Wylies Baths, Coogee
For one of the most authentic ‘Oztralian’ swim experiences you really cannot go past the flagship Sydney ocean pool that is ‘Wylies.’ This place has been kicking on since 1907 and it has not lost any of its charm or authenticity.
Yes, there has been the controversy in the past (chlorine killed the resident octopus of 11 years earlier this year) but this swimming spot is a true all day destination. From massages by the sea ($90 for a full hour) to a café that serves half decent coffee, sandwiches and coconut water, this place oozes relaxation.
There is plenty of space for sunbathing, shade is offered under the early 20th century pavilion, while rock pools offer small children endless entertainment, mostly by poking small crustaceans with sticks.
Highpoints: So many. Great changing facilties, seated areas, fabulous art deco colour palette (think pale blues and yellows), great for kids and space to sunbathe with a view. The generous size of the pool makes it feel less enclosed.
Lowpoints: the 15 minute wait for my coffee (they clearly don’t know the influence of my blog). Getting into the pool can be a little slippery if you enter via the shallows. This is also a real swimming experience so seaweed and small crabs are part of the package. The pool also does not have lanes so watch out for serious swimmers if you are paddling and talking aimlessly.
Entry fee: $4.80
Attire: Real Australian budgie smugglers, one pieces, sun protective clothing and patterned kaftans for the eastern suburbs mums
Best for: An all day swimming day out, real swimmers and sunset weddings
Overall Score: 9.0