Monday, 30 October 2006

Blackheath Pool

29 October, 2006. Blackheath Pool, in the Blue Mountains west of Sydney, is beautifully situated amongst rhododendrons and grassy parkland.
Simon Hare has a blog on behalf of Friends of Blackheath Pool and Memorial Park <- <- take a look, you won't be sorry!

Thursday, 26 October 2006

Melbourne City Baths

These beautiful Edwardian Baths started off as public baths (for bathing) and urinals. After dereliction, and closure in 1899 they were re-designed and re-opened, including two swimming pools, in March 1904. Men and women had separate entrances (the signs are still seen on the facade), and there were first class baths upstairs, and second class in the basement.

There were also Turkish and vapour baths, a Jewish ceremonial bath - Mikvah bath and a laundry.

Mixed bathing was introduced in 1947.

In the 1980s, in disrepair, they were nearly closed, but were saved in 1983 by a public campaign and $4 million refurbishment.

More information: Website; Centenary Celebrations; Swimmers Guide Category: Public

Sunday, 15 October 2006

Carss Park

14 October 2006.

Today I went for a swim here at Carss Park. I have to say I wasn't all that impressed. I used to go here for school swimming classes. What was once quite a nice outdoor pool with grass surrounds has been leased by the Council to a private swimming coach. It has been built up as a fitness and training centre. To get in you must walk through the shop area, and then the pool itself has been surrounded by blue artificial turf and clear plastic sheeting. There are advertising banners all around, and there was a terrible radio station blaring in the background all the time (with some really off-colour 'comedy').

As well, every time anyone entered or exited there was a loud beeping noise that penetrated the whole area.Most of the grass is weedy and scratchy with lots of dirt - you wouldn't want to lie around on it.I guess this pool serves its purpose - mainly training and swimming lessons, but there are more inviting environments!

On top of all that, the entrance was relatively expensive - $ 5 for adults.

The women's change rooms are hard to get to - down a narrow alleyway. They are pretty basic, but clean at least. Includes two hot showers (20c coin in slot) - no doors.

Category: Public

Saturday, 14 October 2006

Botany Aquatic Centre

I've been here a few times, as my son's primary school District swimming carnivals were held here. Today we headed over there on a hot Sydney day, and had a great time.

3 pools - babies, medium, and Olympic. 2 lanes were set aside for laps, which was pretty good considering the numbr of people cooling off in the general area at peak time.

One big atttraction for the kid is the giant waterslide. ($2.55 per ride, or $6 for a half hour session) As well, there's a kiosk (chips, pies, ice creams, sandwiches and soft drinks), coin in the slot (20c) barbecues, a children's playground, and lots and lots and lots of grass and shade. The changing areas are pretty basic, but the toilets are clean (even if they have those horrible half-size doors in the Ladies'). Warm showers 20c.

Entry: Adults $3.60. Kids $2.30. Concession $2.60. Local pensioners: free
Category: Public
Website: Botany Aquatic Centre

Thursday, 12 October 2006

Bexley Swimming Centre 1

I love suburban public swimming pools. To me this is a "real pool" - the sort I learned to swim in, the sort I spent my summers in as a kid. Though nowadays they are often heated, and, like Bexley, open year round.

The outdoor Olympic pool is really iconic Australian. Every country town, many suburbs and city areas have such pools. Sydney City Council has six Olympic pools - some indoor - like Cook + Philip Park and the new Ian Thorpe pool - currently under construction, many outdoor - Victoria Park, Prince Alfred park, Andrew Boy Charlton.

Bexley's merits include: refurbished change rooms that are sparkling clean, and include warm showers, a Family Change room, so parents and kids of both genders can change together, grassy areas for relaxing, shady areas, beautiful clean water, excellent opening hours [ Mon - Fri 5.30 am - 8.30 pm Oct to April, - 7.30 pm the rest of the year; Sunday and public holidays 9am- 7pm. Only closed Christmas Day and Good Friday].

As well as the Olympic pool, there’s a toddlers’ wading pool (fully fenced separately) and a medium pool for lessons and younger kids and their parents.

As well, there is plentiful, free parking and a nice bush-like setting, shop for all your junk food needs, and, at an extra charge a spa, steam room and gym.

All that, and it’s extremely well managed, with good supervision and no tolerance of bad behaviour (which doesn’t mean kids can’t have FUN!)

Entrance $ 4.50 adults / $ 3.50 kids and concessions.

Category: Public
More: Swimmers Guide

Bexley Swimming Centre 2

The Entrance

Main 50metre pool

Grassy area with shade

Family change area - never seen this before at a pool


Spa, gym and steam room (extra charge)

Monday, 9 October 2006

Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool, Wooloomooloo Bay, Sydney

The four photos above were taken 21 Oct 2007, the following ones 9th october, 2006.

Sydney is blessed with an abundance of marvellous swimming pools.

This one on part of the Harbour called Wooloomooloo Bay, with a redeveloped Finger Wharf behind is simply beautifully located.

Andrew 'Boy' Charlton (the nickname comes from the fact that he was only 14 when he came to prominence, in 1921). He won a gold medal at the 1924 Olympics in Paris, swimming 1500 metres in 20 mins 6.6 seconds. He swam in 1928 in 1932 Olympics, won a further 3 silver and 1 bronze medal, and broke 5 world records.

Category: Public Pool website

More info: Swimmers Guide

Sunday, 8 October 2006

Prince Alfred Park Pool, Surry Hills, Sydney

Category: Public. Website.

"Popular for its old world charm" means it hasn't been renovated and is a bit neglected. It seems though that there are plans to redevelop it, announced today 9 October 2006. More here.

This pool used to have an ice rink next to it; it closed in the 1980s.

Looks like Sydney City Council has plans for another pool in the city area.

Victoria Park Pool, Chippendale, Sydney

Right in front of Sydney Uni (which has its own 50m indoor pool), this pool is very popular with lap swimmers and families (and when I was passing, trainee scuba divers). I have swum here, and it's great; the lane discipline is fairly tight.

Once in the 1970s I attended a rock concert in the park - the acts performed on the roof of the pool building.

Category: Public. Website

More: Swimmers Guide

Friday, 6 October 2006

Fitness First, Rockdale

At 6.01 am most weekday mornings, I am the first to slip into the pool at the gym. I swim 1.5 kms, which takes about 38 minutes...(which means I won't be challenging Grant Hackett, the current short course - 25 m pool - world record holder's 14:10:10 or his long course - 50m - record at 14:34:56 any time soon!)

Some mid-winter mornings I've had the pool to myself the entire time. Now it's light at that time, a few more lappers arrive as well, though I still generally get the first few minutes to myself...I love that solitude - just me and the water.I love the silky feel of the water as I glide through it, and it's a great way to start the day. I prefer the lane second from the left (for some reason I can't explain).

I can't imagine my life without swimming. I remember teaching myself to swim at about age 4, and it's been my preferred form of physical activity for the past 45 years.

Category: Private. Gym Membership required. Can visit as guest of a member.