Just one hour from Sydney’s CBD lies the picturesque town of Thirroul. Like a step-back in time, Thirroul has a true nostalgia feel to it, taking you back to an era where time moved more slowly, people lived in cute little cottages with picket fences and manicured lawns, and if you took a short stroll from home you’d end up at the milk bar or fish and chip shop.
As soon as we arrived in Thirroul we immediately began to feel calm and relaxed; it was as if we’d left Sydney a world away. Thirroul has a population of just 5,500 who live in homes rather than units, laid out between the railway line and the beach. From wherever you live in Thirroul it doesn’t seem that you’re far from the beach and a pleasant level stroll will have you there within minutes.
The beach is crescent-shaped making it less dangerous and it’s also patrolled. This is not a beach where you’d have to fight for a spot to spread out your towel, or end up with someone obstructing your view; at a kilometre in length there’s plenty of room for everyone.
In front of the glorious beach is the Thirroul Olympic Pool that was built in the 1930’s. It’s a 50-metre pool with lanes marked and the water is pumped in from the sea. Because the water is continually coming in from the ocean, it’s not heated. There’s an additional toddler pool that was being cleaned the day we were there so it was empty. There is plenty of seating around the pool and my only disappointment is that there’s a solid concrete wall between the pool and the beach preventing you from being able to enjoy the ocean view. I understand there is talk of replacing sections of the wall with glass and I believe this is definitely what needs to happen.
The Thirroul Pool has lifeguards who are very chirpy and love a chat. I asked them how much it costs to swim in the pool and they laughed! I was very pleasantly surprised to hear that it’s absolutely free. Like I said, visiting Thirroul is like stepping back into a bygone era where every time you turn around you don’t need to have your hand in your pocket. Thirroul Pool also provides change rooms and showers. There’s no hot water but everything that is provided is free.
Speaking of free, the beach and pool car park are also free. I recently went to Manly Beach and it cost $14.00 to park for two hours. Here at Thirroul you can park your car and no matter how long you’re there, it’s free of charge.
In front of the swimming pool is a very new looking children’s playground. It’s fully fenced and has a terrific variety of playground equipment including a flying fox that once again is free. Beyond the playground is a grassed park where there are electric bar-be-cues and these are also free.
I visited Thirroul for around 24 hours and fell in love with this tiny coastal town that time seems to have forgotten – and all for the better too. I hope Thirroul stays the way that it is so we can all visit for some respite from the chaos that is living in a city that often feels like being in a pressure-cooker.
Before visiting Thirroul I thought it seemed far enough away to be a place to visit for an overnight stay however, I now think Thirroul can be equally enjoyed by visiting for a day. It’s only about an hour from Sydney and less if you’re from the southern suburbs and what you spend in petrol you’ll save in parking fees, bar-be-cue fees and pool entry fees.
Thirroul Beach: The Esplanade, Thirroul Beach NSW 2515
Flanagans Restaurant and Bar: Thirroul Beach Reserve, Cliff Parade, Thirroul NSW 2515 Ph: 02 4268 1598