Ocean pools are iconic and famous along the Australian coastline – a must visit during your stay. There is a rock pool at the northern end of Coogee Beach (Giles Baths) that is accessible at low tide and Ross Jones Memorial Baths at the southern end of the beach (just underneath the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club). You’ll also find McIvers Baths (women and children only) just a short walk south of the Surf Club followed by the spectacular Wylie’s Baths that also features a café, lifesavers and toilet & shower facilities.
Whether you love to swim in the salt water, enjoy scenic walks along stunning coastlines, or capture incredible insta-worthy photos, ocean pools are holiday memory magic just waiting to happen.
Each ocean pool is entirely unique. From natural rock formations to man-made pools complete with swimming lanes, or pools with facilities like hot showers and cafes, you’ll want to visit as many as you can! For bathers, they enable a bit of protection from the open ocean while still delivering that saltwater swimming experience. That is, until the tide starts to come in! Watching the waves crash against the sides and into the pool, provides quite a stunning show. It also makes swimming in an ocean pool at high tide lots of fun – check out our great reel of Coogee’s Ross Jones rockpool.
Best of all, some of Sydney’s very best ocean pools are right on our doorstep within easy walking distance from Coogee Sands Hotel.
In fact, the two closest ocean pools are only minutes from our front door – you won’t even need to cross a road. More local ocean pools can be easily accessed by none other than the famous Coogee-Bondi coastal walk. It doesn’t get better than this! So, pop on sunscreen, grab your hat, sunnies, and water bottle, and get out for some serious scenery and fresh coastal air!
Here are our top 7 ocean pools to explore in and around Coogee:
Wylie’s Baths, Coogee
Ask any locals what you must do in Coogee, and they’ll say, ‘go to Wylies.’ Built in 1907 by champion swimmer Henry Alexander Wylie and his sons, Wylie’s Baths is one of Australia’s most famous and historic ocean pools. Located just a short walk south of Coogee Beach along the coastline, Wylies is open 365 days a year from 7am with a small entry fee (see their website for details).
Once through the gates, you’ll find yourself standing on a vast wooden deck tucked into the cliffside. With sweeping views of Coogee Beach, the Pacific Ocean, and Wedding Cake Island, you’ll fall in love with Wylies from the moment you step in. There are marquees for shelter from the sun or rain, lots of picnic tables, changing facilities with toilets and warm showers. There’s also a lovely little café serving coffee & tea, snacks & lunch, and some excellent merchandise. Newly refurbished stairs lead down to the pool, where you can swim, sunbake on the warm concrete, relax, and enjoy the view. It’s also great fun to wander around and explore the rock pools. Don’t forget your goggles – and river shoes will be helpful for the more adventurous types!
You might like to book one of their health and wellness classes or indulge in an openair massage to the sounds of the ocean. Weddings and functions are also popular here, making for an unforgettable experience. Whether you come for a massage with a view, or to cool off in the salt water, a relaxing day at Wylies is guaranteed.
Ross Jones Memorial Rock Pool, Coogee.
Located on the southern edge of Coogee Beach below the Coogee Surf Club, this ocean pool was built in 1947 and features stunning concrete pillars around the pool’s edges. One of the best times to visit is when the tide comes in to watch the waves splash spectacularly against the pillars. Depending on the tides, you can easily access this pool from the beach. Otherwise, there are steps leading down from the promenade.
Once at the pool, there are many excellent, sunny spots to perch yourself and your belongings on the rocks. During the middle of the day on hot weekends in summer, this pool can get very busy, but it’s all part of that fun beach vibe that Coogee does so well. Of course, if you’re staying with us at the Coogee Sands Hotel, you can be there within a few minutes walk and often find you have the pool almost to yourself!
Young families love the small section of the pool that (usually) has a sandy area with shallow water providing a more protected place for toddlers to play. For this reason, many locals with children refer to this pool as ‘the kiddies pool’. The larger pool is loved by tourists and locals alike. All year, from early morning to late evening (no matter the weather), you’ll find a constant stream of saltwater-loving locals arriving for their dip or a few laps.
This is the spot if you’re looking for an excellent photo opportunity to remember your stay in Coogee. This will be the pic that ends up in the pride of place on your fridge at home, reminding you of your wonderful beach holiday.
Giles Baths, Coogee
Located at the northern headland of Coogee Beach, Giles Baths is a natural rock pool accessible for swimming at low tide (or during high tide when conditions are calm). Coogee Sands Hotel & Apartments guests can enjoy an exclusive birds-eye view of this pool from our rooftop sundeck (which is also a great way to check the ocean conditions before heading down for a dip).
When it was originally carved out in the late 1920s, this pool was part of ‘Giles Gym and Baths’ fitness facility, eventually pulled down in 1998. The pool is now accessible from a path along the headland, just a few minutes walk from Coogee Sands Hotel. You’ll walk through the original entrance structure to the baths and then down some steep stairs. There are breathtaking views of the ocean from this vantage point so take your time and soak it all in!
More adventurous types will enjoy scrambling along the rocks to the pool from the beach during low tide. This pool is perfect for snorkeling, but keep your eye on the tide when it starts to come in as this pool can get rough when the waves are big!
McIvers Baths, Coogee. Aka ‘The Ladies Pool’
Women and children, this one’s for you! Constructed in 1886, McIvers Baths is the last remaining ocean pool reserved only for women and children. It sits nestled atop a cliff overlooking Coogee Beach and features a clubhouse, amenities block, sunbathing area, and changing rooms. There is a small entry fee to help maintain the facilities. Surrounded by coastal vegetation, McIvers Baths is soaked in the breathtaking scenery. Initially founded by the McIver family, the Randwick Ladies Amateur Swimming Club took over the lease in 1922 and has been managing McIvers Baths ever since. This spot is perfect for a girl’s day or on a family trip when you want a little quality mother-daughter time.
The Geoff-James Pool, Clovelly. Aka Clovelly Ocean Pool.
Clovelly beach has a 25m ocean pool nestled into the rocks on one side and a huge, long concrete platform on the other. It almost looks like an ocean pool in itself! Clovelly is a magnet for young families who love the super gentle bay beach and sand-loathing sunbathers who love to chill out on the expanse of warm concrete after a dip in the cool ocean water. You’ll also find snorkelers, lap swimmers and sightseers.
The ocean pool has four marked-out lanes making it perfect for lap swimming and is surrounded by concrete on all four sides. Despite looking like a chlorine pool when the water is at its best, make no mistake, this is a saltwater pool and does change depending on the weather, tides and ocean water conditions. The council cleans the pool weekly (as they do with all the man-made ocean pools in the area).
There is also a lovely café and kiosk just above the ocean pool with an eat-in area or you can take your fish ‘n’ chips and ice cream back to the beach to enjoy on your towels and picnic blankets.
Just a little further north along the coast past Clovelly is the beautiful Bronte Beach, known for stunning surf, soft white sand, and expansive grassy parklands with BBQs, picnic pavilions, and a kids’ playground. On the beach at low tide, a line of rocks is revealed on the southern end, creating a sheltered lagoon – perfect for young families and those unconfident with waves.
Next to the lagoon, nestled into the sandstone cliffs, is the beautiful Bronte Ocean Pool, made in the late 1880s, making it one of the oldest in NSW. Step down into the pool, and you’ll find a free swimming area and markedout lanes for 30m lap swimming. When the pool is full, from the right angle, it looks like a natural infinity pool and looks incredible in photos. This is definitely one ocean pool that ticks all the boxes for incredible beauty!
Mahon Pool, Maroubra
Heading south from Coogee Beach, the coastal walk continues past Wylies, to Maroubra. We adore this section of the coast that features boardwalks, wooden steps, and intermittent lookout points. Just before reaching the naturally wild and windy surf beach of Maroubra, there is a stunning ocean pool that is easy to miss but worth every extra step down the grassy headland to discover it. With minimal concrete use, this pool blends into the natural environment. It has a lovely wonky rectangle shape that looks like it has always been there.
The pool can sometimes be inundated with water at high tide, so check the tides before you head down. Tidal information (and sunrise/sunset) can easily be found on most local weather apps. There are new change room facilities nearby with showers and toilets. Just above the pool is a lovely café to enjoy a bite at after your swim making a trip to Mahon Pool the perfect beach day adventure.
No matter which ocean pool you choose to explore, you can’t go wrong. They each have their own natural beauty and unique quirks that make them top tourist attractions. A day spent at one of these spectacular ocean pools is an absolute must, made all the more perfect by staying right on the beach at Coogee Sands Hotel & Apartments! Why not look now and see whether your favourite room is available and book that beach holiday!