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You Can Now Take a Dip in Sydney Harbour with Swimming Returning to Barangaroo Reserve's Marrinawi Cove

This is Sydney's first new harbour swimming location west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in more than 50 years.
By Ben Hansen
January 09, 2023
By Ben Hansen
January 09, 2023

Despite boasting a city right on the water, most of Sydney's inner-city harbour shores have been definitively off-limits to swimmers for decades. This is all beginning to change, however, with significant investment in cleaning up our waterways leading to the reintroduction of swimming in Barangaroo — the first new harbour spots for summer dips in what could be many according to plans from the City of Sydney and NSW Government.

Today it has been announced that Marrinawi Cove, a secluded section of Barangaroo Reserve that boasts skyline views, has just reopened to swimmers. The introduction of this swimming enclosure marks the first new harbour swimming spot to be created west of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in more than 50 years.

"Our city stopped building ocean and harbour pools more than half a century ago — it's past time to provide more great, safe public places to swim," said Minister for Infrastructure, Cities and Active Transport Rob Stokes. "Being able to swim at Marrinawi Cove is only possible because we have invested in cleaning up our harbour from industrial wastelands to aquatic playgrounds."

"Marrinawi Cove offers a fitting foundation for a swimming enclosure, and we know for thousands of years our traditional custodians, the Gadigal, used the land around Barangaroo for fishing, canoeing and swimming," Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich said before taking a fully-clothed dip in what he described as Sydney's first city beach.


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A post shared by Alex Greenwich MP (@alexgreenwich)

Stokes also promised that the push for harbour swimming spots wouldn't stop with Marrinawi Cove. The minister said he's bookmarked spots at Blackwattle Bay, Bays West and other Barangaroo locations as possible sites for urban renewal and future summer swims.

This isn't the first Sydney spot to reopen to swimming in recent years.

Improvements to water quality have also seen the likes of Bayview Park reopen for safe swimming. That section of the Parramatta River recently joined Dawn Fraser Baths, Cabarita Park beach, Chiswick Baths and Lake Parramatta as one of five areas along the waterway where people can now swim. The Parramatta River Catchment Group (PRCG) has also earmarked spots including Bedlam Bay, McIlwaine Park and Putney Park as possible new swim sites along the river.

If you're in need of additional inspiration our list of the best swimming spots around Sydney and local swimming holes for any mood ought to keep you busy.

You can read all about the reintroduction of swimming to Marrinawi Cove at the NSW Government's website.

Images: Bec Dreher

Published on January 09, 2023 by Ben Hansen
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