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  • Fiona

Coogee Rock Pools

Updated: Jul 2, 2020

I have loved seeing my friend Sharon's posts of the Sydney rock pools in her instagram feed and when Maggie asked what we would like to on the Friday - there really was only one answer... I had asked Sharon the night before where she took her beautiful photographs and what her favourite pools were. She recommended Coogee!

And so on the very hot last day of January under a stunning blue sky, we packed our swimsuits, hats and sunscreen and headed to Coogee in south-east Sydney.

Ocean pools are an important feature of the Australian coastline particularly in New South Wales. Ocean pools or ocean baths are defined as public seawater pools sited on a rocky surf coast, so that waves can wash into the pool. The width, length and depth of ocean pools varies and often depends on their location on the coastline.

Back in 1819, the first ever ocean baths in Australia were made by convicts in Newcastle who made a private bathing area for The Commandant Major James Morisset. He named it “The Commandant’s Baths” these baths are now known today as the Bogey Hole and are located just up from Newcastle Beach north of Sydney. From here the trend was set and it seemed like every beach in Sydney now had to have its own set of ocean baths, some are more of a rock pool carved out of the natural landscape where others are more man-made and some are a combination of both.

We chose to swim at Wylie's baths in Coogee - the pool has an 180 degree panorama of the ocean - a spectacular place to swim where you are protected from waves and currents and you don't get any sand in your swimsuit!

Wylie's Baths were established in 1907 by Henry Wylie. It features raised decking built into the cliffs. Although, getting in to the pool was a bit of a challenge for those of us with soft feet as the rocks were rough and sharp in places, the cool water and the stunning scenery were both exhilarating.


After our swim we made a short trip down the coast to view Mahon Pool also known as Maroubra Baths. Mahon Pool is cut into the inter-tidal rock platform and therefore its setting is among exposed rock outcrops which made for spectacular views.


Bronte beach is located south of Bondi Beach and north of Coogee and it is where we stopped for lunch. Cafes line the road opposite the grassed reserve that lead down to the beach.

After lunch we wandered down to the beach where the combination of the heat of the sun with the sound of the waves, our feet in the sand and looking out to the dazzling blue and green ocean hues made for a very calming and perfect end to what had been a blissful day.

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1 Comment

Anne Swain
Apr 12, 2020

Perfect hot day visit! Have you seen the ocean pools in Cornwall?

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