Pool Reviews

Wombarra Rock Pool – NSW 2515

Wombarra is an Aboriginal word for ‘black duck’ My experience in the rock pool I didn’t see any black ducks in this secluded pool at the northern end of the Illawarra. Unless those thin black sea birds sitting on the pool railings pretending to be Batman are indeed black ducks, but I don’t think so. It actually took me three goes to get into this pool. The first time I came, it was just on high tide and the 5m walk across the rocks to gain access to the pool looked pretty Read more [...]

Coalcliff Rock Pool – NSW 2508

Home of the Illawarra Coke Company since 1914. My experience in the rock pool I was there on a bright, breezy day in May. The ocean was a beautiful deep blue and the pool itself an inviting sky blue with a touch of turquoise – whoever took the decision to paint the floor of this pool blue made the right call in my view. The air temperature was barely 20C and the water starting to feel chilly enough to have me gasping as I put my head down to swim, but so so refreshing, even for five or Read more [...]

Coledale Rock Pool – NSW 2515

Coledale Rock Pool at high tide There’s a bit of an oyster theme to this pool. There are sharp oyster shells to avoid sometimes. Even the swim club is called the Coledale Oysters. My experience in the rock pool I picked a perfect morning for my swim here; warm autumn sun, and the tide a few hours past high so the rocks around the pool were still gleaming with the remaining puddles and the pool itself stood there inviting me in. Just one guy in there when I turned up and he was getting Read more [...]

Boat Harbour Rock Pool – Gerringong

Gerringong Boat Harbour Rock Pool “Where the mountains meet the sea” My experience in the rock pool I was here at low tide on a sunny, but windy day in January. Water temperature was perfect for just stepping straight in. It’s a bit shallow to swim immediately as the slow slope down from the pool edge takes you only gradually up to knee depth of water. But it’s a nice 50m pool once you’re in so it’s a good length for doing approximate laps and there were a couple of others Read more [...]

Werri Beach Rock Pool – Gerringong

Werri Beach Rock Pool At high tide you’ll have to get your feet wet to access this pool over an exposed flat rock surface. My experience in the rock pool My first experience in Werri Beach pool was not my best: it must have been some time after high tide, the water was almost too warm and there were lots of small bits (probably of seaweed, but I was getting great handfuls of the stuff at every stroke I swam). It’s also quite a shallow pool, and not as long as many – couldn’t Read more [...]

Kiama Rockpool – Blowhole Point NSW 2533

Kiama rockpool ‘Where the sea makes a noise’… My experience in the rock pool This is the pool I go to at the end of a long, hot day since it’s a short walk from my home in Kiama. Although not the size of an Olympic pool, it never feels full, even with 60 tourists messing about on a summer holiday weekend. It’s not the kind of pool you’d do laps in, except on cloudy days when you get the chance to swim alone, but it is a fabulous spot to cool off and just feel the joy of Read more [...]

Kiama Ocean Pool – Pheasant Point Baths 2533

Kiama Ocean Pool The former "ladies'" baths in Kiama My experience in the rock pool This must be one of the biggest ocean pools along the south coast of NSW. It’s about 40m long and wide enough for lots of lane swimming. But you hardly ever see anyone in it, which is really a shame, because the less it’s used, the less frequently it gets cleared out. And this has been the problem for me in each of my dips in this pool. Because the tides only clear the ocean end of the pool thoroughly, Read more [...]

Austinmer Ocean Pools – NSW 2515

Austinmer Rock Pool They say the swell can be so strong here that swimmers have been known to be carried over the edge of one rock pool straight into the other pool without a graze on their body! My experience in the rock pool This was about the most fun you can imagine in a rock pool. Of the two ocean pools at Austinmer, I swam only in the narrower one, which apparently is much deeper and better for lap swimming. Although it was over two hours after high tide when I jumped in, the Read more [...]

Thirroul Olympic Pool – NSW 2515

Thirroul Olympic Pool A proper Olympic size pool, tiled with lane markings, but with water pumped direct from the ocean so the temperature rises and falls with the sea temperature. My experience in the rock pool My first proper lap swim since my shoulder injury so I was taking it easy. Beautiful water temperature, though all the locals were exclaiming at how much colder it was than earlier in the week. It always takes me a little while to get back in the swing of things and into a Read more [...]

Bulli Rock Pool – NSW 2516

Bulli Rock Pool There’s been a rock pool on this site for almost 100 years. My experience in the rock pool I went to Bulli Pool while still under dire warnings from my physio about not swimming due to limited movement in my shoulder. So I was limited to floating around on my back and paddling with my feet and legs only. Still that in itself was a joy in this beautiful ocean pool set against the cliff on a headland with beaches stretching out to either side, and I think you can just Read more [...]