A new generation of swimmers is embracing the outdoors and finding joy in nature’s many rock pools and coastal beaches. These pools are not only a great swimming spot but they also offer an opportunity to explore the ocean wildlife and natural beauty of Australia’s coastline. This is one of the reasons why five Sydney pools have been heritage listed on the National Trust of NSW’s State Heritage Register. These iconic ocean pools will be a must-visit this summer.
The North Curl Curl Rockpool is located at Dee Why Beach and can be accessed at low tide via a coastal walk along the headland or at high tide through the pool’s rocky wall. This pool has an abundance of surrounding crevices to explore and is home to a diverse range of marine life including sea dragons, sea horses, blue-spotted jellyfish and nudibranchs. The pool itself is small in size, however its natural wall to the beach, central outcrop islands and beautiful rocky surrounds make it a popular spot for snorkelling and swimming.
During its illustrious history, the North Sydney Olympic Pool was dubbed “the wonder pool of Australasia” due to its modern water filtration system and the fact that it used treated seawater pumped from the harbour. The Olympic Pool was a popular venue for competitions, twice hosting the British Empire Games and numerous national championships. It was also used for regular photo shoots and launches. Today the pool is undergoing a two-year renovation.
In the meantime, it is still open to the public for daily use. The pool’s staff consists of a Water Park Manager, Assistant Manager and approximately 25 fully qualified Lifeguards. The lifeguards are required to be certified in life saving, as well as having a current First Aid Certificate and a Working with Children Check. They are also responsible for the appearance and safety of the swimming area, as well as the water quality and testing.
Yusra Metwally, a lawyer who works for the NSW Community Legal Centre, was a regular at Canterbury pool as a child growing up in the suburb of South Sydney. She remembers the intoxicating scent of chlorine, hot chips and sunburnt skin as she spent long, carefree days splashing around with what seemed like the entire neighborhood.
When choosing a pool builder, it is important to choose a licensed contractor who can provide a warranty for their work. Make sure the name on their license matches the name on your contract, and that they are insured. In addition, ask to see samples of their previous work.
Whether you’re an outdoor swimmer or a pool-loving historian, these iconic pools will make you feel right at home in Australia. And who knows, the next time you visit one of these iconic pools, you might even be able to swim on top of an ancient sea dragon.