The top 8 outdoor swimming pools in Sydney

The top 8 outdoor swimming pools in Sydney

With Summer in full swing, I wanted to write a blog on the best outdoor swimming pools in Sydney with a focus on the Inner West.

Now being more a beach girl, I really wasn’t sure where to start. So I asked Neal, one of my best PT clients, to be my guest blogger as he been to more pools than you can poke a stick at.

But first, let’s look at the wonderful health benefits swimming brings:

  • Works your whole body
  • Increases your heart rate and burns lots of calories
  • Low impact so great for those people who sore knees, back and ankles
  • Builds muscle strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness
  • Helps maintain a healthy weight, heart and lungs
  • Tones muscles
  • Good for mental health

So if you have decided to take a dip, here are the best outdoor swimming pools to visit:

8. Drummoyne Swimming Centre

Nice views back towards Rozelle & Birkenhead Point. Water is good but salty and seasonal opening only. Generally not too busy but loss of lanes after school (swim lessons) is a drag. Also parking is usually very challenging and there are far too many stairs if you have any joint issues.

7. Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre in Petersham

A lovely park setting and café. Great first thing in the morning but on the downside are its length (25m), popularity with kids and being closed over Winter.

6. Cabarita Swimming Centre

Beautiful views and park setting. Sometime they use too much salt water and there are a loads of stairs (difficult for the less mobile) but definitely worth a visit in the Summer as it is closed over Winter.

5.  Victoria Park Pool

A bit shabby and run-down but a genuine all-rounder. Usually not very busy with decent parking but showers/changing rooms need a big update; tired and often on the nose! Lockers are tricky and a bit pricey but on the plus it is open throughout the year.

4. Boy Charlton Pool

Glorious setting in the Domain and overlooking Woolloomooloo. Generally not that busy with lots of free lanes as it isn’t really a popular family venue. Salty and seasonal are its downsides, plus parking is not cheap and often limited by other activities nearby.

3. Prince Alfred Pool

Best water in Sydney in my humble opinion. Parking is good from 10am to 3pm otherwise expect to pay. Be aware it is very busy early in the morning and late in the afternoon, full of swim squads and very serious swimmers (even in the ‘Slow’ lane!!). Cheapest entry fee too and also open all year, although the changing rooms and showers are a bit cold ‘off’ season.

2. Ashfield Aquatic Centre

They’ve done an excellent job with the re-build; the water in the outdoor 50m pool is clean and it’s not been too busy when I’ve been as the new indoor fitness centre seems to attract the hoards! Though the café is good, the showers are a bit cramped for such a large facility. Open in Winter too. The main downside is car parking – access and exiting are a nightmare!

1. Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre

My overall favourite, without doubt. Whilst the water can be a bit ‘milky’ later in the day, generally it is of a good quality. Parking is great (unless the Tigers/Sydney FC are playing) and the lanes are usually not too busy. The showers are fantastic, lockers are free and the café is decent. Open all year round too.

Don’t forget, there are lots of indoor swimming pools to choose from too such as Annette Kellerman (Enmore), Ian Thorpe (Ultimo), Cook & Phillip (City), Ryde and, of course, Homebush.

So enjoy your laps, keep left, choose the appropriate lane for your swimming speed and enjoy.