My experience in the pool
You’ve got to pick the right tide to go for a swim at South Maroubra’s ring of stones rock pool. I managed it on my third visit, though the earlier attempts were not a waste of time as they helped me find the right spot when I did come back at high tide.
Basically, at low tide, you have the best views of exactly where this rock pool is, and can visualise where you might swim when the water is deeper, but on that low tide you’ll be lucky if you can do more than wet your bum sitting in the cool water in among the rocks.
I got to Maroubra just an hour before the tide peaked on this hot summer’s morning. I kept my shoes on to walk along the beach from the main Maroubra SLSC building, mainly to avoid an uncomfortable encounter on the sand with the many bluebottles that had washed up on some earlier tide. Most of them had dried out in the hot sun, but I really don’t know how long those blue dangly bits stay poisonous so didn’t fancy risking it.
Actually, when I walked back along the inner path to the South Maroubra SLSC building for my post swim shower, I rather wished I’d kept my shoes on then because the sand was burning hot, without the sea breeze to take the bite off the temperature.
When there are things like stingrays or bluebottles around, I’m never keen to be the only one in the water, so I was pleased to see a Dad wading up to his waist with little ‘un up on his shoulders having a bit of a splash. So I took the plunge and hoped for the best on the bluebottle front.
All was well, though, and I had my dip without drama. Even an hour off high tide, the water barely gets deeper than my chest, but that was good enough to give me a chance of lying around on my back and doing a few cursory strokes of freestyle, just to say I had swum in the rock pool here.
The funny thing about the South Maroubra rock pool is that at high tide it is barely visible, as only the biggest of the rocks still stay above the incoming waves. But when the full shape of it is there for all to see, the water is too shallow to swim in. So you kind of need to know it’s there to know where to swim, and I remember the first time I came down here to do a reccie and asked an old guy at the SLSC nearby, he said he didn’t know!
On a hot early summer’s morning, though, it was a wonderful feeling to relax those joints in the cool water. It’s not really a pool where you can do laps – or even a circular swim around the inside wall because to describe it as a wall is stretching things a bit – but if you’re in Maroubra and getting all the way up to Mahon Pool (north of Maroubra) feels too much like a hard slog, then the South Maroubra rock pool is worth a go.
Getting there, getting in, getting changed
Buses to Maroubra Beach turn around on the road about as close as you can get to the rock pool. It is still a bit of a walk round to the rock pool spot, though. Quicker and shorter via the beach because of the curve of the bay, but take the path south from the South Maroubra SLSC building and where it ends is about where the rock pools is situated.
This ring of stones rock pool is basically part of the beach at South Maroubra. There is no other way in that via the sand!
The showers and changing rooms are back at the South Maroubra SLSC building, so a bit of a walk either across the soft sand on the beach or the firmer path behind the dunes, but there you may need your thongs or shoes on a hot day because that sand scorched my feet! At the South Maroubra SLSC, there are beachside showers and a toilet/changing shed behind the SLSC club entrance (for men) or round to the side (for women).
Big differences. Best as near to high tide as possible, and look for the yellow signposts on the edge of the beach at Maroubra South, as these basically mark where the pool is.
At low tide you can paddle or sit in the water.
History and stories of the pool
I found no history or stories about South Maroubra Rock Pools. Check out the link below for some historical details on the area and the pools themselves.
What’s your story? Any memories of swimming here? Any stories to tell? Or did you just have swimming lessons in days gone by?
Whatever you have to say, however brief, I’d love to hear from you and will add any stories to this section of the site as and when I receive them. Add your comment or story under ‘Leave a Reply’ below.
Links to other articles on this pool
The only other article I found written about South Maroubra rock pools comes from the excellent All into Ocean Pools website.
Coffee, tea or milkshake after the swim?
It’s a ten minute walk back to the main street in Maroubra Beach, where there are several coffee shops, but my favourite has to be…
Chalk Espresso – 45 McKeon Street, Maroubra, NSW 2035
Open Daily at 6.30am. Closure times vary but at earliest it’s 3.30pm
The coffee here was good (a roaster I wasn’t familiar with – Di Bella) and the mango slice delicious. But best of all – and why I think it’s the best coffee shop in Maroubra – is the friendly welcome and funky vibe to the place. Even though it was really busy, the head barista was really attentive, reassuring me that my coffee was on its way, and making sure I had water to drink. There was no sense of ‘localism’ I had felt in other Maroubra cafés.
And where else has a loyalty system where regulars get their name chalked onto a blackboard behind the bar and a prison-style counting of the coffees notched up against each name. Hey, who needs to spend money on loyalty cards, when you have ingenious schemes like that? Very fitting for the name of the coffee shop, too…
6 thoughts on “South Maroubra Rock Pools – South Maroubra NSW 2035”
Things you learn. Although Maroubra for years was my main body surfing and belly boarding beach way back, I never knew there were any rock pools there! I generally surfed the centre and north ends of the beach and only headed down the south end when there were big swells with a lot of south in it. I’m guessing in these conditions the white water probably hid the rocks regardless of the tide.
I can imagine they would have remained hidden for much of the time, and even just looked like a pile of rocks at low tide. As I put in my review, even the guy at the SLSC building hadn’t heard of them as a rock pool.
As a young boy, long before I joined South Maroubra Surf Club, my mother would take me to the rock pools at South Maroubra where I would join other little fellas doing my own thing, as the mothers watched on from the sand under a beach umbrella.
I had my first rubber surf-o-plane and I’d sail around the pool looking at the little fish and crabs darting by and the moss covered rocks below water level fascinated me. You could poke the cungi clinging to the rocks and they would squirt seawater at you, causing much hilarity. I imagined the rocks as little islands and I was the skipper of my own boat. Later in life I was fortunate to take a cruise through the Inland Sea of Japan and the many little islands it reminded me of the rock pools of South Maroubra.
I believe that in later years water pollution running off the rifle range had spoiled the rock pools and a sign went up warning that it was closed to swimmers. I’m hoping that the rock pools are now free of this pollution run-off. A few years back there was a huge sea running at Maroubra. When I walked up to the southern end of the beach the big waves swamped the pools and only one large boulder poked above the surface. And then a boardrider caught a big wave and surfed right over the rock pools all the way to the beach. I’d never seen that before.
Thanks for sharing those memories Bob. They really give a feel for the rock pools as they were used back in the day
who constructed the pools at south Maroubra and when.
In our family, the rock pool at South Maroubra was always referred to by my father as the Bogey Hole. He would often take my older brother and me there for a dip. The first time I would have been about 3 and my older brother 6. At high tide it was a safe place to have a paddle. I would be interested to know what age Bob Wurth is, as his memories are very similar to mine. My father taught us how to swim there and my brother also used to cruise around on his rubber surf-o-plane. When he would let me have a go it was fascinating to see the little rock creatures. I had not thought of this for years, but my sister-in-law was telling me the other day that she learned to swim at Malabar rock pool. I think she must have been mistaken, as the Malabar pool was also closed for many years because of the effluent from the sewerage outlet at Malabar. Maybe she had been thinking of the South Maroubra rock pool (our Bogey Hole).