Fairy Bower Rock Pool Manly

Fairy Bower Manly rock pool

Sydney’s rock pools are a pretty unique feature of our city’s coastline. The harbour pools are pretty cool too.

They don’t come cuter and more appealling than the baby of them all, little Fairy Bower Pool at Manly.

Fairy Bower Manly- rock pools

Fairy Bower is the smallest of Sydney’s rock pools, excepting a couple of the children’s pools.

You’ll find Fairy Bower half way along the walkway between Manly Beach and Shelly Beach.

The pool was built by locals in 1929 in what was known then as Cabbage Tree Bay.  The promenade itself had been built in 1898.

Manly to Shelly walkway

Here’s the walkway, you can see Shelly Beach in the distance. Fairy Bower is tucked half way along.

manly beach afternoon shade

Manly Beach looking south, the walkway hugs the coastline, starting from the Surf Life Saving Club.

Did you know that Fairy Bower is really quite a new suburb. Imagine that, in 1908, Fairy Bower Road still had only two houses, but by 1914 there were 13, and 21 in 1918.

And look at it now, pretty jam packed with amazing houses. 

Read more about the history of Fairy Bower here.

You can read all about the history of NSW ocean pools here.

20131000 Fairy Bower Manly rock pool

I could throw myself right in there

Fairy Bower Rock Pool For Kids

We tend to stop at Fairy Bower for a short time on the way to Shelly Beach. Sometimes we snorkel along from Shelly and pull up at Fairy Bower for a rest and a splash.

There’s absolutely no shade at all at Fairy Bower, so it’s not somewhere to stay for a long time.

There are toilets and a change room right by the rock pool, very handy.

There’s a cafe/restauarant close by too… I’ve never been… tragic!  The cafe and kiosk at Shelly Beach is only a few minutes walk away and very child-friendly.

Parking:  Tricky!  Best to walk along from Manly or from Shelly Beach car park – the roads around fairy Bower are often very busy.


Are you a rock pool tragic like me?

Where’s your favourite rock pool of them all?

Happy summer splashing in Sydney.


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Posted on: December 4, 2013


  • Those rock pools are indeed very special. I’ve never swum in one – I need to try 🙂

    • Reply December 6, 2013

      Seana Smith

      Next time you are down, Annabel, it’s a rock pool dip date.

  • Reply December 7, 2013

    Robyn Mayne

    Hi Seana

    I love this pool. Thanks for reminding me about it. I forget about it because it’s so tucked away. But that’s one of the attractions!

    • Reply December 7, 2013

      Seana Smith

      Yes, it is… and the view is a big attraction too… and the beautiful clear waters for snorkelling just off the pool.

  • […] Swimming blogger Seana Smith came here in 2013. […]

  • Reply February 27, 2017

    budget jan

    Well this is a cutie for sure. I will have to claim the rock pool at Townsville as my favourite though. Fresh sea water is continuously pumped in and marine stingers are filtered out. It is large with different depths and a concrete bottom which is cleaned weekly. The thing I like about the fairy pool is how clear the water is and it’s cute size. I’ve only seen it in your photo!

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