The heat is on! Here are the best places to cool off in the Inner West

Here in the Inner West we are spoilt for choice when it comes to places to swim. As temperatures soar, everyone heads to the beach for a dip. That can only mean one thing – parking and traffic woes as you travel across the city. Why not avoid the stress and stay local? There are public pools with lovely shady lawns, harbour beaches to cool off in, and splash parks for younger members of the family.

Here are the best places to swim in the Inner West.

Cabarita Beach

Yes, you read it right – there’s a beach at Cabarita. Located at the northern end of Cabarita Park, there’s a long stretch of white sand on the shores of the Parramatta River – making it an ideal place to spread out your towel and take a dip. You could spend the better part of a day here with the family building sandcastles and exploring the rocky outcrop at each end of the beach. Within the park there are shady spots for respite from the sun, barbecues, public toilets, and a playground. For ice-blocks and treats head to the kiosk at the nearby Cabarita Marina.

Cabarita Swimming Centre

Cabarita not only has the Inner West’s only beach, it also has an excellent pool complex. If you prefer to swim laps, the Cabarita Swimming Centre is the place for you. The swimming centre has an eight-lane, 50-metre Olympic pool set to a comfortable 27°C. With yachts moored at the marina bobbing in the water beside it, it’s a picturesque spot for a lap session. There’s also a leisure pool to cool off in and a toddler pool covered in shade cloth – so the little ones are protected from the sun and can paddle at any time throughout the day.

COVID-19 update: high touch areas – such as lockers and bubblers – are currently unavailable. Patrons are advised to leave their valuables at home. Goggles cannot be loaned. Patrons are encouraged to shower at home after swimming or limit shower time at the facility. Please see the Cabarita Swimming Centre website for more details.

Sydney Olympic Park

The Aquatic Centre at Sydney Olympic Park is a world-class venue, but the addition of family-friendly facilities have made it a great destination for recreation year-round. Little ones will love Splasher’s Playground, and there’s a water slide and whirlpool for older kids and adults who are young at heart. From January 4 to 24 2021 there will be giant inflatables, including the Disney Frozen Slide, the Log Jammer Extreme, the Atomic Drop with the Runout, and the Hurricane Superslide.

COVID-19 update: the sauna, steam room, and all spas are closed until further notice. General admission and casual entry for recreational and lap swimming are at limited capacity and must be booked online. Please see the Aquatic Centre website for more details.

Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre

The Leichhardt Aquatic Centre could lay claim to the most family friendly spot for a dip in the Inner West. There are six pools to choose from: the Olympic pool, diving pool, two indoor pools (one for toddlers), a mushroom pool and a hydrotherapy pool. There is a grassed area to spread out on and have a picnic (and a nap!), or the Blu Aqua Kiosk serves coffee, smoothies and healthy meals to enjoy on the deck. If you have the littlies in tow, there is a creche onsite that you can book them in to so you can relax by the pool. The Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre is the kind of place you could easily spend an entire day swimming.

COVID-19 update: bookings are required for group fitness classes, and members must bring a towel when attending the gym or group fitness classes. Patrons are advised to minimise their time in the bathrooms, change rooms and shower facilities. Please see the Leichhardt Aquatic Centre website for more details.

Drummoyne Swimming Centre

Tucked under the Iron Cove Bridge, the Drummoyne Swimming Centre is hard to miss as you drive by, especially on a hot day when the sun is glistening off the blue water and you’re longing for a swim. The 50-metre, eight lane outdoor pool overlooks the Parramatta River and is a convenient spot to cool off or do a few laps.

COVID-19 update: high touch areas – such as lockers and bubblers – are currently unavailable. Patrons are advised to leave their valuables at home. Goggles cannot be loaned. Patrons are encouraged to shower at home after swimming or limit shower time at the facility. Please see the Drummoyne Swimming Centre website for more details.

Chiswick Baths

A relatively undiscovered spot, Chiswick Baths is a small harbour pool at the end of Chambers Reserve. It’s a serene place to submerge yourself and, more often than not, you won’t find many other swimmers here. In fact, you may have it all to yourself. Enclosed by a shark net and a childproof fence, a small set of stairs leads down to the cool water – bliss.

After all that swimming the whole family will have worked up a serious appetite. Why not head to the Canada Bay Club for dinner? Kids eat free in The Brasserie on Monday and Tuesday evenings and at Baysia on Monday nights.

Image Source: Dannette’s Travels


Canada Bay Club in Sydney's Inner West has been a meeting place for the local community for more than 50 years. Since opening in 1966, the culturally diverse club has grown froma small social sports centre to a club with state-of-the-art function rooms, two restaurants, live entertainment, kids' arcade, and health and fitness classes for its 20,000+ members.


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