Australia is blessed with the perfect climate, crystal clear waters, beautiful beaches and an abundance of enticing swimming pools along its coastline. These swimming pools are also known as ocean baths, rockpools and tidal pools. Dotted along the coastline of Australia are over 100 ocean baths which are either natural tidal pools or have been dramatically man made and carved into rocky sandstone ledges. Each ocean bath is unique, filled with crystal clear sea water and blends beautifully into their natural surroundings. Ocean baths offer safe and relaxing swimming for locals, visitors, families, the young and the old.
Regular readers of the blog will have seen me post regularly about my beautiful home town of Port Macquarie in Australia. I’ve been inspired by a campaign that is currently happening there at the moment where the locals are gathering support for the construction of a tidal pool. Whilst we are currently on the other side of the world, we’ll finally be returning to beautiful Port Macquarie in July and I would love to hear that hopefully this exciting campaign has progressed by then! Inspired by the local campaign, we’re sharing ten of Australia’s most beautiful ocean baths.
1. BRONTE BATHS
The beautiful Bronte Baths date all the way back to 1883! They are located at the southern end of Bronte Beach and the perfect example of a beautiful Australian Ocean Bath! The Bronte Baths are surrounded by jagged cliffs and beautifully blend into the natural environment around them. The pool is big enough for lap swimming, whilst also shallow enough in areas for children to paddle and unlike some other baths in Sydney it is also free!
2. MEREWETHER OCEAN BATHS
I moved to Newcastle in 2009 to go to University and after three years of living on campus at the University Colleges I was lucky enough to move into a house which was only 5 minutes from the beautiful beaches. Bar Beach, Merewether Beach and the Merewether Ocean Baths quickly became our regular swimming spots and we’d spend hours at the baths each week. The Merewether Ocean Baths also have a really interesting history as they were built during the depression by unemployed labourers through a depression-relief scheme. The baths are believed to be the largest ocean baths in the Southern Hemisphere and are a place that is enjoyed by locals and visitors to Newcastle alike.
3. MCIVERS BATHS
Located between Coogee Beach and Wylie’s Baths are the beautiful McIvers Baths that are unique in the fact that they are the last remaining women’s-only seawater pool in Australia! The baths are perched on a cliff face and sheltered rock platform offering the most breathtaking, uninterrupted ocean views!
4. BLUE POOL BERMAGUI
On the beautiful South Coast, known as the “Sapphire Coast” you will find the stunning, famous Blue Pool. Located at the base of a dramatic cliff face, this natural tidal rock pool is a beautiful spot for swimming, snorkelling and paddling! In the 1940’s it was enlarged and improved by the locals, and is now double the size it used to be.
5. ROSS JONES MEMORIAL POOL
The Ross Jones Memorial Pool was built in 1947 and is located at the south end of Coogee Beach. Two beautiful adjacent rectangular pools boast a beautiful design jutting out from the curved rockface. Elegant castle-like turrets emerge out of the water from the concrete walls of the pool. The pool is timeless and without doubt one of the most beautiful ocean baths in Australia.
6. BOGEY HOLE
Newcastle’s Bogey Hole, also known as the Commandant’s Baths is a heritage-listed ocean bath that is even considered to be the oldest surviving European construction in the city area! The Commandant of Newcastle ordered the construction of the pool by convict labour in 1819 for his own personal use, which is an incredible achievement especially if you’ve ever seen the waves crashing into the pool! The pool was created in a sandstone rock base with the open side of the pool fenced by stanchions and chains. It is a beautiful spot and one I loved to visit during my years in Newcastle.
7. BONDI ICEBERGS
The iconic Bondi Baths have been a landmark of famous Bondi Beach for over 100 years. The pool has also been the Home of Winter Swimming since 1929 when a constitution was drawn up by its founders which made it compulsory for new members to do their time in the pool during the winter season, in order to be granted coveted full membership after a five year period! If all that sounds a bit too much for you don’t worry, you can still pay for a daily pass to swim in the iconic pool!
8. MAHON POOL
Cut into natural rock, Mahon pool is a rugged and beautiful pool that has had the very minimal of man-made improvements. It is located to the north of Maroubra Beach and is reached by steep steps which lead down to the ocean pool. The steep rocky cliffs around it and gorgeous views make it a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit in Sydney.
9. WYLIES BATHS
Wylie’s Baths are located just a few hundred metres south of iconic Coogee Beach in Sydney, situated below the famous Maroubra to Bondi coastal walkway. The baths were built in 1907 by Harry Alexander Wylie, a champion long distance swimmer. Their construction coincided with the emerging interest in seaside baths in Sydney at the beginning of the 20th Century. The Baths have breathtaking, sweeping 180 degree views of the sparkling Pacific Ocean and overlook the famous Wedding Cake Island.
10. FIGURE EIGHT POOLS, SYDNEY’S ROYAL NATIONAL PARK
The Figure Eight Pools are a cluster of naturally formed rockpools tucked between sheltered coastal headlands in Sydney’s Royal National Park. They are only accessable from Burning Palms Beach by climbing over the rocks at low tide. It is a difficult walk and only safe at low tide with very calm, flat ocean conditions. If you plan on visiting these beautiful, natural ocean baths be sure to wear sturdy footwear and visit with a friend!
Australia has over 100 beautiful Ocean Baths dotted along the coastline.
What ones are your favourites?