It might be sunny in Sydney more often than it's not, but that doesn't mean the city is blessed with beach weather all year round. Sometimes it's too cold to dip a toe in, let alone do a few laps. That's where heated facilities come in. If you're a swimmer, it can be tough to maintain the motivation to throw yourself into freezing cold water, but the right pool — specifically one that won't freeze the flesh off your bones — can make all the difference.
While we're blessed with an abundance of ocean pools that are always ready and waiting for a quick plunge, there are a few man-made pools — both indoor and outdoor — that are nicely heated during winter. If you're after a dip, even when it's chilly outside, we recommend giving these heated pools a try.
PRINCE ALFRED PARK POOL, SURRY HILLS
In the middle of the always-buzzing Prince Alfred Park, this outdoor heated pool is the perfect place for your next wintertime swim. The facility utilises energy efficient heating that's regulated by the complex's green rooftop of native grasses. The pool also has a stormwater harvesting and filtration system to further add to Prince Alfred's green-thumb mentality. At $6.60, you can go for a casual lap session or just float aimlessly as you gaze at the city scenery. And if you just want to watch from the sidelines, take a seat on the poolside bleachers.
If you're looking for a heated swim with a view, it's safe to say your search is over. For $8.30, take a dip in this heated outdoor pool and bask in the scenery that's dotted with famous landmarks like the Harbour Bridge and Luna Park. The Olympic pool is fit for both workout laps and relaxing floats. Plus, you can take inspiration from these very historical waters — almost 90 world records were broken in this pool. And if that isn't glamorous enough, facilities also include a sauna and a spa — which you can indulge in for an easy $4.50.
In the heart of nine-hectare Camperdown Park lies a classic outdoor pool with a full deck and seriously chill vibes. The 50-metre heated pool — set at a cosy 25 degrees — is perfect for getting your laps in or just unfettered relaxation. Revel in the toasty waters and ample space for just $6.60 per casual swim. If you want to work on your butterfly form before beach-appropriate days return, there's also stroke development classes on offer year-round.
With an innovative wave shape, this facility includes three heated indoor pools, a sauna and steam room. The 50-metre lap pool is perfect for focusing on your stroke, while the program pool provides all kinds of aquatic classes and the leisure pool is a place to chill without being chilled. Temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees, creating warm and welcoming waters. At $7.70, head to the aquatic centre for a casual swim and remind yourself that the cold of winter shall pass sooner rather than later.
Not sure whether you'd prefer an outdoor or indoor heated pool? This aquatic centre has two of each — so you can switch as you please. For $8.50, you can work on your backstroke in the outdoor 50-metre pool which sits at a tepid 26 degrees or flaunt your stuff in the 25-metre indoor pool. Take a lesson, or two, in the 25-metre indoor program pool or just coast in the outdoor dome pool. Whatever pool style you're after, this place has it.
Close to the iconic St Mary's Cathedral, Cook and Phillip is home to three indoor heated pools with a spectrum of activities for you to dive into. At $7.70, you'll have access to a 50-metre lap pool, a leisure pool that includes a cool wave machine and a hydrotherapy pool built with ramp access — you'll be finding any excuse to visit. If you want a bit of a challenge with your aquatic workout, the pool also holds adult Swimfit classes for a new perspective on how to get fit.
ANNETTE KELLERMAN AQUATIC LEISURE CENTRE, MARRICKVILLE
Located in leafy Enmore Park, this establishment has everything you could want in a heated swimming space. Whether you go through rounds of laps in the 50-metre heated indoor pool or drift through the leisure pool, you're guaranteed to get your swimming fix. The aquatic centre also has a learn-to-swim pool open to adults if you're keen on becoming a pro in the pool. For $8.20, you'll have your pick at any of the three indoor heated pools as you embrace your inner Thorpey.
While swimming is a fun way to stay active, sometimes it's nice to just splash around and reconnect with your inner child. The indoor interactive pool has a waterslide, spray jets, five spas and other fun features that'll have you splashing for joy. The facility also includes a sauna and steam room where you get extra toasty post swim. There are also training and competition pools if you decide you need to polish up on your strokes. Dive into any of these settings for just $8.
Leichhardt Pool boasts six indoor and outdoor heated pools to enjoy at $8.50. Practice like a pro in the outdoor 50-metre Olympic pool which has seven lanes and is heated to a balmy 27 degrees. Or make a splash, literally, in the diving pool which doubles as a water polo court for the more competitive aquaphile. There are all sorts of classes on offer via the indoor program pool, if you're keen to acquire a little more aquatic knowledge.
While swimming laps is always sure to get your heart racing, some prefer to pair a dip with other strenuous exercise. This facility gives members access to a 50-metre heated indoor pool as well as various sports courts, cardio machines, weights and gym equipment. Finish off a circuit with a few laps or cool down after back-to-back strokes with a light walk on the treadmill. And if you're not too sure about committing to a membership, this centre offers one free trial for any of the facilities.
Sydney Uni Pool is open from 5.30am–10pm Monday through Friday, 6am–8pm on Saturdays and 7am–10pm Sundays.