Thursday, 2 April 2009

Malabar Pool

Probably my last rock pool of this summer. Malabar is a very quiet pool, thoroughly local. No glamour here, no cafes full of "beautiful people", just families enjoying themselves.

Photos taken 23 January 2009

A rock pool has existed here since the 1890s.

Unfortunatley Malabar has had a bad name since an outfall carrying abattois waste from Homebush was built in 1916. By the 1970s the pool and bay were declared off-limits due to pollution from what was now a sewerage outfall.

In the early 1990s, a deep ocean outfall was constructed, emptying 4.2 kilometres offshore (I still think it's outrageous Sydney tips its sewerage into the ocean at all, even though it is treated to a certain degree - but not fully, but that's another story).

Local schools requested that the pool be re-opened and the local state Member of Parliament and incoming Premier, Bob Carr, promised funds for it. The restored baths were opened in 1997. Monitoring shows that it is now perfectly clean, and it was certainly looking gorgeous the day I went for a swim there.

Each of the ocan baths has a different character. This one was very quiet, and family-oriented. There are no cafes, and none of the glamour of beaches and pools a little further north...I liked it very much.

See more at the NSW Ocean Baths site.


Suzie said...

greetings from Malaysia...hi there,i'm a beginner swimmer n i found ur blog is inspiring...hopefully one day i can swim better. :-)

freefalling said...

I've told you this before right??
But I'm telling you again.
I LOVE this blog.

Anu said...

This is a wonderful pool, thanks fr showing it here. You have inspired me with this site, it's a joy to browse, keep it happening.

Sally said...

Thanks for the encouraging comments everyone! Keep it up Suzie!

Sophia, NSW said...

Discovered this wonderful blog this past summer and found it very useful thanks. Have rediscovered swimming in seawater (after many years of chlorinated pools - cant go back there!) and loved the information I found here. That's how I found Malabar pool. Do not know however, whether this and other ocean pools are monitored regularly, but I found that Malabar had too much algae in it (took me ages to wash it out of my hair when I got home). The ramp leading into the water was almost always full of rubbish including on occasion dead fish! From a health point of view (many young children swim there) I found this to be a concern, although the kids were intrigued by the "wildlife" albeit dead! This was my first summer there, and perhaps it was just unfortunate, however the pool is beautifully situated in a pleasant spot , and on good days, it's nice.

Suzy said...

I found your website this week and have really enjoyed reading through it, especially the information on rock pools. We visited Malabar this morning, inspired by you, and had a lovely swim. Thanks so much for sharing your information and beautiful photos. I think we'll try a different rock pool tomorrow.

Graeme said...

In the 70s and 80s, Long Bay (Malabar) was a place to ride a board, or in my case a mat, when there were huge SE swells. Everyone knew to keep their head out of the water.

With Botany pool now in hibernation, I’ve been exploring sheltered alternatives in the general area. Malabar pool, or to be precise the part where the seats are, is surprisingly sheltered. A nice place to settle back and relax between swims. You could forget you are in a large city if not for the huge STW vent stack across the bay, just (purposely?) out of your last photo. Also, re photos, the octopus sign is now unreadable, but there are ‘snake’ signs further into the bay.

Unfortunately the first twice I went there the pool itself was closed for cleaning. A local told me there is no schedule for this. Third time lucky it was open. The water is now very clean, indeed clear enough for a snorkeler to be present, but its temperature (reputedly 17°C) was a bit of a shock. The same local told me they swim here all year round. I guess if you can deal with the wild life, then cool water is nothing. I’m not that tough, so I might save it for the warmer months.