Pool Landscaping Ideas For Australian Backyards (2024)

Pool Landscaping Ideas For Australian Backyards (1)

These days, owning a pool is not just about being able to cool off in the privacy of your own backyard, it’s also an opportunity to create a complete outdoor living zone. All you need is the right equipment and some great ideas to bring perfect pool landscaping to life.

In Australia, pool landscaping possibilities are endless. Some homeowners opt for a tranquil, green oasis with plants, rocks and waterfalls. Others prefer to add a pergola to protect against the elements. And other Aussies love a poolside alfresco zone for entertaining from dawn till dusk – and beyond.

But if landscaping around your pool feels daunting, you’re certainly not alone. Costs for outsourcing landscaping projects can quickly tally up, but with a little elbow grease and the right gear, DIY pool landscaping is not only possible, but it’s also cost-effective and infinitely rewarding.

DIY Pool Landscaping Ideas For Australian Homes

We’ve teamed up with Kennards Hire to gather the top tips and ideas when it comes to DIY pool landscaping. Find out what kinds of features are possible to take on yourself and the gear you’ll need for the job.

First, Have A Clear Plan

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When you start planning your project, ensure you have a clear idea of how you want to use your pool area. Are you after some gentle landscaping for a lap or exercise pool? Or do you want your pool to be a major feature of your entertaining area, complete with an outdoor dining table, barbecue and pool house?

Once you are clear on how you intend to use your poolside area, the next step is to create a diagram of your vision and mark out where all the elements will go. This includes marking out fencing, pavers, lighting, decking, rocks, plants, and irrigation systems. You’ll also want to make sure utilities (water, gas and electricity) will be available where they are needed.

Add Slopes To Your Pool Landscaping

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Natural bodies of water, like lakes and rivers, often have natural slopes down to the water’s edge. You can mimic this natural look in your pool landscaping by building a slope down the pool, planting native shrubs and adding rockery around the area. And if you want to go one step further, consider adding a waterfall that cascades over rocks into the pool. This is a spectacular addition to magnesium pools.

To create a slope or to move large rocks into place, you’ll need equipment such as a mini loader or a skid steer (bobcat). Both of these handy helpers are brilliant when it comes to earth-moving landscaping, digging trenches and levelling the ground and you can operate them yourself without any special training. Check out the video to find out how to use a skid steer.

Remember, before operating a skid steer, it is imperative that you lodge a Before You Dig enquiry, to ensure you are not going to hit any underground pipes, scaffolding or powerlines.

Go Green!

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Plants make a huge difference to the overall feel of a pool area, and the hardest part of adding more greenery is knowing which plants are best.

Kennards advise looking for non-deciduous plants (plants that don’t lose their leaves annually). If you don’t, you could be spending most of your swimming time fishing leaves, cones, needles and sticks from your pool filter.

Recommended plants include native shrubs and grasses, hardy succulents, evergreen ferns and palm trees. Of course, you’ll also need to take into account whether your plants will be exposed to frost, wind, direct sun and shade when you make your final choice.

If you want to add mature plants to bring your garden together quicker, you could hire a mini loader with a post-hole attachment for larger trees, or a post-hole digger for shrubs and small trees.

Fence Your Pool Area

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Not only does a fence offer privacy, look great and give your pool a dedicated area, but it’s a legal requirement in Australia too.

By law, your pool will need an appropriate safety fence to be compliant. Australian regulations stipulate a barrier of at least 1.2m high around a pool, so you’ll need to factor this into your landscape plan.

If budget permits, you could outsource your fencing to a licensed builder. Or, if you have the time, hire a fence post digger and build your own timber fence in as little as a few days!

Add Decking Or Paving To Complete The Picture

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One of the most critical things to keep in mind when planning decking for a pool is the maintenance factor and heat of the surface. Composite is a great option for the minimal effort required to maintain it and its lovely smooth surface.

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Paving or concrete is another flooring option for your pool zone – and both are available in a huge range of colours and textures. (If you do opt for paving, familiarise yourself with how to maintain pavers the right way – it all starts with installation!)

Solid ground coverings like these provide the right surface for adding other features like a nearby safe backyard fire pit or outdoor dining area.

Your local Kennards Hire branch is the best place to start for equipment and advice on getting your summer pool planning underway!

Looking for more outdoor inspiration for summer living? Take a peek at our shortlist of Australia’s coolest outdoor bean bags!


  • landscaping
  • pools
Pool Landscaping Ideas For Australian Backyards (2024)


What is the best landscaping to put around an above ground pool? ›

Plant palm trees and other greenery

One of the criticisms of above-ground pools is that they don't blend into the surroundings of backyards very easily. By planting some taller trees and other shorter greenery around your pool area, you can help with this.

What is the best facing backyard for a pool? ›

In general, it is advisable to locate the pool in a space where it receives the sun's rays for a longer time. This means that, in general terms, the ideal is for the location of the pool to be facing South, since in this way the pool would receive sunlight throughout the day.

What can I put around my above ground pool to make it look nice? ›

What can I put around my above-ground pool to make it look good? One of the best ways to make your above-ground pool look more like an integrated fixture in your backyard rather than a standalone eyesore is to build a deck around it.

Why do people put rocks around above-ground pools? ›

It is common to add rocks or mulch around the perimeter of an above-ground pool as this can be aesthetically pleasing in addition to helping to prevent erosion and stop grass and other foliage from growing against the wall of the pool.

What are the best plants around pools Australia Evergreen? ›

Evergreen leaves and grass

Choose planting evergreens such as mondo grass and hardy perennial flowers to eliminate the low mess from cleaning dead leaves and flowers. This way, you wouldn't clog up the pool filter with organic waste throughout the year.

What are the best perennial plants for around the pool? ›

No-Mess Plants: Perennials

Others to consider include Hosta, Liriope, small ornamental grasses, Sedums, Sages, and Spurge. Make sure the plants you choose are adapted your specific light conditions, especially Hosta and Heucheras, as some can take full sun while others require full shade.

What shrubs are good for pool area? ›

Around a pool, use shrubs that have minimal shedding, and consider using shrubs that do not lose their leaves in the fall. Choose an evergreen variety for easy maintenance, like Little Ollies. This fruitless shrub variety of the olive tree is elegant with light gray-green leaves. Or try the typical boxwood.

How to make your pool look expensive? ›

Some of the more popular choices include tiles, pavers, composite wood, brick and stamped concrete. Even ordinary pavers take on a luxurious feel when they're laid in an interesting pattern. For a modern look, opt for large tiles made from slate or some other natural stone.

How do I get an expensive look around my pool? ›

Here are three ways to jazz up your outdoor pool to make your yard look like a celebrity's.
  1. Up Your Pool Maintenance Routine. Nothing ruins the aesthetic of a pool more than dirt, leaves, floaties, and grime. ...
  2. Add Gorgeous Plants. ...
  3. Invest in Some Luxurious Accessories.
Sep 30, 2021

How do you landscape privacy around a pool? ›

Install a Trellis Panel/Lattice Screen

A lattice screen is an affordable option for pool privacy. These thin strips of wood are typically woven into a diagonal pattern with openings in the middle. Some people enjoy taking this up a notch and adding plants and creeping vines. This adds yet another layer of privacy.

What can I put around my pool to keep grass from growing? ›

Consider mulch and rocks

Many homeowners avoid this problem altogether and use mulch or rocks instead.

Should you put mulch around a pool? ›

1. Use rock rather than mulch in planting beds. If possible, refrain from using mulch in planting beds in close proximity to the pool. Mulch can be displaced rather easily and, if used near the pool, will inevitably end up in the water.

Should pool be close or far from house? ›

Generally speaking for both above and inground pools, your pool should be at least 10 feet or more from your house. This rule of thumb goes for any size pool you may be considering. Again, to get the correct answer, contact your local zoning, your housing or condo association, and determine your local regulations.

Should I mulch or rock around my above ground pool? ›

Use rock rather than mulch in planting beds.

If possible, refrain from using mulch in planting beds in close proximity to the pool. Mulch can be displaced rather easily and, if used near the pool, will inevitably end up in the water. Save yourself the hassle by using decorative rock or gravel in its place.

What is the best rock to put around an above ground pool? ›

Egg rock (or river rock) works great around the pool. It is large enough to stay in place, but it nests well. The rounded edges make it easy to pull any stray weeds that get into it.

How to hide sides of above ground pool? ›

Natural stone makes an excellent pool surround for above ground pools. Stack flat rocks up against the sides of the pool, wrapping it to create a natural look and hide ugly exterior pool walls.

What should you not do with an above ground pool? ›


You should know that you should never drain an above ground pool without filling it back up. This is especially true if it has a vinyl liner.


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