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Bermagui Blue Pool
Bermagui, New South Wales

The Blue Pool is a spectacular (salt water) ocean pool in the sleepy seaside town of Bermagui on the New South Wales south coast. There are two pools - a small toddler pool and a larger main pool that is long enough to swim laps in. The pool offers ringside views of the Pacific Ocean, situated between a tall, exposed cliff wall on one side and a low rock ledge looking out over the ocean on the other. Swimming in the Bermagui Blue Pool Above: Doing laps at sunrise in the Bermagui Blue Pool (Order this image)

I find the best time to swim here is at low tide on the morning after a hot day. At this time the seas are usually calm, the winds still, and the thermal energy stored in the bank of rock behind the pool takes the chill off the water so that it is much warmer than the ocean.
Bring your snorkel and mask if you want to see some sea life in a reasonably safe environment. The far end of the pool is the best for snorkelling, where the bedrock walls close in to create a deep channel where slightly larger fish can be found. The visibility for spotting fish and aquatic vegetation is usually excellent at low tide. Swimming in the Bermagui Blue Pool Above: Swimmers and snorkellers in the Bermagui Blue Pool (Order this image)

There are times when the Blue Pool is less suitable for swimming. In some warmer summers, mats of algae have developed quickly to shut down the pool for days or weeks at a time, until either the council removes the algae, or some big seas flush the algae out at high tide. At times the wind can blow a gale here, so much that you will lose your hat if you do not hang onto it. When the wind is like this, you need a pair of goggles to be able to swim to the far end of the pool, otherwise there is constant spray off the wavelets on the water hitting your eyes.
During very high tides in rough seas, the pool gets a good flush, but it can be too rough to swim in. The toddler pool can sometimes be a bit stagnant, and occasionally the main pool will choke with weed if seas have been calm in summer for a few weeks.

Apart from the aquatic life in the pool, there is a small colony of seals that bask themselves on a group of rocks in the ocean nearby, and can sometimes be seen holding one flipper in the air when floating in the water. Pause on the steps on the way down to the pool to look out for them.

Here is a video that I took when visiting the Blue Pool. I shot some of it at sunrise on a calm morning and some of it on a windy afternoon when the seas were a bit rougher.

If you arrive at high tide and the pool is unsafe for swimming, there is always the calmer, but less spectacular, Bruce Steer Pool just beside the harbour entrance in town.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Scenic Drive, Bermagui, 380 km (approx. 5 hrs 30 mins drive) south of Sydney and 250 km (approx. 3 hr 20 min drive) south east of Canberra.
Latitude:-36.429597 Longitude:150.083993
Getting there: The pool is up the hill, a few minutes east of the town centre, on Scenic Drive, which is accessible from either Lamont Street or Murrah Street. Bermagui is on Sapphire Coast Drive, which is the coastal road from Merimbula to Narooma.

Facilities: Toilets, change rooms, tables, car park, scenic lookout
Entrance fee: Not applicable
Water temperature: Cool
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Rubber step entry with sand/rock bottom
Maximum water depth: 1-2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Experienced
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No alcohol, no littering, no dogs.
Sun shade: No shade available in or out of the water
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Managing authority: Bega Valley Shire Council
Nearby attractions: The Bermagui Gelati Clinic at the wharf for all your medicinal gelati needs or the nearby Bruce Steer pool.
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. Specific to this site, the managing authority advises swimmers not to enter the water during heavy seas. In 2016 part of the pool wall washed away in heavy seas (and has since been repaired), highlighting how powerful the ocean can be at these times.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the pool. If the map is not zoomed in locally, as can sometimes occur when loading, simply click or tap on "View Larger Map" below.
View Larger Map
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