Attention pool owners of Sydney. Have you heard about the new backyard aesthetic emerging? Creatively incorporating rocks into pool areas is the year’s coolest and most practical trend – and here’s why. 

Using rocks as part of your pool landscaping is a trend that goes beyond mere visual appeal.

Rock landscaping represents a lifestyle that blends natural aesthetics with the comfort of a personal retreat. But is this trend solely about enhancing beauty, or do practical factors also play a role?

In this article, we’ll answer that question by covering:

  • An overview of the rock landscape
  • The must-know advantages of poolside rocks
  • The top challenges of using rocks around your pool
  • A comparison of rocks vs. other landscaping choices

Like any design choice, rocks provide unique benefits and challenges. Understanding these aspects can guide you in making choices that resonate with your style, budget, and practical needs.

Whether you’re considering an outdoor revamp or simply curious about this trend, join us as we explore this unique landscaping style.


  • If you prioritise a natural and eco-friendly look with low maintenance, rock pool landscaping is an excellent choice.
  • If you prefer design flexibility and have a smaller budget, traditional pool decking or artificial turf may be more suitable.
  • Consider your property’s unique features and your style when making a decision.

Pool Landscaping with Rocks – The Basics

Enhancing your pool area with rocks is more than just a decor choice – it’s about striking a balance between natural elements and man-made designs.

This method involves placing various types and sizes of rocks around pools to boost aesthetics, enhance functionality, and occasionally, increase privacy.

Keep in mind, that this approach isn’t just about placing stones near pools; it’s a comprehensive landscape design philosophy that includes choosing appropriate rock types, colours, and sizes to complement the pool and its surrounding area.

Key aspects of this service involve using natural stones, pebbles, and boulders. Each type serves a specific purpose, from forming natural-looking borders and water features to offering slip-resistant surfaces.

Options range from local sandstone, mirroring Sydney’s natural geology, to exotic stones that add a unique flair. The arrangement is crucial, as it defines the overall ambience and functionality of the pool space.

Advantages of Enhancing Your Pool Areas with Rocks

Aesthetic Appeal

Rocks introduce a natural, earthy element to poolside areas, creating a visually appealing contrast with the smooth water surface. This combination fosters a more inviting and peaceful environment.

Whether using rugged boulders or polished pebbles, the variety in textures and colours opens up a world of design possibilities. They can be used to create landscapes that resemble hidden beaches or mountain springs, right in your Sydney backyard.

Eco-Friendly and Sustainable

Rocks are natural and durable, resisting wear and tear, thus reducing the need for frequent replacements or repairs.

They don’t require the same upkeep as living landscape elements, like grass or plants, helping conserve water and reducing fertiliser and pesticide use. Additionally, using local stones decreases the environmental impact associated with transportation.

Heat Resistance and Safety

Rocks don’t hold heat as much as artificial materials like concrete, offering a cooler, more comfortable surface for bare feet. This feature is crucial for safety, especially in family homes where children often play around the pool.

Low Maintenance and Longevity

Unlike other materials, rocks don’t require regular upkeep, like trimming or watering. They withstand natural elements well, maintaining their appearance over time with minimal care. This makes rock landscape a cost-effective, long-term solution for enhancing outdoor living spaces.

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Increased Property Value

A well-designed and maintained pool area is a sought-after feature in Sydney’s real estate market. The unique and upscale look of rock landscaping sets a property apart, making it more attractive to potential buyers and potentially increasing its market value.

The Challenges of Enhancing Your Pool Areas with Rocks

Initial Cost and Installation Complexity

Natural stone, especially high-quality and imported varieties, can be costly. The labour-intensive installation process, including excavation and precise placement, can also add to the initial expense.

The average cost can range from $5,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on the scope of the project and the type of rocks used.

Limited Design Flexibility

Once placed, large rocks or boulders aren’t easily moved or repositioned. This means that any future redesign or restructuring of the outdoor space might necessitate significant effort and expense.

Homeowners seeking an option that allows for easy changes and updates might find rock landscaping too rigid.

Potential Safety Concerns

Uneven surfaces and sharp edges on certain types of rocks can pose tripping and falling hazards. Ensuring that the rocks used around the pool area are smooth and securely placed is crucial to mitigate these risks.

Requires Professional Maintenance

While rock landscapes are low maintenance compared to other options, they are not entirely maintenance-free. Over time, debris, dirt, and algae can accumulate in the crevices and on the surfaces of the rocks, necessitating professional cleaning to maintain their aesthetic appeal. This maintenance, though infrequent, can add to the long-term cost.

Potential for Heat Absorption

In Sydney’s hot climate, some types of rocks can absorb and retain heat, making them uncomfortably warm to walk on during peak summer days. This is especially true for darker-coloured rocks. Choosing the right type of rock to avoid this issue is important, but it can limit the available options in terms of aesthetics and texture.

Comparing Rock Pool Landscaping to Other Options

Rocks vs. Traditional Pool Decking

Traditional pool decking, often constructed from materials like concrete, pavers, or wood, offers a sharp contrast to rock landscaping. While these materials provide a uniform and clean appearance, they lack the natural, rugged charm inherent in rock landscapes.

Concrete and pavers, for example, can become hot underfoot and require regular maintenance to prevent cracks and wear. Wood decking, although aesthetically pleasing, demands frequent sealing and is vulnerable to weathering and pest damage.

In comparison, rock landscape, with its natural heat resistance, durability, and minimal maintenance requirements, offers an appealing alternative.

Rocks vs. Artificial Turf

Artificial turf is another popular choice for pool surroundings in Sydney, known for its evergreen appearance and low water requirements. However, when compared to natural stone landscape, artificial turf can feel less authentic and may become uncomfortably hot in the sun.

In contrast, rock landscaping maintains a cooler surface and blends seamlessly with the natural environment, enhancing the overall ecological value and aesthetic of the outdoor space.

Rocks vs. Exotic Landscaping

Exotic landscaping, which encompasses elements like tropical plants, water features, and imported materials, is a favoured choice in Sydney’s high-end properties.

While these landscapes create a luxurious and unique environment, they often require extensive maintenance and can be costly to implement and upkeep.

Rockpool landscape, on the other hand, offers a more sustainable and low-maintenance solution, with the added benefit of local ecological integration.

Rocks vs. Minimalist Modern Designs

Minimalist modern pool designs focus on clean lines, and geometric shapes, and often utilise a combination of concrete, glass, and metal. While this style exudes modernity and elegance, it can sometimes feel cold or impersonal.

Rock landscape introduces warmth and a natural aspect that can soften and enhance these modern designs, providing a blend of contemporary and natural elements.

Rock Your Pool: How to Make an Informed Choice

In the world of outdoor aesthetics, rock landscape stands as a testament to the marriage of nature and human ingenuity.

Whether you choose to embrace the rugged charm of rocks or opt for another design, your backyard can become a tranquil oasis, reflecting your individuality and blending seamlessly with Sydney’s natural beauty.

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Ready to Transform Your Poolside Paradise?

If you’re inspired to explore the possibilities of rock pool landscaping for your Sydney home, or if you’re still weighing your options, we at Manna Landscapes are here to help.

Our team of experts is dedicated to bringing your vision to life, tailoring solutions that align with your unique style and preferences.

Whether you’re drawn to the natural elegance of rock landscapes or are considering other options, we offer personalised advice and design insights to guide your decision.

Don’t let your dream backyard remain just a dream. Contact us at Manna Landscapes for a personalised consultation or to get a quote.

Let us help you navigate the possibilities and transform your outdoor space into a stunning, natural oasis that reflects the beauty and spirit of Sydney.

 Contact Manna Landscapes Today

Your perfect landscape is just a stone’s throw away!