5 top spots to keep cool this summer

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Jumping into summer at Watsons Bay Baths Pic: N. Edelstein

Jumping into summer at Watsons Bay Baths Pic: N. Edelstein

    Things to do; Youth and families

Published 20 December 2021

La NiƱa may be playing havoc with our summer plans but we’re optimistic about gorgeous sunny days ahead. When the mercury rises, it’s time to grab your swimmers, hat and sunscreen and cool down in the tranquil waters along the stunning coastline within the Woollahra Council area. We picked five of our favourite spots to keep cool this summer.

1) Snorkelling in Camp Cove

Camp Cove Beach is one of those ‘secret’ spots that locals would love to keep all to themselves but we think it’s too special not to share. This stretch of pristine sand is nestled adjacent to Sydney Harbour National Park close to Watson’s Bay. It offers perfect paddling conditions for young kids as the water is usually calm with small ripples. The harbour views above water are beautiful, but it’s the marine life beneath the surface that is truly fascinating. Bring along a snorkel and goggles and explore the rocks to spot a variety of different fish and critters. You could see an octopus, cuttlefish, frogfish and maybe even a seahorse or two!

After a dip in the water, take a walk up the stairs and join the South Head Heritage Trail, which meanders along the coast towards the red-and-white striped Hornby Lighthouse. Or if it’s too hot to walk, grab an ice-cream from the well-stocked Camp Cove kiosk and just chill out on the sand.

Snorkelling at Camp Cove
Explore underwater life at Camp Cove

2) Have a ball at Watsons Bay

We love the idea of getting fit and keeping cool all at the same time. And one of our favourite ways to do this is joining in a social game of waterpolo at Watsons Bay baths. Fun waterpolo games take place every Sunday morning at the baths and everyone is welcome to come down to play or cheer on from the spectator bench.

If you’re not into ball sports, you can simply take a refreshing dip at Watsons Bay Baths - a fully accessible harbourside tidal enclosure that is popular with all age groups. The baths consist of two floating turning board/sunbathing pontoons, a boardwalk and seating with great views of Sydney Harbour. The baths also have Australia's first deep water wheelchair access to a tidal harbour pool.

It’s a magical spot to cool down on sunny days and afterwards you can dry off with an ice-cream from the adjacent Teagardens cafe or end the day at Robertson Park and some fish and chips on the grass.

Watsons Bay_Baths_Harbour_Swim_2018_James OConnor
Take a dip at Watson's Bay Baths

3) Chill out in Parsley Bay Reserve

Parsley Bay Reserve offers the trifecta of summer coolness - we’re talking beach, playground and perfect-for-picnics grass. It’s one of those spots that you can arrive for an early morning dip in the still waters and stay until dinner time.

It features a shaded playground, recently upgraded with fabulously fun equipment which kids of all ages love.

You can also take an amble along the short bushland walking circuit (15-20 minutes return) that takes you to a waterfall at the head of the gully. In summer, Eastern Water Dragons can be seen sunning along the watercourse.

The cool, calm waters of the Parsley Bay swimming enclosure are perfect for young kids as the shallow waters are extensive.

Parsley Bay’s iconic suspension bridge provides a gorgeous vista across the harbour and a birds-eye view of swimmers and snorkelers in the water below.

There’s a well-stocked cafe for snack items, hot food and ice-creams or bring your own food and enjoy a picnic on the grass.

Vaucluse_Parsley Bay_snorkellers_2019_James Horan
Cool off in the calm waters at Parsley Bay

4) Dip into Murray Rose Pool

Murray Rose Pool (formerly Redleaf) is a popular cooling-off spot for locals and visitors alike and once you see it, you’ll understand why. Be prepared to lug your gear a few steps down but your effort will be rewarded with a scenic harbourside tidal enclosure, with spectacular views across Double Bay.

The two floating pontoons are particularly popular with visitors, ideal for lounging in the sun and taking a quick dip.

The pool’s wrap-around boardwalk provides great access to the entire swimming area and an opportunity to jump into the water if you’re feeling brave!

The pool is surrounded by a wrap-around-deck which you can walk around and jump into the water if you get too warm.

There is a narrow strip of beach for sand castle making and being a harbour pool, the water is practically wave-free so perfect for either a cool dip or a more energetic swim.

There’s also a sloping grassed area which makes a great spot for a picnic in the shade or visit the kiosk for ice-cream, hot food or snacks.

Double Bay_Murray Rose Pool_diving_jumping_summer_swimming_2019_James Horan
The perfect spot to chill out in summer is at Murray Rose Pool

5) Kayaking in Rose Bay

One of our favourite ways to explore the harbour is on a kayak. There are two popular spots to hire a kayak in Rose Bay and it’s super easy to rent a single or double vessel or even a stand-up paddle board.

Head out to Tingira Memorial Park, opposite the Rose Bay RSL Club on the corner of New South Head Road and Vickery Avenue, Rose Bay, where you’ll find a lovely stretch of beach and tranquil waters perfect for a kayak adventure.

A magical, more hidden spot to kayak from is Rose Bay Park - a small foreshore park located below the Rose Bay Police Station. It's located between Point Piper Marina and Rose Bay Marina and provides an on-leash dog friendly, sandy beach and shaded picnic areas. This is a wonderful area to hire a kayak. Within a short 20-minute paddle you can reach Shark Island or cross over to Milk Beach for stunning views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.

There’s also a shady softfall playground area boasting a climbing frame and gyro spinner.

Kayaking in Rose Bay
Exploring the Rose Bay Marina on a kayak

So don't let the weather get you all hot and bothered this summer. Head to one of these gorgeous spots to chill out and keep cool!

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    Things to do; Youth and families

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