Summer Reads: Top 5 Swimming Destination Books

The summer holidays are a great time to relax and unwind, and what better way to do this than with a book about swimming (when we’re not actually swimming, of course!)

Over three article, I’m going to share with you some of my favourite swimming books.

In this article, I dive into the bookcase to find five books that help us discover new places to swim as well as reminisce about the places we used to.

Each book is part travel guide, part photo essay and part cultural study.

Top 5 Swimming Destination Books


1. Places We Swim: Exploring Australia’s Best Beaches, Pools, Waterfalls, Lakes, Hot Springs and Gorges

I spotted this book in a gift shop down the south coast, with the cover pulling me in. By the time I’d flicked through the pages full of beautiful photography I was inspired. Each destination entry includes information on what makes the swimming spot unique, local knowledge and things to do, see and eat in the area.

Fun fact: The foreword is written by Benjamin Law, who’s participated in our Learn To Ocean Swim clinic.



2. Places We Swim Sydney: A City Guide for Water-loving People

Following on from the success of their first book, the authors have now revealed the very best iconic and hidden places to swim, in and around Sydney. The book is divided into six city regions, encompassing walks and swims within two hours of the CBD, ranging from neighbourhood city pools to ‘gorges that feel like the outback’.



3. Wild Swimming: Sydney Australia: 250 Best Rock Pools, Beaches, Rivers & Waterholes

My copy of this book is tattered and torn as it’s accompanied us on many a day trip. For Sydneysiders and visitors alike, there are more than 250 places to go wild swimming within a short drive of Sydney. Each location has all the details you’ll need to find it and enjoy it at its best.



4. The Memory Pool: Australian Stories of Summer, Sun and Swimming

This very Australian book is less a guide and more a delve back in time to Australians’ childhood obsession with pools – whether ocean, tidal or chlorinated. The author does a fantastic job of retelling the stories of 28 swimmers, including Shane Gould, who recollect their favourite memories and remind us that the pool wasn’t just a way to cool off, it helped form part of our identity.



5. Pool: A Dip Into Outdoor Swimming Pools – The History, Design and People Behind Them

For the fifth book, we go international with a book that celebrates the outdoor pool in countries all over the world – and I can lay claim to swimming in a few of them. It starts with some history, throws in specks of pop culture and makes you feel like you know the place already, through wonderful descriptions and interviews. With the famous Icebergs and local favourite Bronte Baths featuring, this one makes a great coffee table book.


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