After a serious session of location stalking on Instagram, I was intrigued when I saw an aerial photo of a pool embedded into rock and surrounded by waves. After further investigation, I found out the name was the Mona Vale rock pool in Sydney, Australia. I’ve had plans to capture this amazing pool ever since I bought a drone.
Little did I know that there are dozens of these man-made ocean pools and each town seems to have its own. Each pool has distinct features including concrete barriers, swimming lanes, and rock boulders, so they’re all unique.
We spent two days exploring the Sydney rock pools with our drone. We allocated one day for North Sydney, and another for South Sydney. Read on for a complete list of our favorites.
Content and photographs provided by Yana Kogan and Timon.
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
Top 10 Sydney Rock Pools
10. Wylie’s Baths, Coogee
Wylie’s Baths date back to 1907 and are one of Sydney’s oldest rock pools. It’s a not-for-profit community swimming pool and all of the money raised goes to maintenance, restoration, and protection of the baths.
Admission is only $6 for adults and $3 for children. They are open 365 days a year from 7am-6pm from October to April and 7am-5pm from April to September.
This rock pool is located in South Sydney, just south of Coogee Beach. There is public parking on Beach Street or Neptune Street. Coogee is accessible by bus from the downtown area.
Located beside Wylie’s is McIver Baths, Syndey’s last remaining women’s-only rock pool.
9. Collaroy Rock Pool
The Collaroy rock pool has recently been upgraded and is excellent for kids as well as people requiring disability access. The modern shape of the pool is one of my favorites.
This rock pool is located in North Sydney on the south end of Collaroy Beach. Public parking is available on Beach Street. Be sure to check the pool cleaning roster before heading to the pool!
Collaroy is also easily accessible by public transport. From the downtown area, take the E83 bus which will take 1 hour. From Manly, take bus 199, approximately a 40-minute ride. They also have accessible parking.
8. Bondi Icebergs Pool
Bondi Beaches’ iconic landmark swimming pool is over 100 years old and a favorite amongst locals. This pool is open year-round to the public featuring a large lap pool and a smaller kid’s pool.
The pool has lifeguards during opening hours. Bondi Icebergs Pool is known for its strong membership program, which is required if you live within a 3-mile radius. If you live outside of the radius, you can sign in as a guest visitor for the day.
Entry costs $9 for adults, $6 for children, or $25 for a family pass and includes access to their sauna. The pool is closed on Thursdays for cleaning. Be sure to bring your own towel!
Bondi Beach is a popular tourist beach town located in South Sydney. It is accessible from downtown via public transportation on the 333 or 389 bus routes, which take around 40 minutes.
7. North Narrabeen Rock Pool
The North Narrabeen rock pool is a North Sydney icon for rock pool swimmers. Located north of the surfing hotspot Narrabeen beach, parking is on a “pay and display” basis off of Ocean Street.
There is a wooden boardwalk separating the main 50-meter lap pool from the rest of the pool. There are changing rooms and showers available and a cafe is close by if you are feeling hungry after your swim.
6. South Curl Curl Rock Pool
Curl Curl Beach in North Sydney is one of Sydney’s best surfing beaches. Curl Curl is home to not one, but two rock pools.
I would recommend a visit to the north side of the beach where there are walking trails up to coastal cliffs called Cole’s Ledge. The South Curl Curl rock pool is right beside the ocean swells, making this a favorite for those who enjoy the waves crashing into the pool as you swim.
South Curl Curl has a 50 meter pool and a toddler area as well as toilets, showers, and a parking area.
Curl Curl Beach is accessible by public transport. From Manly take bus 167 (15 minutes) or from downtown, take the M30 to bus E65. You also can take the ferry from Circular Quay and then the bus from Manly, which will take one hour.
5. Mahon Rock Pool
Mahon Rock Pool is one of my personal favorite rock pools, not just for its aerial view, but to spend the day on the South Sydney coastline. This rock pool is free to the public with basic restrooms and changing facilities.
During high tide, the swell can ferociously send waves into the pool. This is one of the most natural-feeling rock pools in Sydney.
Mahon Pool is accessible by public transport from downtown via bus 376 and 377, a 30 to 40-minute journey. You’ll need to descend a set of steep stairs to reach the pool from the parking lot.
4. Bronte Baths
Bronte Baths is a beautiful pool at the south end of Bronte Beach. Located on the cliff above the ocean, the views from here are stunning. There are a few designated swimming lap lanes that are 30 meters, so it is not the best for advanced swimmers looking for a lengthy swim. But, it’s great for a quick swim or wanting to enjoy the Bronte views.
Access to the pool is free for the public. Bronte is located in South Sydney and is along the famous Bondi to Bronte coastal walk. Bronte Beach is accessible by public transport from downtown via bus 362 and 379. There is some parking available on Bronte Road.
3. Giles Baths, Coogee Beach
Giles Baths is located in Coogee, the adorable and trendy beach town in South Syndey. The most natural of all the rock pools we visited, waves are constantly crashing into the pool.
This rock pool is not the best for swimmers wanting to take laps, but it is better suited for a leisurely swim and having some fun in the ocean.
These baths are located on the far north end of Coogee Beach and are accessible from the trail at Dolphin Point. Access to the pool is free for the public. Public transport is available from downtown via bus X73 and M50, which takes 30 minutes.
2. North Curl Curl Rock Pool
As mentioned above, Curl Curl beach is home to two rock pools. North Curl Curl rock pool takes the cake as the more beautiful rock pool. This stunner has a massive rock in the middle of the pool and due to its location, massive waves crash into the rocky shore. Access to the pool is free for the public.
Curl Curl Beach is accessible by public transport. From Manly take bus 166 (20 minutes) or from downtown, take the M30 to bus E65. You also can take the ferry from Circular Quay and then the bus from Manly, which will take one hour.
1. Mona Vale Rock Pool
And the winner goes to… Mona Vale rock pool! The perfect placement of this rock pool in North Sydney has waves crashing into both sides of the pool. From above, this is one of the best aerial landscapes in all of Australia.
Mona Vale is pretty far out there, but it is accessible by bus. From downtown, bus E88 heads up the coast and passes through Mona Vale. It takes around one and a half hours. From Manly, buses B1 and 199 both take around one hour. Access to the pool is free for the public.
That’s It – 10 of The Best rockpools in Sydney! We hope you get the chance to enjoy all of them!
Planning a trip to Australia? Check out our favorite books and travel guides!