Cook and Phillip Park Pool, Sydney CBD,
Somewhere below ground, nestled between the crypt of St Mary’s Cathedral and a collection of replica dinosaur bones, lies Sydney’s most urban of pools.
Hidden by an impressive shelf of above ground water features and fountains, the Cook and Phillip Park Pool oozes inner city living.
Firstly everything’s just a little bit concrete and gritty. Including the bottom of the pool (note to City of Sydney pool cleaning team).
The pool temperature is also just that much cooler than everyone else.
You get the feeling that’s simply to make you swim faster. No one in the slow lane is here to talk about their Saturday morning laundry routine.
The sunlight dapples onto the bottom of the 50 metre pool, but unlike it’s younger nearby cousins, Ian (Thorpe) and Andrew (Boy Charlton) it’s nowhere near as light and airy. This is an obvious part of its urban design, the C&P is all about concrete framework, steel beams and speedo flags.
That is, unless you are in the kids pool. This is a totally different jug of water. The enormous maze shaped pool is home to a wave pool, jets, and a small water slide making it extremely small people friendly. An excessive amount of nock and crannies also make it possibly the best location for a marathon Marco Polo game I’ve ever seen. Seriously, Marco could survive like Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in this kids pool. Just don’t tell the American lifeguard.
High points: Kids pool-spy training ground aside, I was also a fan of the wall murals that depict my new favourite Australian mermaid Annette Kellerman (she really gets around). The impressive above ground water features also deserve a special mention. There is also fast access to a Catholic Church (St Mary’s Cathedral) if needed.
Low points: Time limited showers. This really annoyed the travelling lawyer who generally likes to claim back his entry fee via an excessively long hot shower. Wasn’t happening at the C&P.
Attire: Sports gear (for families who train together) and badminton rackets for the courts adjacent to the pool.
Entry fee: $7.00
Best for: Marco Polo players and swimmers who like Badminton
Overall rating: 7.0