7 Of The Best Rock Pools For Kids In Sydney

  • Preschoolers
    Mums & Bubs
    All Ages
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Need a cool, fun place to escape the heat with your littlies in the warmer weather? 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:

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.

Source: Northern Beaches Council

Minerva Pool, Dharawal National Park

A wonderful well kept Sydney Secret (ssshhhh) At the end of a short bushwalk in the Dharawal National Park, Cambelltown, you'll find the Minerva Pool, a pristine waterhole with sandstone features and a small stone island. Unpack a picnic lunch and spend some time enjoying the view as you watch the waterfall cascade into the rockpool below. Please be mindful that this is a sacred site for the Dharawal People and an important part of Aboriginal culture, so tread carefully and with respect during your visit. The Tharawal Local Aboriginal Land Council asks that only women and children enter the waters of Minerva Pool. Probably a rock pool for older kids as it is quite steep. 

Image and copy credit: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

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.

Image credit: Warringah Council

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?

Source: Swimming Pool Stories

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. Also nearby you should check out Wiley's Baths just a few hundred metres south of Coogee Beach and for mums and kids, check out the women's only McIver's Ladies Baths which is Australia's last remaining women's-only seawater pool. 

Source: Randwick City Council

North Curl Curl Rockpool

A hidden gem and the locals' best kept secret, you'll find this 25-metre rockpool near the end of the North Curl Curl Beach headline. Note that during high tide it can only be accessed through the coastal walk along the headland.

Source: Ocean Pools NSW

Bonus: The Bogey Hole, Newcastle

Put this on your weekend road trip itinerary! Newcastle's finest rock pool 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 convict history dating back to 1820, kids will enjoy exploring every crevice of this rock pool with endless ocean stretching out in front of it.

Source: Visit NSW

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.

Want More Pool Fun? Make A Splash Here: 

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Hero image: Australian Geographic






Nov 29 2016

I'm very concerned by the irresponsible recommendation of taking kids to the figure 8 rockpool. Many adults had to be rescued from that site last summer. Yes, it is far safer at low tide, but not a place for children. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/figure-8-pools-instagram-craze-drives-risky-behaviour-in-royal-national-park-20160110-gm30cf.html



Nov 27 2016

Burning Palms, Royal National Park is a dangerous place for kids. Calm days like the photo are rare, you must look at tides and wave conditions first to see if it's safe before doing the hike.



Nov 14 2016

Mahon Pool at low tide is beautiful, lots of starfish. My toddler loves it there.


Aura Pool

Nov 09 2016

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Feb 25 2016

Great article - thank you :) ..one that's definitely worth mentioning, though, is Fairlight Rock Pools (look up 'Fairlight Beach'). It's about a ten minute walk from Manly Wharf (lovely walk, too!) &amp; has a shallow pool for very little ones, a larger pool that's even good for burgeoning snorkelers, &amp; some beach for anybody wanting deeper water - this also also great snorkeling.


Seana Smith

Dec 07 2015

I must get to the one at Burning Palms and some of the eastern suburbs ones this summer. I know the Northern Beaches ones very well and there isn't a bad one amongst them. But two faves in our family are North Curl Curl for it's marvellous fish (bring snorkelling gear) and then North Narrabeen, the most iconic and photographed of them all.