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Summer Ocean Pool Challenge

Our summer challenge: to walk the Sydney ocean coastline from Palm Beach south to Cronulla over a series of weekends in December and January, swimming one lap in each of Sydney’s great ocean pools.

The Pools

The pools come in all shapes all sizes – some with flat bottoms, others with rocks, sand or seaweed, sea-life and waves to entertain you.

Our route hugs the ocean coastline, not the harbour.  We will walk in one direction, and either catch the bus, car shuffle or uber.  We will aim to walk in the morning, but occasionally may need to vary the time to suit the tide and swells.  Follow the pool links to check on facilities.




Sun 10 DecBarrenjoey to Avalon (approx 7km)

Park at Avalon and catch the bus north. Our first swim of the challenge is at the southern end of Palm Beach, and the lovely Bangelly Headland bush track. Showers at Avalon SLSC, and coffee to finish.

3 pools

Palm Beach Rockpool, Whale Beach Rockpool and  Avalon Rockpool

Sun 17 DecBilgola to Narrabeen (approx 13km)

Bus north again, from North Narrabeen to Bilgola. Today we swim in Liz’s home pool, Bilgola – some claim this is the best ocean pool in NSW?

4 pools

Bilgola Rockpool, Newport Rockpool, Mona Vale Pool, North Narrabeen Rockpool

Sat 30 DecCollaroy to Manly (approx 14km)

Park at the new Brookvale B-Line commuter parking and bus to start. Some nice beach walking between pools today, and a rockpool with an island in it. We might try the tunnel between Freshwater and Queenscliff pools.

7 pools

Collaroy Rockpool, Dee Why, North Curl Curl Rockpool, South Curl Curl pool, , Queenscliff, Fairy Bower rock pool

Sun 7 JanNorth Bondi to South Coogee (approx 12km)

We start with a paddle in the North Bondi pools, and end with a women only rock pool. You can tell you are in the East now, no free swims – Icebergs costs $6.50

7 pools

North Bondi Pools, Icebergs, Bronte Baths, Clovelly Ocean Pool, Giles BathsRoss Jones Memorial Pool, McIver Baths

Sun 14 JanSouth Coogee to Malabar (approx 12km)

A taxi or Uber from Malabar to start at Coogee might be the simplest option. Wylies ($5) is Steph’s local, and the oldest surviving communal baths in Australia. After our a swim at Wylies, we walk south along the rock shelves for some quite different pools, including Ivor Rowe Rockpool a small round pool.

5 pools

Wylies Baths, Ivor Rowe Rockpool, Rob Walker Rockpool, Mahon Pool, Malabar Rock Pool

Sun 21 JanCronulla (approx 8km)

Pools around Cronulla – led by Mary who will explain how she learnt to swim so fast in these pools/

5 pools

North Cronulla Rockpool, natural Nuns Pool, Shelly Beach pool, Oak park rockpool, Gunnamatta Baths

10 FebIllawarra (approx 20km)

Bonus! 10 extra rock pools, this time by bicycle


Fit, happy partners and family are welcome – so long as they abide by the rules of the challenge and take a dip in every pool! No wusses.

Route Map

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