Dawn Fraser Baths, Balmain – Sydney Harbour Pools and Beaches

 Here’s a place that makes my heart sing and sums up so many things I love about Sydney. A harbour pool, beautiful old buildings, a little pocket of calm yet so close to the heart of our scintillating city. If you like to swim and your kids like to splash, make a date this summer for a visit to gorgeous Dawn Fraser Baths (sometimes known as Dawn Fraser Pool too.).

Dawn Fraser Pool baths
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Dawn Fraser Baths

Fitzroy Avenue, Balmain

Phone: 9555 1903

Website: Dawn Fraser Baths website is here

Open: Depends on month, check website .

Cost:  Check website. Family tickets available.

Built in the 1880s, Sydney’s oldest swimming pool is part of the harbour but is completely enclosed by its elegant green and cream two-storey classical buildings, wooden fences and decking.

There is a 50 metre lap swimming section, a small, shallow beach area (except at high tide), lots of unshaded decking for sunbakers and shaded seating areas.

(Check the council website above for tide tables.)

A leaflet about the pool amusingly described it as ‘one of the most beautiful pools in the world … renovated and preserved for future generations. But why let them have all the fun? Come and enjoy the pool now!’

Cafes: Kiosk sells drinks and snacks.

Toilets: Toilets, showers and changing rooms in the main building

Shade: None on the water

Playground: No, but Elkington Park playground is very close.

Shark net: Yes, fully netted

Mum’s report: A beautiful and elegant spot. Unfortunately there isn’t much shade or a good spot to sit right by the shallow area of water so it’s not the best harbour pool for babies and toddlers but at low tide they can play on the sandy area. On the other hand, a fab spot to bring children who are confident swimmers.

Extra: Elkington Park Playground is close by, click here.  Balmain Swimming Club is the oldest in Australia and meets on Saturday afternoons in summer.  There’s also a water polo club at the Baths.

Parking: Street parking around Elkington Park, spaces on Fitzroy Avenue but can be very busy. Note that the main approach has lots and lots of steps. It’s best to park in White Street and approach from the west path by the playground where there are fewer steps.

Nearest ferry: Elliot Street Wharf is a 5–10 minute walk away

Bus stop nearby: Yes

Dawn Fraser Pool baths
View of the pool from top of the steps in Elkington Park
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Dawn Fraser Pool entrance
Entrance, I love this architecture and the sens of the past being alive.
Dawn Fraser Pool baths low tide sand
There’s a bit of sand at low tide, but no beach at all at high tide.
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Looking from the entrance across to the 50m laps area.
Dawn Fraser Pool baths
Love the harbour views from this pool
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Our working harbour, view from the pool
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Such pretty views too
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Dawn Fraser Baths Map