The top pool swims of Sydney 2014


Blue skies forever

End of the golden summer

This week I’ve started to spot images of melting snow and weedy daffodils appear in my Facebook feed, courtesy of Northern Hemisphere folk. This is a sad reminder that in my backyard, my good friend Summer is about to hit the highway.

One of Sydney’s greatest strengths is that it doesn’t let go of summer that easily. It lingers, like a persistent blowfly during the mango season. While technically it is supposed to end on the last day of February, in my view it kind of holds on until early April. After this point the temperature plummets to a crisp 18 to 19 degrees Celsius (I like to call it ‘Australian cold’), and Sydneysiders pull out their cable-knit sweaters, scarves, mittens and earmuffs (this is not sarcasm).

Swimming, however does take on a more challenging edge. For that reason and to celebrate six months of ‘I’d Swim’ action I’m outlining my top tips to swim out and enjoy the last weekend of summer.

And if the thought of winter is just too much subscribe for my regular updates to get a little bit of saltwater under the skin all year round (yes shameless plug).


Holding tight at Mahon’s

Best ocean pool

Overall winner: Mahon’s pool

It’s unpredictable, a little off the beaten track and always a crowd pleaser.

Runner up: Bronte ocean pool

Who can’t say no to the most attractive suburb in town. Hugh Jackman not included.



Contemplation at Redleaf

Best harbour ‘pool’

Overall winner: Murray Rose Pool(formerly Redleaf)

Just moments from the traffic snarl of New South Head Road, below the Woollahra Council building lies a little gem of a protected beach/pool.

 Runner up: Dawn Fraser baths: A bit of love for the Inner West swimming. Dawn does you proud.


Drop n roll and the Alfred

Best Olympic size pool

Overall winner: North Sydney Olympic pool

It’s ridiculously iconic, crowd pleasing and also a damn good swim.

Runner up: Prince Alfred Park Pool

The new kid on the block 1950s poolside Los Angeles comes to Sydney. And it’s public (not so American).



North Bondi Rescue

Best beach swim tourist trap for a reason award

Overall winner: North Bondi

Yes there’s always a chance you’ll end up with a camera in your face, the people really are ridiculously beautiful and the wanker count is off the spectrum. But North Bondi is a good old fashioned, bathwater gorgeous when it comes to swimming.

Best off the beaten track

Overall winner: Woollongong ocean pool trail – read the full details here and enjoy it while you can

Runner up: Malabar rockpool

Ignore the snake sign, ignore the prison and you’ll find a piece of up and coming Sydney swimming, I’ve got my eye on.

Sydney ocean pools

It’s sunset to summer Sydney

4 thoughts on “The top pool swims of Sydney 2014

  1. I’d go along with your nominations for best ocean and harbour pools, but can’t imagine how you’d put North Sydney as the top Olymic pool. I’d stick it at the bottom.The only time I’ve been there (and I won’t be going back!) it was crowded both in and out of the pool, the lap swimmers as a group were the most ill-mannered I’ve come across and parking was hopeless. Prince Alfred had more room and while the swimmers didn’t know much when it came to lane etiquette, at least they were polite. Unfortunately the parking’s almost as bad as North Sydney.

    There are a number of beautiful uncrowded Olympic pools scattered around Sydney in park-like or bush surroundings where you can park for free all day right next to the entry. Bexley, Botany, Epping and Merrylands to name but a few.

    • Thanks Graeme. There’s a few I need to check out this winter, good tips. Agree parking around North Syd can be a nightmare, I’m just a sucker for a good view.

      • If trying a ‘new’ pool after 31 March, it’s a good idea to ring first. Several close for winter and their web sites don’t always show the date. Merrylands has already closed and Botany usually closes at the end of the school hols. I suppose not being open all year should automatically disqualify them from any awards.

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