened on the northern beaches, and still maintains its vintage charms. Once a haven for women in the 1920s and '30s who weren't allowed to swim at the male-oriented surf clubs, it now cheerfully welcomes everyone and offers a respite when the waves get rough. The pool is uniformly shallow, at just over a metre, so unless you're really short or unfortunately inebriated there's little chance of anything going awry.

Where:
Lumsdaine Drive, Freshwater

How much:
Free

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mccallum-pool

MACCALLUM POOL

If you appreciate a little early-20th century charm, the harbourside MacCallum Pool will delight you with its unique heritage feel and might inspire you to Charleston along the boardwalk. Like all good things north of the Bridge, it's terribly civilised, so if you turn up and the pool's a little full you can still sun yourself on the grassy knolls and look out across the Harbour. And another exciting aspect about MacCallum is that it's free, which means you have more money to spend on ice cream and dancing shoes.

Where:
Milson's Road, Cremorne Point

How much:
Free

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Published on January 16, 2015 by Madeleine Watts

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