Today we did the last 3 pools on the northern beaches – Freshwater, Queenscliff, and Manly. Freshwater and Queenscliff are both large, serviceable pools. At Queenscliff, the Saturday morning races were on and we couldn’t swim. I love seeing a pool being used by its community and kids raced down the pool with the smell of a sausage sizzle in the air. The choice pool of the day was the little gem at Manly – the Fairy Bower pool – named after the affluent part of Manly where it is set.
The beaches in Sydney can be packed and parking is a pain at the best of times. Cars tour around the most popular beaches in circles of disappointment. It is hot and you end up getting 2-hour parking spot miles away. So, for a seamless ocean pool experience at a busy Sydney beach take an uber, or if you are close enough cycle.
Walk to your chosen pool – for us today that was Fairy Bower – the smallest rock pool on the NSW coast. It’s a triangular dot in the ocean, between Manly Beach and Shelley Beach. It sits on the coastal path that joins the two beaches.
I advise wearing your swimmers under your clothes for simplicity, although Fairy Bower has a toilet where you can change. Plunge into the water and admire this tiniest of pools that sparkles in the surrounding Cabbage Tree Bay Aquatic Reserve.
This isn’t a pool for serious swimming, it’s a pool for playing with children, talking with friends, or sunbaking with lovers. PJ and I have the lovely Deb H. with us today and after our dip, we pull ourselves up onto the wide platform beside the pool for a chinwag.
Dry yourself off and walk to the nearest restaurant to order champagne and oysters to eat in the shade as the beautiful people walk to and fro. For us, this is the Bower, a café that overlooks the pool. If it’s a special occasion order the most expensive champagne, if not everyday-drinking champagne will more than suffice. Slip the oysters down your throat while drinking and gossiping. Stop to think how lucky you are. Then, if you are really lucky, retire home with your salty-skinned lover for the afternoon. That’s how we do pools in Sydney.