Fairlight Rock Pool

Fans of our blog must have gleaned by now there are 2 Mrs Gs, but we are quite different to each other. Now the truth comes out. There is Mrs G night and Mrs G morning. Now Mrs G morning wakes up bright and early and cheery. You can’t talk to Mrs G night in the morning until she has had a caffeine infusion and a swim to wake up. Despite this Mrs G morning ganged up on her fellow G spotter with an even brighter morning person in bearing the initial B.

Together Mrs B and Mrs G morning dragged their friend up to leave the safety of the Eastern suburbs  at 6am and head north without even a coffee. What was so important for G of the night to get up at 5:30 for? It was to join the famous Bold and Beautiful  swimmers at Manly.

On arrival we were warmly welcomed by a happy and lively group of morning people outside Manly Life Saving Club who gave us the stunning pink caps to wear. Really these folk are a very impressive bunch who swim every day of the week all year round from Manly to Shelly Beach and back at 7am.The surf to us looked a little rough and so we took the walk to Shelly beach and then met them half way. These great people even stopped on the swim  and cared to ask how we were going. We will be back again to do the full course with them. Even G of the night agreed to get up and come again.


We felt that we were bold but maybe not so beautiful at that time of day.

The water was a touch cold but a perfect temperature to wake Mrs night G up. Suddenly she began talking again, once that happened there was no stopping her. Especially after the coffee served at the Boathouse at Shelly beach. It was not only a great coffee but presented so beautifully as well. Now we were all happy and raring to go.

So on we went. This time to Fairlight Rock Pool located close to Manly Cove and next to Fairlight Beach.

The pool can be accessed via a laneway off Fairlight crescent to get down to Beach. It is along the Spit to Manly walk and there are a lot of little passageways to get there.


The pool itself sits directly opposite the heads. You feel like if the wall wasn’t there and you kept going you would head straight out through the heads to New Zealand.


When we were there it was high tide and the water was washing up to the stairs and above the wall. If the little wire fence wasn’t sitting on top of the wall we could have been washed away. The solid wall makes it very safe from the nasty sharks but because it sits opposite the heads it has the feeling of an ocean pool rather than a harbour as the waves wash in. By counting our strokes we estimated the pool to be about 30m in length with an authentic “ocean” bottom. So authentic in fact we saw a few fish and a baby stingray hiding amongst the seaweed.


There were very few people there but we managed to meet a couple of the quirky locals. A lady with long grey hair having her morning dip chatting to a chewing gum chewing man.

If you don’t have a car you could easily catch the ferry and walk from Manly Ferry Wharf or if you really wanted to you could kayak there. Depends where you are coming from.

There is a unisex toilet block and change room and also an outdoor shower.

After a good swim here the Gs were finally fully satisfied.

On googling Fairlight pool we came across one story worthy of being shared and that is the story of Albert Barry who lived nearby. Albert Barry had been a competitive swimmer prior to World War I but as a result of the war he lost a leg and gave up swimming. One morning in 1932 he heard cries of help coming from the pool. Grabbing is crutches he hobbled down to the pool as fast as he could he threw them aside and dived into the pool and saved the woman from drowning.