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Marrinawi Cove: A new harbour swimming spot

Last month, the state government opened Marrinawi Cove, at the northern end of Barangaroo Reserve, as a brand-new area for swimming. For decades, the cove was a polluted industrial maritime site but has now been given the go-ahead for recreational swimming, thanks to the renewal of the Barangaroo site and clean-up of our waterways.

We visited the cove one cloudy but warm Saturday morning to check it out. Unlike so many of Sydney’s harbour beaches, Marrinawi Cove was not overly busy at all.

Outlined by large sandstone blocks and surrounded by the reserve’s lush landscaping, the narrow cove is a pleasant novel place for swimming. We easily found a spot for our towels and belongings on the steps along the east side of the cove.

The water itself was clear and free of debris. Authorities have warned that the water quality does vary and can be more polluted immediately after heavy rain, which of course applies to any beach.

The swimming area is enclosed by safety netting to prevent any sharks from entering the cove (phew). Younger kids may enjoy splashing in the shallows along the steps while competent swimmers may prefer to swim out to the net and watch the passing ferries and boats.

Immediately adjacent to the site, there is a shower, toilet block, bike racks and a drinking fountain.

Marrinawi Cove is easily accessed by car via Towns Place, with ample paid street parking on Towns Place and Hickson Road. It can also be reached by bus along Hickson Road or a 15-minute walk from Wynyard Station.

The state government has said that it will add decking and ladders to the site once it has reviewed usage at the end of the summer.

The government is currently exploring other urban swimming spots, including further sites at Barangaroo Reserve and Pirrama Park in Pyrmont. Last year Canada Bay Council reopened Bayview Park on the Parramatta River at Concord for the first time since 1969.

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