It had been a while since the Gs had an outing and a sunny March day (after lots of Sydney rain) was just the opportunity to head over the Bridge to the delightful Fairy Bower Ocean Pool , in Cabbage Tree Bay in Manly. It was like going on a mini holiday partly because the blue shutters, white washed walls and cute cafes at the end of Bower Lane gave the area a quaint Greek village feel.
This small triangle shaped pool constructed by local residents in 1929 is located half way on the walk between Manly and Shelly Beach.
The concrete base was is a little slippery making the walk and talk stroke a bit difficult. On our visit the water was a beautiful temperature, clean and clear.
Access is great down a newly built set of steps with a handrail at
the shallow end as well as a small ladder at the deep end. We
estimated that is was about 30m long.
We enjoyed a quick dip
here and on our visit saw someone having swimming lessons in it.
The pool appears best suited for kids as well and splashing about
rather than lap swimming. There was a group of people doing a diving course off the rocks near the pool which added to the atmosphere.
For sunlovers there are adjacent rocks to loll on, read and watch the sea or people watch. We saw a lovely young man imitating “The sunbather” by Anne Zahalka
Nearby there is a change room and toilet
but no shower- you need to walk down to Manly Beach for more
For more serious swimming in the surf Shelly Beach is a few
minutes walk down the path and a great swim. Mrs G, Mrs B and
Mrs L have braved the rollicking crowds at other times to do the
wonderful Cole Classic starting at Shelly Beach.
Some pluses were the location – lots of cafes and great art
deco buildings with old world ambience close by. As opposed to the
other pools we have visited this is very much in the public eye with
its proximity to the walkway.
The other point of interest is the quirky public artworks embracing
the rocks and on the pool. We really loved the wonderful curvy
sculpture at the pool “ Oceanides” by Helen Leete which forms a stunning arch at the edge of the pool.
This little urban treasure is well worth another visit coupled with
lunch and a ferry trip to make a great day out!!