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Head north for these scenic ocean pools

Yamba Ocean Pool, YambaCREDIT: Destination NSW

Make a splash in Yamba's picturesque ocean pools.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Head north for these
scenic ocean pools

Yamba Ocean Pool, Yamba CREDIT: Destination NSW

Make a splash in Yamba's picturesque ocean pools.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Hashtags #lovensw #newsouthwales

There are almost 100 ocean pools dotted along the New South Wales coastline, offering calm, clear blue waters to swim laps or simply splash about. These pools hold a special place in the hearts of locals and, since the 1800s, have become a quintessential Australian experience. After all, is there anything better than the feeling of a cooling dip in the warmer months? Add these serene swimming spots to your itinerary as you make your way along the coast north from Sydney. 

On the Central Coast  

The stunning Macmasters Beach Pool is nestled on the Bouddi Peninsula, a 1.5-hour drive north of Sydney on the NSW Central Coast. Built in the 1960s for local children learning to swim, it has a sandy bank and shallow waters protected from the surrounding swell. The beach itself is patrolled from September to April and has a shaded picnic area and café.  

A 15-minute drive up the road, Avoca Beach Rockpool is a beautiful protected rock pool on the southern end of Avoca Beach. The wading pool maintains a shallow depth, making it ideal for little ones to play and explore. 

Travel 30 minutes north from Avoca to reach The Entrance, a popular holiday town tucked between Tuggerah Lake and the Pacific Ocean. Its ocean bath is a heritage-listed complex of three swimming pools — a 50m lap pool, 22m pool and children’s wading pool offering safe swimming for all levels. Visit in time for the daily pelican feeding (held at 3.30pm), which is one of The Entrance’s most popular attractions. 

Around Newcastle 

Newcastle lays claim to the oldest ocean pool in the state, the heritage-listed Bogey Hole. Hand-carved out of the rock platform by convicts in 1819, it was originally intended for the personal use of Major James Morisset, the longest serving Commandant of Newcastle. The pool become known as Commandant’s Baths, but today takes its name from the Dharawal Aboriginal word for bathing. The pool has become famous among photographers and is particularly striking at sunrise.  

Newcastle also boasts the largest seawater baths in the southern hemisphere, Merewether Ocean Baths. One of Newcastle’s most popular swimming spots, visitors come to swim laps, take in the views or stop for a chat on the steps leading into the water — known affectionately by locals as the ‘Steps of Knowledge’.

Nearby, the Newcastle Ocean Baths are surrounded by a beautiful heritage-listed Art Deco pavilion, making it one of the city’s standout landmarks. The baths feature two ocean pools: the round Canoe Pool is popular with families for its shallow depth and sheltered swimming. 

Macmasters Beach Pool, Central Coast CREDIT: Central Coast Tourism

Sunny day at Macmasters Beach and ocean pool on the Central Coast.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Macmasters Beach Pool, Central Coast CREDIT: Central Coast Tourism

Sunny day at Macmasters Beach and ocean pool on the Central Coast.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Merewether Baths, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The scenic coastline of the city of Newcastle with views of Merewether Baths.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Merewether Baths, Newcastle CREDIT: Destination NSW

The scenic coastline of the city of Newcastle with views of Merewether Baths.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Along the Mid North Coast  

Forster sits at the heart of the Great Lakes region, which is known for its stunning waterways. On the town’s ocean side, Main Beach hosts large shaded barbecue areas, public amenities and the stunning Forster Ocean Baths. Also known as the Bull Ring, it opened in 1936 and instantly became a local landmark. 

A further 25-minute drive north and you’ll arrive at Black Head Rock Pool at Hallidays Point. It was built in 1941, and legend has it that during World War II it was used as a lobster pen by local fisherman. Fortunately, it has since undergone a few renovations and today provides a 30m lap pool and wading pool. 

On the North Coast 

Sawtell Memorial Rock Pool, near Coffs Harbour, lies at the south side of Bonville Headland and is built into the rocks overlooking the Pacific Ocean. With a granite inscription to fallen armed servicemen and women, this pool was created as a war memorial.

From Sawtell it’s roughly one-and-a-half hour’s drive north to Yamba. This laid-back beach town has long flown under the radar, but is gaining recognition for its year-round good weather, fresh seafood and sun-kissed beaches. At the southern end of Yamba’s Main Beach, the 33m Yamba Ocean Pool provides crystalline water and plenty of space to throw down your towel. Carved into the rocks, its rectangular shape is ideal for swimming laps with views out toward the sea. The beach itself is home to one of NSW’s oldest surf lifesaving clubs and overlooked by the much-loved Pacific Hotel.

Sawtell rock pool at sunset, Coffs Coast CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sunset at Sawtell rock pool at sunset, Coffs Coast.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Sawtell rock pool at sunset, Coffs Coast CREDIT: Destination NSW

Sunset at Sawtell rock pool at sunset, Coffs Coast.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Forster Ocean Baths, Forster CREDIT: Destination NSW

Forster Ocean Baths on a sunny day.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

Forster Ocean Baths, Forster CREDIT: Destination NSW

Forster Ocean Baths on a sunny day.

#lovensw #newsouthwales

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