By: Phoebe Ackland, ellaslist
Need a cool, fun place to escape the heat with your littlies this summer? These rock pools, set against gorgeous beach backdrops are full of hidden treasures to provide young ones with hours of exploring and adventuring.
There’s something truly magical about rock pools, so grab your kids and experience one of these this Summer:
1. Ivor Rowe, South Coogee
This rock pool is ideal for smaller children. It’s spa-sized, with lots of smaller holes and crevices filled with water surrounding it that children can explore without falling in. The quiet isolation of Ivor Rowe is a peaceful escape from the buzz and excitement of Coogee in Summer.
2. Freshwater Rock Pool, Warringah Council
Warringah council maintains 6 rock pools in the area, and this one is situated at the northern end of Freshwater Beach. It’s a 50m lap pool, perfect for kids who want a proper swim without the size constraints of many rock pools and without the waves and traffic of the ocean. Similar to Newcastle’s Bogey Hole, it has the structure and security of a man-made pool but with all the gorgeous scenery and natural elements of the beach.
3. Bogey Hole, Bronte
Sydney’s eastern suburbs has some of the best rock pools around, and Bogey Hole is no exception. Only revealing itself during low-tide, this small and shallow rock pool makes it easy to keep an eye on your kids whilst they explore all the natural wonders swimming, crawling and sliding about. Why not top off the day with lunch at Bogey Hole Cafe?
4. Burning Palms, Royal National Park
This one’s worth the effort, trust us! After a 2.5 hour hike, you’re free to swim in and explore the many adjoining rock pools amongst a dazzling array of blues, turquoise and greens. If you start the hike up early in the day you can avoid the heat, and pack a picnic for the glorious destination that awaits you. This rock pool is a real adventure and one your kids won’t soon forget. It’s probably one for the older kids though unless you can pop your littlies in a hiking back-pack. Although extremely beautiful, extra consideration must be placed on safety at this destination. The national park is sprawling so keep and eye on your kids, and remember that the beach here is great for surfers but rough for swimmers. Because it’s a big journey to get there, make sure there’s people at home that know where you’ve gone.
TOP TIP: This one is quite a big adventure- there are lots of warnings about going at low tide as these pools can get quite dangerous, especially for little ones. We recommend this destination for families with older children, and remember to always follow the warning signs posted in the park. DON’T GO WITHOUT CHECKING OUT THESE GUIDELINES.
5. Giles Baths, Coogee
Another favourite lying in the eastern suburbs is Giles Baths, a gem along our stunning coast. This is quite a large rock pool, with rocks for climbing and most suitable for older children. It’s set away from the summer mayhem of Coogee beach, found up a hill that the locals just couldn’t keep a secret.
6. Dee Why Rock Pool, Oaks Avenue, Dee Why
Dee Why Rockpool is perfectly located right near the promenade along the beach. With natural sandstone and concrete walls, this 50 metre pool has a special toddler area. It’s well maintained with plenty of shallow water for splashing around. There are toilets and showers close by.
And a Bonus One – The Bogey Hole, Newcastle
This has the structure and security of a pool, but the natural edginess of the ocean. It’s large and enclosed, perfect for kids wanting to make a big splash. With an incredible history dating back to 1820, kids will enjoy exploring every crevice of this rock pool with endless ocean stretching out in front of it.
Safety Tips for Rock Pool Adventurers:
- Remember that rock pools are a part of nature and this means marine life inhabits these small spaces. Whilst rock pools are a tactile experience, keep an eye out that your children aren’t picking up bluebottles, sea urchins, blue ringed octopus, or anything you’re not sure is safe.
- Whilst some of the rock pools listed are shallow, kids, especially weaker swimmer and younger children should always be within your reach.
- Rock pools are usually surrounded by slippery, mossy rocks, so no running!
- Make sure young children and weak swimmers wear floaties, even in shallow water.
- If one of these rock pools are in a new and unknown area, ask lifeguards and locals where to go and which areas are safe.
- Rock pools attached to the ocean can be subject to the whim of the waves, so only let your kids take a dip in the pool if the water is calm and stable.