The Pool Blog

Daily Dip Updates

Cronulla, Shelly Park & Oak Park – the secret pools of Sydney

by Jan 20, 2022

We arrive at Oak Park Beach Pool slightly fatigued. A 4-pool day requires significant energy. On the way we debate if we will even go in. We have already swum at the North and South Cronulla Pools and then at Shelly Park Pool. Maybe we should just take some photos and walk around the pool before getting in the car and heading home. As the fourth pool of the day, will Oak Beach really have that much different to offer?

It is often best to arrive like this, with low expectations. We can’t see the pool from the approach, so it’s not until we are right at the top of the low headland that we see it. In hindsight, this was also the same moment the pool saw us. It is a little sloping pool with 3 walls that you walk into from the shore. The headland shelters you from the rest of the world, so when you come down the rocks, the pool has you all to itself.

The water is clearer here than at any other pool we have been. The sun is in the right place in the sky. We walk down separately, each taking our own path – the call of the water ringing loudly in our ears. In this unexpected paradise, we submit to its call. Bidden thus, we silently disrobe and walk into the water. The slope is deep enough at the east-facing wall to duck dive to the bottom and hear the absence of sound. Then you turn and look fully at the sun above through the water before floating back up to the surface.

When you come into a moment like this which you must experience, which you must go towards, I feel as though I am trying to capture it by being immersed, by being in the water. I want to be in the experience even though a part of me recognises that I am the experience, the experience is in me. I am in the world and the world is in me. It’s hard to hold these concepts in your head, they are elusive and hard to flatten into language.

I have never been to this pool and realistically I may never come again. This is the kind of pool that locals beg ask you not to write about. One of the many secret pools of Sydney.