One of the most photographed swimming pools in the world is the Bondi Icebergs pool, which is also home to one of Australia’s most famous Winter Swimming Clubs of the same name. It’s breathtakingly beautiful and, depending on the time of year you’re swimming, sometimes takes your breath away when you dive in too. But you will always leave the pool feeling exhilarated and ready to return.
About Bondi Icebergs Pool
The water in the Icebergs pool is mostly a brilliant shade of aqua thanks in part to the pool’s white interior, giving the pool a real Mediterranean vibe, complimented by the varying blue shades of the ocean running alongside it. The only time the pool doesn’t live up to it’s sparkling reputation is when storms hit, washing seaweed and sand into the pool, but this is always temporary as the pool is cleaned out weekly.
Built on the rocks at the south end of Sydney’s Bondi Beach, the pool is filled with ocean water, which is drained out completely once each week so the pool can be scrubbed clean each Thursday. Check the swimming pool camera to make sure the pool has reopened on a Thursday before you head down.
Consisting of a 50-metre lap pool and a 25-metre kids swimming pool, the temperature of both pools is basically determined by the temperature of the ocean surrounding it. This can range from an average high of 22-25°C (72 to 77°F) in mid-summer to lows around 16 to 20°C (61 to 68°F) in mid-winter (which in Australia is the month of July). You can check the daily temperature of the ocean here to help indicate what the temperature of the pool will be.
Winter Swimming Tips
My best tip to surviving a swim when the water is at its coldest? Jump or dive in the deep end and start swimming immediately. You’ll need to keep moving to maintain any body warmth. A swim cap is recommended as it prevents some heat loss from your head, similarly if you feel the cold a partial or full wetsuit is a wise investment.
It’s always good to know that if you find your toes and fingers tingling from a bit too long in the cold water you can always head up to the sauna to defrost. Entry to the sauna is included in the entry price to the pool.
Post Swim Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
There is a small outdoor café – The Crabbe Hole – overlooking the pool near the change rooms. You can grab breakfast or lunch here, with tasty toasted sandwiches, salad and tea/coffee on offer to help you warm up and refuel.. All while still wrapped in your towel if you prefer.
The Bondi Icebergs Club is also on the middle level of the building above the pool, which offers casual bistro style dining from 11am, along with amazing views.
Some swimmers prefer to go from one extreme to the other, using the newly upgraded change rooms at Icebergs to shower & change into something more formal than their swimmers before heading right to the top of the Icebergs building to the legendary Icebergs Dining Room & Bar which is famous for it’s delicious long lunches, top service, world class cocktails.
Tides Are Important Too
Depending on the time of day you swim, and the tides, sometimes the ocean waves will come gently rolling over the north end of the pool or when conditions are more extreme you will find waves crashing over the entire sea wall.
When conditions get too extreme the pool is either partially roped off or closed completely for swimmers safety. For while the gentle waves will give you a sense of swimming in the open sea, while more powerful waves can send you flying across the pool lanes and can cause collisions between swimmers being flung around like loose socks in the washing machine (which is why the staff are quick to shut down of the pool when there is the combination of high or king tides and massive swells).
If you want to time it so you’re at the pool during low tide to avoid the ‘washing machine’ effect completely check Willy Weather for accurate tide chart pre-swim as well as looking at the pool’s cameras (link above).
Icebergs Swimming Club
Like the idea of joining the Bondi Icebergs Swimming Club? You’ll have to be committed to repeatedly jumping in the pool no matter what the air or water temperature is. For to become an official member of the Icebergs Club – as per the original rules set back in 1929 – you must compete throughout Sydney’s coolest months of the year: May to September in the weekly Sunday races.
It’s essential to turn up for three Sunday’s out of each four swim meets over a period of five years – that means competing in 75 swims over a minimum of five years. Is about more about participation than speed and they have races for swimmers of all levels and ages. But if that all sounds like too much you can simply visit the pool as a casual visitor!
For those who love the idea of being way out in the ocean amongst the surfers, ocean swimmers and even the dolphins and whales that swim past regularly, but feel a bit nervous about the open seas, swimming at Bondi Icebergs swimming pool really is the next best thing.