“I think this is it,” I say to my sister-in-law Kay as we stand in front of pools of water and ochre rocks. “Is this the bogey hole?” I ask a woman in an Australian flag bikini. “To tell you the truth, I have no idea,” she says. We continue walking along the sand and[…]Read More
Just before Christmas a journalist from an online publication, Vice Australia, contacted me about a story she was doing on McIver’s Ladies Baths at Coogee. She wanted to speak to regulars about the ocean pool and get some comments on what sets it apart from other baths in Sydney. As I said to Neha Kale, I[…]Read More
The tide was high and the swell was up when we arrived at Wylie’s Baths this morning. It looked a bit like a washing machine and my niece Rosie and I weren’t sure about going in. But the lifeguard said it’s okay, just don’t go too close to the north end as a big wave[…]Read More
At the end of May, we travelled to Venice to be at the opening of The Pool – Australia’s exhibition at the 2016 Architecture Biennale. The exhibition celebrates the pool in its many natural and man-made forms in Australian life, culture, identity and architecture. I contributed photos and material to the book and broadsheet accompanying[…]Read More
On the balcony at Leichhardt Park Aquatic Centre I watch the bodies lapping up and down and observe the different swimming styles. That girl’s head is too high and that man’s is way too low. If only the woman in the pink cap would reach out further and if she straightened her legs she’d glide[…]Read More
As I crawled up the Pacific Highway on Saturday morning, I wondered if I was going to make it to the West Pymble Pool. But after Chatswood the traffic began to flow and it wasn’t long before I reached Gordon where my friend Margie B was waiting for me. For more than a year Marg and[…]Read More
Dawn Fraser Baths became an outdoor gallery this weekend showing paintings by Ian Chapman, the pool’s artist in residence last winter. Mr Chapman’s paintings captured the colours, characters, architecture and mood of the historic baths that first opened back in the early 1880s. The exhibition was part of Leichhardt Council’s annual LOST (Leichhardt Open Studio Trail) which this year featured nearly 60 galleries, studios and events across Balmain, Rozelle, Lilyfield and Camperdown.
The first time I went to Greenwich Baths I wasn’t very impressed. I was only about 6 or 7 and they seemed makeshift compared to the solid structures at my local tidal pool, Northbridge Baths. The low tide also coloured my view as its never the best time to swim at a harbour pool. When we[…]Read More
With the tide almost reaching the two metre mark, yesterday Bruce and I and my sister and her kids went for a swim at Woolwich Baths. The simple baths on the Lane Cove River used to be known as ‘Mooney’s mud hole’ after the chap who lived behind the ticket booth and shop (no longer there) in a large canvas tent with wooden floor.
In the 1950s and 60s Mr Mooney looked after the pool and taught some of the locals to swim among the jelly blubbers and occasional blue swimmer crabs. For my sister and I, products of Northbridge Baths, another Sydney harbour pool, swimming in the high tide, salt water was bliss, and Bruce, Will, Rosie and Mary thought it was pretty good too!