Sydney doesn’t only have some of the most famous beaches in the world but also many beautiful rockpools along the coast. Sydney’s coastline is dotted with a variety of picturesque rockpools. Most are man-made and naturally filled with seawater at high tide. Rockpools in Sydney are really famous amongst the locals because they offer opportunities for swimming in a safe environment, away from waves, rips, sharks or jellyfish. That’s why you will find few people swimming laps in the mornings and lots of families in the afternoon. At high tide, some rockpools aren’t safe because of the waves coming over the edge of the pools, so watch out when going for a swim. You can find a lot of stunning rockpools at the Northshore (which are included in this list of the best rockpools in Sydney). But don’t worry, there are also some stunning rockpools closer to the city.
After I went to take all the drone shots, I realised many weren’t saved on the SD-card, so I had to use the copies on my phone which are pretty bad 🙁 I wish I had some better quality photos to show you how amazing the rockpools look!
Location of the best rockpools in Sydney
Here is a map of the best rockpools in Sydney. As you can see there are heaps!
These are my favourite rockpools in Sydney
Mona Vale Rockpool
The most picturesque and probably one of the most photographed Sydney rockpools on Instagram is the rockpool in Mona Vale. It’s located at a sandspit of Mona Vale Beach. The entry is free and there are toilets and a picnic area with BBQ’s right next to it. From above, the rockpool looks stunning as the waves crash from both sides against the rocks. Unfortunately the wind conditions were really bad on the day I went, so I couldn’t fly the drone high enough to get the shot I wanted. However, it’s pretty stunning to see this in real. The rockpool in Mona Vale actually consists of two pools, one suitable for toddlers and a 30m pool for adults. This rockpool is free, there is no entry fee! You can find the cleaning times, at which the pool is closed here.
Getting to Mona Vale Rockpool
You can get to Mona Vale with the B-Line from Wynyard. The B-Line is a bus line from Sydney City along the Northshore, which is amazing! Mona Vale is actually the last stop and it takes about 1.5 hours to get there. There is also a large car park right next to the beach.
North Curl Curl Rockpool
At Curl Curl Beach you can find two different rockpools. I prefer North Curl Curl rockpool for its natural look and its more secluded location. This 25m rockpool is a little less accessible as it’s a bit sheltered from the beach by some rocks. During high tide you can only access it over the coastal walk across the headland. What makes this one of the best rockpools in Sydney is that there are usually less tourists. The aerial view is amazing as there is a large rock in the middle of the pool. it makes this rockpool look so special. However, the it’s bot the best rockpool in Sydney to swim laps as it’s not very deep (1,4m) and the rock makes a big part of the pool not suitable for laps. North Curl Curl beach is free and always open and not closed due to cleaning as the pool is cleaned naturally by the ocean tides. Always remember to be careful at high tide if there is a large swell!
Getting to North Curl Curl Rockpool
There are several bus stops around Curl Curl Beach, however you will need to walk a bit to get to the rockpool. You can either catch a bus to South Curl Curl Rockpool and walk along the beach or get off at a busstop at the intersection of Pitt Rd and Griffith Rd and then directly walk to the rockpool.
South Curl Curl Rockpool
Compared to North Curl Curl Rockpool, South Curl Curl Rockpool is great to swim laps. This is a 50 m pool with a concrete wall that seperates the pool into a swimming area and a toddlers pool. Curl Curl Beach is famous amongst surfers, so you can watch the surfers catch some waves while swimming and relaxing in the pool. The waves crashing against the rocks also look stunning. In my opinion this is definitely one of the best rockpools in Sydney and it’s super accessible. There is a bus stop really closeby, a car park, toilets and showers. The entry to South Curl Curl Rockpool is free and the pool is only closed for cleaning sometimes. You can find the closing times here.
Getting to South Curl Curl Rockpool
There is a car park right by the beach. Curl Curl beach is also accessible by public transport. You can either catch the bus B1 from Wynyard to Warringah Mall and change to the line 167 or catch the 199 form Manly.
Freshwater Beach Ocean Baths
Freshwater beach isn’t far from Curl Curl beach and actually connected via a beautiful walking path. Close to Freshwater beach you can find Freshwater Rock Pool, a 50m long ocean pool naturally filled with seawater. The pool is quite shallow and therefor suitable for most people. It’s a great place to watch the sunset, so I would recommend to visit this pool towards the evening. Entrence is free (Yay!) and the oceanpool is only closed for cleaning mostly on Wednesdays evenings, closing on Thursday afternoons. You can see the closing times here. Freshwater Rockpool is very accessible having a car park very close by. From the car park you can walk down the stairs to get to the pool.
Getting to Freshwater Ocean Baths
You can get to Freshwater via public transport. The quickest way is to catch a ferry from Circular Quay to Manly and get on the bus line 167 to the stop Harbord Diggers, Lumsdaine Dr. It’s only a quick 3 minute walk to get there. Alternatively you can get on the B-line at Wynyard and change to the 167 at Warringah Mall.
Bronte baths is one of the most famous and one of the best rockpools in Sydney. Being at one of the most crowded beaches in Sydney means it’s always busy. The rockpool is famous for its cute white fence and its unique shape. Bronte baths was built in the late 1880s and is located right at Bronte beach in the sandstone cliffs. There are small stairs along the sandstone wall going into the water at one side. They look a bit magical when swimming underneath them. The pool is about 38m long with 30m lanes for laps and the rest, seperated by a barrier, for playing and weak swimmers. The safest time for swimming is at low tide but you can spot some people having lots of fun during high tide when the waves crash over the pool. The pool is always open as far as I know and this one is free as well!
Bronte baths is one of the most accessible rockpools with the entrance right at a pathed way and a bus stop just a few hundered metres away.
Getting to Bronte Baths
Getting to the rockpool is the easiest by public transport I believe. You can drive but there is only limited parking at the road. The bus stop is right next to Bronte Park. From Central Station it takes about 40 minutes to get there. At central take the T4 to Bondi Junction and change to the bus line 379.
Bronte Bogey Hole
The Bronte Bogey Hole is a place that a lot of people don’t really know about as it is oftenconfused with the famous Bronte Baths. The Bogey Hole is a natural rock formation that forms a pool at low tide, so it is only visible when the tide goes out. Due to its shelter from the waves the water is calm and there are a lot of kids during the day. If you want the best conditions for the Bogey hole check the tides to see what time you should go! You can check this here. The pool is obviously free and located at the southern end of the beach close to the Baths.
Getting to the Bronte Bogey Hole
Getting to the Bronte Bogey hole is fairly easy. Just follow the directions on the map above to Bronte baths. At the southern end of the beach you should see something like a circle of rocks.
Bondi Icebergs is probably the most famous rockpool in Sydney. The iconic landmark is part of the Bondi Icebergs swimming club and therefore not open all day. It’s more than 100 years old and well visited by locals and tourists. Bondi Icebergs consists of a large olympic sized 50 m pool and a smaller kids pool. This one is less natural but offers beautiful views, great conditions for swimming laps and is a bucket list experience when visiting Sydney. To swim at Bondi Icebergs it will currently cost you 9 dollars as an adult but entry also includes access to their sauna. Bondi Icebergs also has a waterfront restaurant and a bar and the pool is patrolled by lifeguards. Unfortunately, the pool is closed on Thursdays for cleaning. You can find the opening times and all fees here. Reading on their website I found out that to become a real Iceberg you need to swim 3 Sundays out of 4, for 5 years during the winter swimming season. That’s pretty funny!
Bondi Icebergs is on the Bondi to Coogee walk. You can find my guide for this walk here.
Getting to Bondi Icebergs
Bondi Icebergs is accessible from the city. From Central you can catch the T$ line to Bondi Junction and then change to line 333 or 380 to get to Bondi Beach. From the bus stop it’s very easy to get to the pool.
South Cronulla Ocean Pool
Cronulla is in the south of Sydney and a paradise when it comes to ocean pools. One of the best rockpools in Sydney is the South Cronulla Ocen Pool. It’s an olympic sized rockpool located right at the Esplanade and is filled with seawater. As the tides and ocean condition change the pool fills with sand that needs to be closed reguarly for removal. You can find the closing times here. The pool has a really good location and I love that it is so close to the North Cronulla Rockpool. Even though North Cronulla Rockpool is much prettier in my opinion, this one is suitable for swimming. Cronulla is about one hour from Sydney by train but it’s easy to get there and definitely worth it for some of the best rockpools in Sydney. If the pool isn’t cleaned, it’s always open and free.
Getting to South Cronulla Ocean Pool
In order to get to South Cronulla Ocean Pool, you can catch the T4 line to Cronulla from Central and just stay on the train to the last stop. From Cronulla station it’s only a short walk to the rockpool.
North Cronulla Rockpool
Not far from South Cronulla Rockpool, you can find North Cronulla Rockpool. This one is smaller and shallow, at low tide you can walk in the pool and it’s not completely filled by the ocean. In my opinion it’s one of the most picturesque from above and I loved flying the drone there. North Cronulla Rockpool isn’t suitable for swimming but great for kids or for people who enjoy to just relax in the water. I also had the impression that the pool isn’t very crowded. The pool is open all year and I couldn’t find any times for cleaning, so propably there are no! Entrance is free and it’s just as easy to get there as to South Cronulla Rockpool.
Getting to North Cronulla Rockpool
Getting to North Cronulla Rockpool is pretty much the same as South Cronulla Ocean Pool. You can catch the T4 line to Cronulla from Central and just stay on the train to the last stop. From Cronulla station it’s only a short walk to the rockpool. From South Cronulla Rockpool it’s just a hundred metres.
Shelley Beach Rockpool
Not to be confused with Shelley Beach in Manly, this rockpool is located at Shelley Beach Park in Cronulla. The rockpool is stunning and deserves a spot on the list of the best rockpools in Sydney. The pool can be entered by a sandbank and is suitable for children and less confident swimmers. Parking, cafes and shops, as well as a playground is closeby. The entrence is free and the pool is open all year round. Lots of people rather go to the other Cronulla rockpools because the are easier to get to from the train station. However, the walk isn’t too far and along the coast the walk is very pretty.
Getting to Shelley Beach Rockpool
Getting to Shelley Beach Rockpool is very easy. If you already are at North or South Cronulla Rockpool, you can walk along the Esplanade, which is about 15 minutes. The walk is very beautiful. You would catch the T4 line to Cronulla from Central and either walk along the Esplanade or choose the shorter walk through the roads as you can see on the map.
Fairy Bower Sea Pool
Fairy Bower Sea Pool is located between Manly Beach and Shelley Beach. You can find the pool right next to the path. Built in 1929, it is one of the oldest rockpools in Sydney. Due to its location there are a lot of people walking past which makes it feel a little less exclusive. I really like the triangular shape and the Sea Nymphs sculpture on the edge of the pool. There are public toilets and cafes are close by at the beach. The pool is very accessible and the entrance is free. Weekly from Wednesday night to Friday night the pool is cleaned and therefore closed.
Getting to Fairy Bower Rockpool
Catch the ferry from Circular Quay and walk from Manly Wharf to Fairy Bower Pool for about 15 minutes. This trip will take you about 40 minutes.
As always, watch out for tides and make sure to stay safe, especially if the pools aren’t patrolled.
This is my list for the best Rockpools in Sydney. Even though some of the best rockpools in Sydney are quite a trip, they are stunning and there is much more to explore at each of the locations, so make sure to plan some time for a visit.
Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or any tips for the best rockpools in Sydney and tell me which one is your favourite!