ellaslist Reviews Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool: A Public Oasis For Parents In The City
I’d like to put it on record that I’m a big fan of a public pool. As a parent, I am eternally grateful to them for teaching my kids how to swim and providing affordable, all-day entertainment for my little energiser bunnies, who often have their best sleep after a day at the pool.
However, as a parent, public pools don’t usually invoke visions of serenity, stylish aesthetic and chic vibes. Instead, I vividly picture babes giggling at water bubblers, kids splashing each other around rainbow-coloured water play equipment, and delightful squeals as giant water buckets tip and crash waves on top of them. All in all, a fun day out… especially for the kids.
But what about me? ‘Ol mate Shannon Noll understands. I don’t just want to be the towel holder, snack dispenser and chauffeur driver. While I still like the kids to have a fun pool playdate, I want to enjoy an accompanying date with my Mum friends.
But is that too much to ask?
Luckily, it’s not! If you didn’t know already, there’s a kid-friendly public pool with good food, great views and luxe vibes set right in the heart of our beautiful city!
Introducing Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool
Located down Mrs Macquaries Road at The Domain, nestled next to the Royal Botanic Gardens, Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool is the ultimate parents’ pool day retreat - with the kids! If you fancy a sun-basking day at a luxurious city hotel or exclusive day club, you will definitely enjoy a dip with your friends and kids at this chic pool.
As we walked through the entrance, even the kids cooed with delight at the breathtaking views of Sydney Harbour. They were so in awe of the giant navy vessels docked practically right next to us that they didn’t even notice there was no play equipment or water bubblers.
The 50m lap pool and smaller 20m kids pool are built on a deck over the harbour, furnished with stylish wooden loungers and enclosed with glass panels offering uninterrupted views of the glamorous Woolloomooloo Bay and its glistening waters.
The kids pool ticks all the boxes for comfort, protection and safety. At only 1m deep throughout, with a shade cover and heated to a comfortable 28ºC, we could sit back with a drink and enjoy the view while watching them play.
The Saltwater Treatment
My kids would eat salt for dinner if I let them, so they were very excited when they jumped in and found out it was a saltwater pool!
Both pools at Andrew (Boy) Charlton have chemically treated saltwater, and, having a child with sensitive skin, I wasn't complaining. Saltwater, in general, is gentler on your eyes and skin and is meant to closely mimic the salt concentration in human tears, making the water much less likely to irritate your eyes than a chlorinated pool.
Saltwater can help soothe sore muscles and relieve stiffness too, so if you need to jump in the pool with your little ones, there's a chance you won't be paying for it too much the next day. Saltwater is also said to have therapeutic effects and promote the body's natural relaxation process more effectively, so you might feel even better than usual!
Oh Boy - Time To Eat!
There is usually a limited selection of food and comfortable restaurant seating available at public pools, so we felt a little bit fancy sitting down for lunch at the Oh Boy Sydney Cafe.
Oh Boy is located at the Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool, with indoor and outdoor tables overlooking the pools and panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. It's a picturesque cafe with large beach umbrellas to provide shade for the outdoor tables and rooftop bar vibes. You can also grab a takeaway from the cafe to eat and drink by the pool and create your own holiday feel.
While the kids devoured their cheese jaffles and chicken schnitzels, we enjoyed a Mediterranean-style lunch and sipped on freshly-mixed cocktails.
Everyone was feeling full and fabulous, and nobody wanted to leave. All in all, a fun day out… especially for us parents!
- Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool is a seasonal pool, open between 1 September and 30 April
- Address: 1C Mrs Macquaries Road, The Domain
- Opening hours: Monday to Sunday, 6 am to 8 pm
- Prices: $20.50 entry for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children)
- Wheelchair accessible
- Metered street parking is available
- Nearby bus stop: Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool
- 10 minutes walk from St James train station
- Nearby attractions: Mrs Macquarie's Chair, Royal Botanic Gardens and the Art Gallery of NSW
For more information, including the most up-to-date entry costs and opening hours, visit the Andrew Boy Charlton Pool website.
More Fun Sydney Swimming Spots to Visit
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