Sydney’s Rock Pools
Sydney, Australia, is home to numerous secluded rock pools that often go overlooked by tourists. These small but well-kept swimming spots serve as an alternative to overcrowded beaches – some even refer to them as Sydney’s “natural lungs.” Many have been open for decades and remain popular among locals for exercise, relaxation and learning how to swim.
Pools have often provided lifelines for people living on the brink of poverty. One swimming spot on Sydney’s north shore serves as an oasis for asylum seekers and people with disabilities alike, according to Australian Broadcasting Corporation reporting; for these people, this swimming spot may provide “the only safe and clean place” where they can bathe or wash clothing.
Many pools in Sydney have become part of local culture and serve as an oasis in which to escape the city streets and beaches, while providing essential water sources. Furthermore, Sydney City Council is working towards improving some of these pools to make them more suitable for recreational swimming by contracting Andrew Burges Architects of Australia to draw up plans for renovation.
City officials consider creating green spaces around some pools a top priority to promote public health. Upgrades planned include installing new bathrooms and lounge areas as well as park improvements – for instance adding more plants and trees in Pirrama Park in Pyrmont and Beare Park in Elizabeth Bay would be welcome additions.
Some residents are concerned that renovations to the Sdy pool could compromise its unique character. According to a representative for the city, however, their goal will be to preserve both history and charm while making improvements at the facility – renovations are scheduled to start early next year.
Palm Beach, 25 miles from Sydney city, features one of Sydney’s northern rock pools: its 50-meter pool is where 77-year-old John Carter first started teaching swimming lessons there in 1929 and still instructs his third generation of swimmers there today.
Even with its inherent risks, many swimmers enjoy spending their time at rock pools. Lisa Gaupset, 41-year-old television graphic designer and mother to 4-year-old daughter and 12-year-old son swims here with them while her husband surfs nearby.
These swimming spots are treasures within Sydney, and it’s essential for visitors to take the time and experience them for themselves. It will surely be an enjoyable and memorable journey; just keep an eye out for any pesky bluebottles!