Coogee, NSW, Australia
The first thing that strikes you about Ivor Rowe Rockpool is its curved hourglass shape. Next you’ll be enchanted by its iridescent colours, like a mother of pearl oyster with blues and dark greens shining through. Then you’ll notice the beautiful rippled rock surface around it, puckered with shallow pockets and puddles that are teeming with tiny sea life. One of the smallest ocean pools in Sydney – more of a salt bath, really – it’s a refreshing spa for a dip. Five weathered wooden poles on its ocean side are all that remain of an old chain line that has long been removed. One of the lesser known swimming spots in the area, it’s an ideal place for a solitary dawn walk to watch the early morning waves crashing over across the rocks
How To Get There: By car, drive south of Coogee along Malabar Road, turn off at Cuzco Street, onto Close Street and then onto Palmer Street until it intersects with Bunya Parade. A small set of steps will take you down to the pool. Alternatively, walk south along the scenic Coastal Walk past parks and rocky outcrops until you reach the end of walkway.
Difficulty of Access: 3/10 This is an easy and enjoyable 2km stroll south from Coogee Beach along the Coastal Walk or a simple walk down the steps from Palmer Street.
Opening Times/Seasons: Ivor Rowe Rockpool is open all year. Take care during stormy weather or high surf conditions.
Entrance Fee: Free.
Facilities Nearby: There are no facilities in the immediate area, but there are toilets, showers and changing rooms at Coogee Beach, 2km away.
Other Activities: Fishing, surfing and walking. Kids will also love discovering the little sea creatures living in the surrounding puddles.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: Ivor Rowe Rockpool is at the isolated end of the Coastal Walk, a short walk south from Coogee Beach. It’s worth heading up to Coogee for a swim or surf, or continuing along the paved pathways around the coast line on the Bondi to Coogee walk. This walk has spectacular views of the ocean, taking you past some of Sydney’s best-loved beaches over the course of a couple of hours. Look out for the famous Sculptures by the Sea exhibition in the last week of October and the first week of November.
Wildlife: This is a highly residential area, but you will find sea life living in the rockpools. You may also see dolphins or migrating whales between April and December.
Places to Eat: All the action is at Coogee Beach a couple of clicks away. Just behind the promenade is a row of family-friendly dining options from McDonalds at the north end, large beachfront cafes in the middle and tucked-away coffee shops to the south. For a pub meal or a beer in the sunshine, the huge Coogee Bay Hotel is a popular option, while small bar/restaurant Little Jack Horner Bar offers a more intimate experience. Coogee Pavilion impresses with woodfired pizzas, gourmet burgers and fresh seafood, and also has a grown-ups-only rooftop bar with wrap-around views across the ocean. Our pick for best coffee is Square Peg near the corner of the park on Arden Street.
Where to Camp: As this is not far from the centre of Sydney, there are no nearby places to camp.
Other Places to Stay: The Coogee Sands Hotel and Coogee Bay Hotel both offer reasonable rates for three- and four-star accommodation. You’ll find plenty of private accommodation available online, many within 100m of the beach. A two-bedroom stay in an apartment close to the beach will cost between $150 and $300 depending on the time of year.
Nearby Towns: South Coogee, Malabar, Bronte, Little Bay.
Comments: Proof that great things come in small packages, this shallow rockpool is a lovely spot to cool down beyond the bustle of Coogee Beach.