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A woman wearing a speedo one piece bathing suit in the pool.
Photograph: Speedo

The best outdoor pools in Sydney

Take the plunge and clock up some laps at these pools around the city

Maxim Boon
Written by
Maxim Boon
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Update, September 27: Public pools across NSW have permission to reopen from September 27, however, certain health measures will remain in place to keep patrons safe.

  • You may only visit a pool if it is in your LGA or within 5km of your home.
  • All pool users will be required to check in via QR code with the Service NSW app.
  • When users are not swimming, 1.5 metre social distancing must be observed. 
  • A group of up to five fully vaccinated adults are permitted to attend together.
  • Unvaccinated people may attend in a group of not more than two adults.
  • Visits are limited to a maximum of 2 hours.

At many pools, change room facilities and sunbathing areas will remain closed, and while most do not require pre-booking, it is advised that you call ahead of your visit, as capacity limits (as per the four-square-meter rule) will be in effect.

Tucked away in CBD parks, a stone's throw from the harbour and in quiet suburban parks, these superb swimming spots have got your back(stroke).

Many are open under strict "swim and go" rules, meaning lap swimmers will be happy, but loungers and sunbathers will need to look elsewhere to make a splash, like one of Sydney's fab beaches. If you’re not one for sand or waves, Sydney’s ocean pools will keep the high tide swell at bay.

RECOMMENDED: Sydney's best outdoor gyms and fitness stations.

Outdoor swimming pools in Sydney

  • Sport and fitness
  • Surry Hills

What sets this very, very central blue lagoon apart from many others is that it's fully heated, accessible and open year-round. The nine-lane, 50m pool has a ramp enabling swimmers of all abilities to enjoy a CBD paddle, and a toddler splash pool making life easier for parents. And there's a big focus on sustainability: we're loving the energy-saving measures, all the grass for poolside lounging and the green roof which features native plants and grasses that conceal the centre from the street.

  • Sport and fitness
  • Pools
  • Petersham

As you’re strolling past a baseball game or languishing under the Whomping Willow-style trees lining the footpaths of Petersham Park, you may hear gleeful water-soaked cries. That’s because the Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre is tucked away within this unassuming Inner West green space. The centre is home to a sunny 25m heated pool, plus a splash deck and toddler pond, making it perfect for all the hip families who inhabit this region of Sydney. It's also fully accessible, with ramps and hoists readily available.

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Andrew Boy Charlton Pool
  • Sport and fitness
  • Sydney

Perfect your freestyle and backstroke game at this fabulous outdoor swimming pool that's perched on the edge of the Royal Botanic Gardens. The eight-lane 50-metre pool is great for lap fiends working towards gold, but there is also a smaller pool for young flippers, sunbeds for heat-seeking lounge lizards and an on-site café. There's an action-packed fitness program here too, with swimming fitness sessions and regular yoga classes.

  • Sport and fitness
  • Camperdown

Within the nine lush hectares of Victoria Park, you'll find a sunny eight-lane 50m Olympic pool. The outdoor watering hole is open every day except for Good Friday and Christmas Day, and is consistently heated to 25 degrees. Visitors of all ages are able to join swimming classes at the pool or hire a lane to get serious with solo swim training. You can also get a bit of huffy puffy going at a boot camp, aquaerobics or group swim squad.

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  • Sport and fitness
  • Botany

Outdoor pools in Sydney have been under threat as larger, indoor aquatic centres (that include gyms) have come on the scene, so a gem like the family-friendly Botany Aquatic Centre is to be truly cherished. There are three pools spread across lush green lawns peppered with trees, for plenty of shade. You can choose from a shaded, shallow baby pool, a waist-deep pool for bigger children and an Olympic pool for well-versed merpeople.

Get some fresh air

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