From Coalcliff to Gerringong (and beyond), there are several ocean pools dotted up and down the coastline offering world-class sights and relatively safe swimming options for those who want all the benefits of salt, without the need to navigate the waves and, for the most part, sand!
To the North
Coalcliff offers some of the most spectacular views of any ocean pool in the world and comes complete with a splash pool for the kids and picnic areas, walking tracks, shower facilities and free parking to boot!
Coalcliff Rock Pool
Further south is the likes of Coledale, Wombarra, Austinmer, Bulli, Woonona, Bellambi and Towradgi – all offering sweeping coastal views and the majority of these are accessible to all.
Towradgi Rock Pool
In the centre of town, you’ll find the Continental Pools and tucked into the rocky outcrops, the Gentleman’s Baths or the lesser-known, and harder access, Nun’s Baths.
Closer to home, and arguably one of the most frequented pools in the Illawarra is in Port Kembla – an eight laned 50m pool with toddler’s area and as the pool is pumped every day, it doesn’t rely on the tides which is perfect for those who want to experience the saltwater and not deal with the seaweed.
From man-made holes with remarkable stories to more natural creations that have been enjoyed for centuries, the Illawarra is spoilt for choice when it comes to Ocean Pools.
Port Kembla Pool
To the South
Just 15kms south of The Waterfront, Shell Cove is Kiama which, like its northern counterparts, also boasts multiple ocean pools.
From the Continental Ocean Pools at Black Beach to the Blowhole Point Ocean Pool, these are amazing places to splash and suitable for the whole family.
And while it’s not an Ocean Pool per se, the beauty and uniqueness of Cathedral Rocks are worth a special mention. The spectacular rocky outcrops make this site a favourite for any budding photographer, it is also very protected and makes for a great swimming spot!
This is one of the most picturesque pools on the South Coast and yet remains relatively unknown.
The Ourie Ocean Pool is a quaint dodecahedron shaped wading pool perched on top of the flat expanse of rock that surrounds the main pool – a true coastal jacuzzi!
The larger pool is just as spectacular with uninterrupted sweeping views out over Werri Beach and suitable for lap swimming, although it is shallower than some other ocean pools.
This beautiful ocean pool in the heart of Gerringong is a fantastic place to snorkel or swim – and suitable for all ages. The pool is located at the Boat Harbour and if you’re not swimming in the pool, there is plenty of small ponds to explore and enjoy, the cliff faces make this site very Instagram worthy! There is also ample parking and picnic facilities for anyone wanting to make a day of it.
And we’ve saved the best for last!
Shell Cove is also home to a few of its own secret swimming holes (if you know, you know!) while just down the road in Shellharbour Village is the Beverley Whitfield Pool that is ideal for lap swimming, cooling down in the summer months and with a generously sized kids pool, there is plenty of space for kids to splash around too.
TIPS: Be sure to check the tides and conditions before heading out to explore these pools. With many of these built into natural rocky outcrops, they can be slippery – be careful when accessing the pools and once in, be wary of any natural formations which may be sharp or uneven.