Sydney Rockpools


Sydney is a great beach city and one feature common along the coastline is its purpose-built rockpools.

Although there are many coastal cities around the world very few, if any, can boast the variety and quality of beaches that you will find around Sydney.

The city boasts a plethora of ocean, harbour and river beaches.  Most with outstanding views.

One common feature of these beaches is the Sydney rockpools.  These are pools that long ago were hewn out of Sydney’s Hawkesbury sandstone to provide safe swimming for residents and visitors alike.

With all of Sydney’s coastal beaches being broached by crashing breakers when the surf rolls in, those rockpools allowed for still water swimming.

The rockpools meant that poor swimmers were not subject to the rips that are common on most beaches. These rips form near the shore and can push swimmers further offshore.  Most people who are unused to rips fight against them, and this can lead to drownings.

The Sydney rockpools were naturally fed by the sea, but were entirely safe for swimming.

Of course, these rockpools were built at a time when pool technology was either unknown or very basic.  They were literally carved out of solid rock, so are just oblong, water filled holes in the rock.

These days most are just remnants of their former selves.

Sydney’s beaches still have pools, but they now tend to be purpose built and concreted over with line markings to give swimmers a lane in which they can exercise.

Today’s pools are mostly used by fervent swimmers during early mornings, then by families for the rest of the day, for they are safe and ideal for children.

The original rockpools are becoming misshapen due to the action of waves and because reef marine creatures have taken hold.

Now, when you look into the rockpools you can see water plants, oysters and barnacles.  Sometimes small fish get trapped in them when the tides go out, and you always see crabs scrabbling through the water.

I always enjoy walking out to the rockpools to just sit and enjoy the views.

From these rockpools you can generally enjoy great panoramas of the beaches which always arch between the headlands like giant boomerangs.

The Sydney rockpools are a reminder of day’s past, when life was a lot less sophisticated, before surfing became a sport, when families would go to the beach for a Sunday outing, and swim in the safety of the pools right next to the sea.

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