Situated at the entrance to Narrabeen Lagoon on the northern end of Narrabeen Beach is the stunning North Narrabeen Rock Pool, one of the best ocean pools in Sydney due to its large size and distinct shape!
The rockpool has a timber boardwalk going through the centre of the pool, separating the Olympic sized lap pool from the larger leisurely swimmers/family pool.
The timber boardwalk also goes all the way around the pool, so it makes for a great place to sit and relax and enjoy the sun, watch the surfers or even look out for dolphins!
North Narrabeen rock pool is definitely one of the most beautiful ocean pools in Sydney’s Northern Beaches.
It is especially popular with photographers at sunrise, as well as families during the summer holidays due to the caravan park nearby.
Not only is North Narrabeen rock pool a great place to hang out, but the adjacent Narrabeen Lagoon is a popular place for people to enjoy!
Both children and adults can enjoy paddle boarding, kayaking, paddling and fishing in the calm waters of the lagoon!
Overlooking Narrabeen Lagoon you’ll also find a designated free BBQ area, with picnic tables in the shade so you can really make a day of it here!
North Narrabeen Beach
North Narrabeen Beach has absolutely incredible views southwards of the 3km of sand leading all the way towards Long Reef.
North Narrabeen Beach is a really popular beach known for its great surf and world-famous right-hand surf break, so you’ll see lots of surfers here in the main surfing beach to the south of the rock pool.
In fact, North Narrabeen is a National Surfing Reserve, so it draws in the crowds!
You can also spot migratory humpback whales gliding past the beach in the near distance during the summer months, as well as dolphins surfing in the right-hand break year-round!
North Narrabeen Rock Pool
The wooden boardwalk in the North Narrabeen Rock Pool divides the 50 metre lap pool area from the larger 70 metre wading pool (the main pool).
On the northern end of the wading pool is also a shallow pool reservoir area about 50 metres long which is perfect for the kids to have a splash about, depending on the tide.
In addition, you’ll see a large rock platform on the other side of the pool wall, where several natural rock pools often form.
Children enjoy exploring the rock platform as there are often sea creatures to be found in the small rock pools.
If your children head here just remember to supervise them as the rock pools can sometimes be slippery.
The rock pool is a great place to watch the surfers, as Narrabeen’s world famous right-hand surf break runs right alongside the rocks that surround the rock pool!
You may also find some small fish swimming around in the pool!
If you fancy going for a dip in North Narrabeen Rock Pool after sunset or before sunrise, there is a set of night lights over the pool. Perfect if you enjoy those cool swims once the crowds have gone!
Just after the Narrabeen Lagoon Bridge on the other side of Narrabeen Park Parade is a popular caravan park.
So if you visit during the summer holidays expect the general rock pool to be busy here with families!
The laned pool should still have plenty of space if you want to practice your laps though, and the people who just come to the rockpool to relax respect that the laned pool is for serious swimmers only.
Amenities at North Narrabeen Rock Pool
There is an accessibility ramp going into the larger main pool, but no ramp that goes into the Olympic size lap pool – only vertical metal stairs (that are quite slippery so take care especially when getting out of the water!).
You can however swim underneath the boardwalk to access the lap pool if you need to use the ramp to enter the water.
Showers are by the cliff at the side of the pool, and you’ll find the toilets and changing rooms a few metres back. They are maintained well, and are open from sunrise until sunset.
The North Narrabeen Surf Life Saving Club is about 400 metres south of the rock pool, just south of the main parking area for North Narrabeen Beach.
Also next to the car park is Birdwood Park – a nice grassy area with picnic tables and BBQs. Just the other side of the SLSC you’ll also find a small playground for the children to play in.
Next to the car park is a nice cafe, or alternatively just back on Ocean Street are a few nice cafes.
On the corner of Ocean Street and Malcolm Street is the cafe ‘Oceans’ – a really great spot that’s open daily from 6am (7am on the weekends).
Oceans does get busy on Sundays after the North Narrabeen Nippers have finished at the rock pool, so head there early on Sundays if you want to avoid the crowd!
Swimming Clubs At North Narrabeen Rock Pool
Swimming clubs operate at North Narrabeen Rockpool throughout the summer and winter months at weekends – the Narrabeen Amateur Swimming Club and the Narrabeen Lakes Amateur Swimming Club.
Children can join The Narrabeen Nippers, which meet every Sunday in the summer months.
There is also the Learn to Swim Program available from the beginning of December until the end of February.
History Of North Narrabeen Rock Pool
North Narrabeen Rock Pool was built in the 1930s under the Unemployment Relief Scheme. It officially opened in March 1934 to the cost of £494!
Out of all the rock pools in Sydney, it is definitely one of the largest and most distinctively shaped!
The distinctive wooden boardwalk decking between the pools was an original feature of the pool, although over the years it has been replaced several times.
Local swimming clubs have met at North Narrabeen Rock Pool since the 1940s.
In the 1960s, the Narrabeen Ladies Swimming Club offered free swimming lessons every weekend. Also during this time, the winter swimming club, the North Narrabeen Shivering Sharks was formed.
Every year they would organise a competition to swim 10 lengths of the pool without a wetsuit – quite a feat during the winter!
When Is North Narrabeen Rock Pool Cleaned?
North Narrabeen Rock Pool is usually closed every Wednesday for cleaning during the summer months, and every other Wednesday during the winter months.
The pool cleaning schedule can change at any time due to unusual pool or weather conditions.
How to Get To North Narrabeen Rock Pool
Access to North Narrabeen Rock Pool is from Narrabeen Park Parade, which is opposite the NRMA Lakeside caravan park.
If you’ll be driving from the south along Ocean Street, go over the Narrabeen Lagoon Bridge. Then take the first right into the car park.
The car park is large enough, just don’t forget to pay for a ticket!
When it’s low tide you can wade across the lagoon from the rock pool to the beach, so you can also park in the car park off Malcolm Street which is near North Narrabeen SLSC.
If coming on public transport from Sydney CBD, the easiest and quickest way to get to North Narrabeen Rock Pool is to take the B1 (or 190X express) from Wynyard. This should take around 50 minutes.
From the bus stop it’s then a 15 minute walk (1.2km) to get to the rock pool, as the buses drop you off on Pittwater Road – the main road going through the Northern Beaches.
Walk down Walsh Street, then turn right at the end on Narrabeen Park Parade until you see the lagoon, and the rock pool behind it.
If coming from Manly take the 199 bus in the direction of Palm Beach, getting off at the same B-line stop, and walking the 15 minutes to the rock pool via Walsh Street.
Where to Stay In Narrabeen
It’s less than a 10 minute walk from North Narrabeen rock pool to the Sydney Lakeside NRMA Holiday Park.
This therefore makes the ideal place to stay, whether you’ll be camping or in your motorhome or you prefer a bungalow, cabin or villa to stay in!
There are also powered campsites for those in RVs. Prices here are very reasonable and you’re still right in the action and close to cafes and restaurants either side in Narrabeen or Warriewood.
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Catrina is a Travel Writer, SEO Specialist and ex-Flight Attendant based in Sydney, Australia. She has visited 85 countries and lived in several – including Italy, Australia, United Arab Emirates and England. Her work has been featured in a variety of popular travel publications including Fodors, Escape, Australian Traveller and Bear Grylls, as well as several international aviation and travel companies. The majority of her work however features on her own website – 24hourslayover.com where she has written over 500 travel articles!