Cool alternatives to busy Sydney beaches

When temperatures hit summer highs, you don’t have to head for the beach to cool down. There are some beautiful bushland swimming spots within an easy drive of Winston Hills and Baulkham Hills that offer a refreshing alternative to crowded beaches. And if you’re keen to hone your swimming skills or have a family day out sans sand, we have some great aquatic centres and kids’ water-play parks nearby, too. 

Jellybean Pool, Glenbrook

Set in the Blue Mountains National Park, this lovely swimming spot in Glenbrook Creek has its own sandy beach and is surrounded by trees, which give it plenty of shade on hot days.  The pool is about 30 minutes’ walk from the Glenbrook Trail Visitor Centre, where there’s access to toilets and drinking water; or you can drive past the entry gates (fees apply) right down to Jellybean carpark. Check the website before you go for weather and water conditions.
Glenbrook, Blue Mountains National Park, Bruce Road entrance
About 48 kilometres from Winston Hills 

Lake Parramatta 

The 10.5-hectare lake is popular for swimming and boating (you can hire rowing boats, pedal boats and kayaks there), and facilities such as a playground, café, picnic areas and barbecues make this a great place for a family day out. Lifeguards are on duty at weekends in the summer, which is reassuring if you have young children. There are some beautiful bushwalks around the lake: the She-Oak Track (1.5km), Banksia Track (2.4km) and Lake Circuit (4.2km).
Lackey Street via Bourke Street, North Parramatta
About 6 kilometres from Winston Hills 
More info: Lake Parramatta

Yarramundi Reserve

This broad, shallow stretch of water is located at the confluence of the Grose and Hawkesbury-Nepean Rivers in the Blue Mountains National Park. People flock here in summer for swimming, canoeing, fishing, birdwatching and horse-riding – there are also off-leash areas for dogs. It is not patrolled and visitors are advised that the water depth can vary in places. Access is from Springwood Road, Yarramundi, with a main entrance and car park on the northern side of Springwood Road and a second entrance on the southern side, adjacent to the Yarramundi Bridge.
LOT 7301 Springwood Rd, Yarramundi
About 37 kilometres from Winston Hills
More info: Yarramundi Reserve

Crosslands Reserve

It’s hard to believe Crosslands Reserve is in a suburb of Sydney – this peaceful bush sanctuary is within the Berowra National Park in Hornsby Heights. There are several swimming spots along this part of Berowra Creek, which is on the upper reaches of the Hawkesbury River inlet. Bear in mind that it’s tidal; you can check the condition of the water before you leave home here. There are unpowered camping sites in the reserve, which must be booked through Hornsby Shire Council, and facilities include electric barbecues, toilets, a children’s playground and bike track, and picnic shelters. 
Somerville Road, Hornsby Heights
About 32 kilometres from Winston Hills
More info: Crosslands Reserve

Local aquatic centres

While Waves Aquatic Centre in Baulkham Hills is closed for an extensive upgrade, there are many other Council swimming centres nearby, including:

  • Blacktown Aquatic Centre 
  • Blacktown Leisure Centre Stanhope 
  • Charlie Lowles Leisure Centre Emerton 
  • Epping Aquatic Centre 
  • Galston Aquatic and Leisure Centre 
  • Granville Swimming Centre 
  • Guilford Swimming Centre 
  • Hawkesbury Oasis
  • Hornsby Aquatic and Leisure Centre 
  • Lidcombe-Auburn Ruth Everuss Centre
  • Mount Druitt Swimming Centre 
  • Penrith Council Swimming Centre
  • Riverstone Swimming Centre 
  • Ryde Aquatic Leisure Centre 
  • Merrylands Swimming Centre 
  • Wentworth Swimming Centre 
  • Willoughby Leisure Centre  

Having lived and worked in The Hills District for a long time, our team at Westons Property & Co knows the region intimately. If you have any lifestyle, home or property related questions, feel free to give us a call.

Image: Lake Parramatta