Sydney Pools – Are All Pools Created Equal?

sidney pools

There are few things more iconic in Sydney than the pool at Bondi, where scores of world records have been set since it opened in 1936, cheered on by adoring fans in its steep concrete grandstands. But it’s not just a landmark: it’s also an emblem of Australia’s egalitarianism, a women-only public facility in a country that prides itself on its openness to the outdoors and beach culture.

But not all pools are created equal, especially when it comes to pool safety. That’s why it’s important to ensure that your Sydney swimming pool complies with all the regulations and requirements established by the NSW government. Whether you own a small or large pool, maintaining it on a regular basis and following all the pool safety standards is essential for keeping your family safe from drowning and other hazards.

The rocky areas along Sydney’s surf-coast abound with venues for what Kate Rew, founder of Britain’s Outdoor Swimming Society, calls “wild swimming.” Ocean pools – freely accessible year-round at all hours – offer the pleasure of immersion in lively saltwater while sheltered from the powerful rips that ravage the beaches and account for many coastal deaths by drowning.

Ocean pools were a staple along Sydney’s northern beaches and on the North Shore in the interwar years, when unemployment relief schemes funded their development. Their existence gave rise to women’s amateur swimming clubs, and they fostered a culture of leisure tourism that brought city children into country areas for recreational and learn-to-swim activities.

Yamba’s ocean pool, for example, stretches 33 metres and is bounded by pandanus trees, and offers protection from the rip that runs out past it. It’s a reminder that the pool’s origins are not just as a recreational and social hub, but as a practical response to a coastal threat.

At the same time, ocean pools are also a reminder of how Sydney is defined by its water. It’s why the city is so famous for its ferocious waves and why it has a reputation for being among the most dangerous cities in the world for surfing.

It’s this sense of danger that’s behind the recent debate over the future of one of the city’s most iconic swimming spots. Clover Moore, the lord mayor of Sydney, wants to turn a section of the city’s harbor into an inner-city public swimming pool. She argues that the pool will inspire people to visit the city, which could aid in conservation efforts. But the idea is not without controversy. Several councillors have voted against the plan, and the ombudsman has launched an investigation into whether her plans for the pool are lawful.