6 Pristine Natural Swimming Spots In Sydney
Sydney offers a number of excellent (and secret) swimming spots with crystal clear waters if you're looking for a retreat from the heat. Check out some of our favourites.
Summer in Sydney isn’t complete without a refreshing dip to beat the heat. But if a crowded beach isn’t your cup of tea, there are a number of excellent places in and around town that are surrounded by nature and hidden away from the crowds. There are plenty of options to choose from if you’re hankering for a relaxing swim from hidden harbour beaches tucked away in the city to natural swimming holes with scenic views and waterfalls to boot. Seek out these lovely natural swimming spots in Sydney or on our doorstep as the mercury continues to rise.
1. Parsley Bay
Parsley Bay BeachParsley Bay Beach, Vaucluse NSW 2030, Australia
Parsley Bay is a popular spot amongst the locals in the area but is still somewhat under the radar compared to other popular swimming spots. Surprising considering it’s one of Sydney’s most idyllic swimming spots with an enclosed swimming pool, a photogenic wooden bridge over the water, a little waterfall and a short but pleasant bushwalk. Even better, it’s hiding in the heart of Vaucluse so you don’t have to go too far to experience its magic. Thanks to its calm waters and shark netting, it’s a safe and scenic place for families looking to cool off this summer. Plus, it’s an excellent spot for scuba diving.
Distance from Sydney: 30-minute drive from the CBD
2. Gordons Bay
Gordons BayGordons Bay, Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
One could argue that there’s nothing particularly hidden about Gordons Bay but the fact that it is home to Sydney’s only underwater nature trail is relatively unknown. If bushwalking in the sweltering heat is not your thing, you’ll want to keep this impressive swimming spot on your radar. The 600-metre-long nature trail takes about 40-45 minutes to complete bringing visitors up close to stunning underwater views and some local sea life. The picturesque turquoise bay is perfect for a number of water activities including swimming, diving and snorkeling.
Distance from Sydney: 20-minute drive from the CBD
3. Karloo Pools
Karloo Pools Walking Track WestKarloo Pools Walking Track W, Royal Nat'l Park NSW 2232, Australia
The Royal National Park is home to a number of natural swimming holes and beaches but Karloo Pools is one of our favourites. It’s best accessed via the Karloo walking track is in the Heathcote precinct of the Royal National Park and offers excellent options to swim, sunbathe and enjoy a picnic under the sun. As for Karloo Pools, the huge natural swimming hole is surrounded by untouched bushland and is about 30 metres long. The deep bush pool is absolutely stunning although it has gained some popularity on social media in recent years but if you visit early in the morning and during the week, you might be able to get it all to yourself.
4. Collins Flat Beach
Collins Flat Beach57RR+MJ, Manly NSW 2095, Australia
Collins Flat Beach is one of our favourite hidden beaches in Sydney and certainly one of the most picturesque harbour beaches in town. It’s flanked by bush views and sandstone cliffs and even has its own private waterfall which is best visited after rainfall. The beach is also home to a number of natural rockpools that make for lovely swimming spots. Tucked between North Head and Little Manly Cove, this spot is only accessible on foot.
Distance from Sydney: 45-minute drive to Collins Beach Road
5. Minerva Pool
Minerva PoolHolsworthy NSW 2173, Australia
Image: Andrew Harvey/ Flickr
Minerva Pool is located in the Dharawal National Park and is a sacred site for the Aboriginal Dharawal People. Please note that it is open for women and children only. Surrounded by rich bushland and sandstone features, this is one of the best natural swimming spots in Sydney. The huge wide pool is fed by a small but pretty waterfall and can be accessed via the Minerva Pool walking track.
6. Ivor Rowe Rockpool
Ivo Rowe Rock Pool1 Bunya Parade, South Coogee NSW 2034, Australia
This natural, shallow rock pool in Sydney might be one of the smallest but it’s still one of the best watering holes tucked away in the city with lovely views over the beach. The scenic spot is ideal if you’re looking to cool down on a hot day or a quick, refreshing dip. It’s best accessed through the Bunya Parade in South Coogee.