For a hot summer’s day in Sydney? There’s nothing better than a fresh morning dip followed by a long (and possibly boozy) brunch. Whether you’re on the hunt for seafront scenery, Olympic-sized baths or just somewhere to have a casual splash about with your pals, check out our guide to the top swimming pools in Sydney and where to grab brunch after. Goggles at the ready...
Bondi Baths & Icebergs Dining Room And Bar
One of the most recognisable places to swim in Sydney, Bondi Baths is perched on the cliffs to the southeast of the city, offering incredible views of the beach and crystal clear waters beyond. Members of the public are welcome to swim here, with entry starting at just $7 for a full day of splashing and sunbathing. And if all that sounds like thirsty work? There’s the handy onsite Icebergs Dining Room And Bar, serving a selection of fruity spritzes and classic brunch plates: from fruit-topped pancakes to rich eggs Benedict.
Prince Alfred Park Pool & Forrester's
The Prince Alfred Park Pool is one of the best swimming spots in Sydney, offering heated water, 50-metre lengths and a shaded lounging area. Open from 6am on weekdays, the hidden gem is nestled into the city’s bustling Central Station, providing an oasis of peace away from the bustle of the CBD. Enjoy a splash session before drying off at Forrester's, a charming pub and restaurant located just down the road. The Riley Street favourite is decked out with leafy green botanics, fronting a morning menu of hearty sandwiches and fresh salads which can be accompanied by bottomless rosé come the weekend.
Wylie’s Baths & Coogee Pavillion
While Bondi’s white sands and Bronte’s rugged landscapes are more often splashed across your Insta feed, Wylie’s Baths is one of Sydney’s top secret swimming spots. The lesser-known tidal pool regularly plays host to ocean creatures, so don’t be surprised to find friendly fish swimming alongside you. Finish off your morning at this charming spot with rooftop drinks at Coogee Pavillion, the stylish three-storey drinking and dining complex from the team at Merivale.
Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre & Chin Chin
When it comes to Olympic pools in Sydney, they don’t come much swisher than the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre. Named after one of Australia’s most celebrated swimmers, the $40 million facility boasts three indoor heated pools along with a spa and health club, all underneath an iconic wave-shaped roof. Spend your morning doing lengths before refuelling with a big and boozy Yum Cha brunch at Chin Chin, complete with tasty Asian bites and mega-sized sharing cocktails.
Cook Phillip Park Pool & Lankan filling Station
Located in the heart of the CBD, Cook Phillip Park Pool is an elegantly designed recreational facility, fronting floor-to-ceiling windows designed to bring the outdoors in. A great option for those on the hunt for indoor pools in Sydney, the 50-metre long swimming spot regularly plays host to fitness classes and weekend events. Finish up your morning with lunch at Lankan Filling Station which can be found just a 15-minute stroll away. Our favourite dish? The toasted godamba roti, which comes stuffed with oozing cheddar, spicy chilli and fresh tomatoes.
A slightly quirkier option for outdoor pools in Sydney, Ivy Pool Club combines resident DJs, punchy cocktails and light bites with crystal clear waters. The late night haunt is perfect for those looking to cool off from the city’s heat, while socializing with friends. Open from 11:30am Tuesday to Friday (and on Saturday night), the exclusive venue serves a selection of freshly baked pizzas and antipasti sharing plates.
Bronte Baths & Three Blue Ducks
Another picture-perfect Sydney ocean pool, Bronte Baths is the perfect place for a spot of wild swimming. Better yet? It’s completely free to enjoy. It’s white picket fences and clifftop viewpoints are often snapped by travel bloggers, drawn in by the vivid blue hues. Follow your swim sesh with brunch at Three Blue Ducks, the oh-so-gorgeous café found just a stone's throw away. Serving breakfast from 7am until 2:30pm, the sunny eatery is known for its healthy offering of corn fritters, bircher muesli and toasted sourdough bread topped with homemade Vegemite.
Sofitel Sydney Harbour & Le Rivage Pool Bar
Undoubtedly one of the best hotel pools in Sydney, Sofitel’s rooftop hideaway is home to some of the city’s prettiest views, spanning the harbour and beyond. To nab yourself a waterfront sunlounger you’ll have to book in for the night, and with rooms starting at $300, it could be a pretty expensive sunbathing sesh. Should your pockets go deep enough though, you’ll be able to lounge all day in Le Rivage Pool Bar, sipping on rum cocktails and chowing down a menu of classic lunch dishes, from grilled burgers to cayenne pepper fried squid.
Looking for more summer fun? Check out our guide to the city's prettiest beach bars here.