Collaroy Rock Pool – Collaroy, NSW 2097

Named after a ship that ran aground here in 1881 My experience in the pool By arriving here on a hot Friday morning towards midday when schools are soon to finish for the summer, I learned a couple of things at Collaroy Rock Pool. First thing was just how hot the concrete next to a pool can become in the midday sun, so should have brought my pool shoes, but for a completely different reason to normal. Second thing is that Australian school classes at this time of year on a Friday are Read more [...]

Malabar Rock Pool – Malabar, NSW 2036

Named after a ship that ran aground in 1931 My experience in the pool As you walk along the southern edge of Long Bay to get to Malabar Rock Pool you first pass signposts warning of snakes being seen in the area and then a ‘pool wildlife’ board with images of various marine life from tiddlers to stingrays via Port Jackson Sharks (don’t worry, these are not lethal and don’t get bigger than about 1.5m long, though thankfully there were none in the pool when I got in). Actually, Read more [...]

Nowra Aquatic Centre – Nowra, NSW 2540

A real 21st century swimming pool My experience in the pool Nowra’s new state-of-the-art aquatic centre only opened its doors in October 2015 after being closed for complete overhaul for two years. This really feels like the future of outdoor swimming pools, with fun facilities like the kiddies’ splash-about area with lots of water spouts and stairs to climb plus the soon-to-be-opened water slide, which should be fun for adults and kids alike. For me, it was a chance to return to Read more [...]

Shelly Beach Rock Pool – NSW 2230

Home of the Brass Monkeys My experience in the pool I don’t normally swim on cloudy days while I’m blogging, not because I have some aversion to cloud cover – I’m used to it being from East Yorkshire, and it’s probably safer here in Australia - but because ocean pools really are only at their best with blue skies, blue water and a sprinkling of white from the surf. There was none of those at Shelly Beach Rock Pool when I pitched up on an early December morning, but that clearly Read more [...]

Warilla Olympic Pool – Warilla, NSW 2528

Only open 5 months of the year My experience in the pool I first swam here before I knew that this blog would end up covering freshwater outdoor pools as well as ocean pools. That was towards the end of the ‘season’ – Warilla Pool closes for seven months of the year. But I needed to come back to review the place, and I jumped at the opportunity when I got a message from fellow swim blogger – Kenton who writes – to say he’d be down in Warilla and did I want to join Read more [...]

Oak Park Rock Pool at Glaisher Point – NSW 2230

Area known locally as ‘Sandshoes’ My experience in the pool The swim at Oak Park Rock Pool was a bit of a spontaneous act on our way home after aborting a planned dip in a beach up the Central Coast. It had been too grey and miserable those few miles further north and it made me realise how important sun and blue sky (and water) is to making these pools irresistible. By the time we were swinging by Cronulla heading south, the sun was out, so we just said to each other: ‘shall we?’, Read more [...]

Albion Park Pool – Albion Park, NSW 2527

Only open 5 months of the year My experience in the pool I arrived mid-morning on a sunny day in mid-November. There was only one lane set up for lap swimmers and one lady in there already. But lots of schoolkids were being herded about the premises so I knew something was up. Actually unlike on those school carnival days in January/February, when the public really can’t get into the water, the swimming lessons and tests for young schoolkids worked well with a couple of lap swimmers Read more [...]

Ocean Pools calendar & other connections

The best thing about the ABC Open story that ran on the ABC News website was actually not the spike in hits to this website, but the contact I gained from fellow swimming lovers along the way. Best of all was to hear from Mary O'Connell, a writer and historian who also loves the ocean pools of Sydney, and has produced a fantastic calendar for 2016. It's a great piece of work, not only for the photos but also the useful practical information and the background stories to the twelve Sydney Read more [...]

North Curl Curl Rock Pool – NSW 2099

Is this the only NSW ocean pool with an 'island' in the middle of it? My experience in the pool Probably partly because it is a little less easily accessible than many other ocean pools, you don’t seem to get many travelling tourists in North Curl Curl Rock Pool. It feels like quite a locals pool, and when I told one guy it was my first time here, he asked me not to tell everyone about it… Actually I don’t think it was my first ever time in this rock pool. I have a hunch (though Read more [...]