Gallery

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From Kiama to Coogee and north to Bilgola: a photo essay on six ocean pools
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Handstands and kookaburras welcome a new season at Petersham Pool
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Red and yellow and purple and blue: celebrating the cap swimmers at ocean pools
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Scenes from the morning steam at Leichhardt Pool
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Walking and swimming at Oatley Park and Baths
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From Lockhart to Lameroo: nine country pools in NSW, Victoria and South Australia
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Saturday’s super swell smothers Mahon Pool
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Lunchtime swim at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre
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Friday morning at picturesque Petersham Pool
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Under the surface at Petersham Pool

From Kiama to Coogee and north to Bilgola: a photo essay on six ocean pools

During our hot and humid January, these beautiful ocean pools in Sydney and south to Kiama have kept me cool, calm, revived and inspired.

Handstands and kookaburras welcome a new season at Petersham Pool

  • Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre Petersham, photo Therese Spruhan, 3 October 2018
  • Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre Petersham, photo Therese Spruhan, 3 October 2018
  • Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre Petersham, photo Therese Spruhan, 3 October 2018
  • Handstands at Petersham Pool, Therese Spruhan, 3 October 2018
My first day back for the new season at Petersham Pool started with a mid-stroke wave from Hugh, followed by ‘How ya’ been,’ from hardworking lifeguard Grant, travel stories from Peter, a declaration from Michelle, ‘The water’s like silk’, and an exclamation from Cheryl, “Aren’t we lucky to have this beautiful place’. Kookaburras laughed and butcher birds sang, and after I’d finished my laps, I marked the pool’s reopening with a ‘back to when I was 10-year’s old’ celebratory handstand!

Red and yellow and purple and blue: celebrating the cap swimmers at ocean pools

  • Wylie's Baths Coogee, photo Therese SpruhanYellow cap, Wylie's Baths Coogee, NSW.
  • Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, photo by Therese SpruhanBlue, black, white caps, Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, NSW.
  • McIver's Ladies Baths Coogee, photo Therese SpruhanPurple cap, McIver's Ladies Baths Coogee, NSW.
  • Wylie's Baths Coogee, photo by Therese SpruhanBlue cap, Wylie's Baths Coogee, NSW.
  • Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, photo by Therese SpruhanRainbow cap, Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, NSW.
  • Malabar Ocean Pool, photo Therese SpruhanRed cap, Malabar Ocean Pool, NSW.
  • Edithburgh Tidal Pool, photo by Therese SpruhanWhite cap, Edithburgh Tidal Pool, Yorke Peninsula, SA.
  • Bronte Baths, photo Therese SpruhanFrilly cap, Bronte Baths, NSW.
  • Wylie's Baths Coogee, photo by Therese SpruhanLight blue caps, Wylie's Baths Coogee, NSW.
  • Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, photo Therese SpruhanWhite and blue caps, Ross Jones Memorial Pool Coogee, NSW.
  • McIver's Ladies Baths Coogee, photo by Therese SpruhanRoyal blue cap, McIver's Ladies Baths Coogee, NSW.
  • Werri Beach Rock Pool, photo Therese SpruhanLime green cap, Werri Beach Rock Pool, Gerringong, NSW.
  • Newcastle Ocean Baths, photo Therese SpruhanBlue cap, Newcastle Ocean Baths, NSW.
  • Wombarra Ocean Pool, photo Therese SpruhanBlack cap, Wombarra Ocean Pool, NSW.
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, photo Therese SpruhanNo cap, Mahon Pool Maroubra, NSW.

 

Scenes from the morning steam at Leichhardt Pool

I was about to drive to my local indoor pool this morning but at the last minute I changed my mind. I wanted to swim outdoors and so I headed down the road to Leichhardt Pool where I had the most beautiful swim in the perfect water temperature among the steam!

  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Leichhardt Pool, 29 June 2018, photo Therese Spruhan

Walking and swimming at Oatley Park and Baths

  • Angophoras at Oatley Park Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 February 2018
  • Oatley Park and Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Oatley Park, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Races at the Oatley Amateur Swimming Club, Oatley Baths, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Oatley Amateur Swimming Club races, Oatley Baths, 18 Feb 2018 photo Therese Spruhan
  • Blocks at Oatley Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Dressing sheds, Oatley Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Oatley Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Oatley Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018
  • Concrete blocks at Oatley Baths, Sydney, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 February 2018
  • Pontoon at Oatley Baths, photo Therese Spruhan, 18 Feb 2018

Pink-orange Angophora trees twisting and turning like ballet dancers above a river of blue-green, pathways of sandstone, the sweet smell of the Sydney bush, the camaraderie of the Oatley Amateur Swimming Club, bodies diving off the concrete blocks, retro change rooms, sausages and tomato sauce, a salty taste on my tongue, sand and mud between my toes, the swish of the water, the flow of the tide and the heat of the summer sun.

From Lockhart to Lameroo: nine country pools in NSW, Victoria and South Australia

Travelling to Adelaide through south-west NSW and the Mallee country in Victoria and South Australia over the past couple of days we stopped by nine country pools – Lockhart, Urana and Jerilderie in south-west NSW, Swan Hill’s Richards Swimming Leisure Centre, Sea Lake Pool, Underbool Pool and Murrayville Pool in Victoria and Pinnaroo and Lameroo swimming centres in South Australia.

Built between 1955 and the mid-1980s, they were typified by vast expanses of lawn, simple amenities buildings, quirky signs, 33-metre and wading pools, surviving springboards, slides, retro-style seating and plaques commemorating the official opening of the pools.  If they’d been open I would have loved to have swum at each one but especially I would have enjoyed bouncing off the diving board into the L-shaped Lameroo Pool.

  • The 33 metre pool at Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, August 2017Lockhart Pool in south-west NSW.
  • Plaque at the Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, September 2017Plaque at Lockhart Pool commemorating its opening in 1956.
  • Quirky sign at the Lockhart Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, September 2017Quirky sign at the Lockhart Pool.
  • Urana War Memorial Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Urana War Memorial Pool in south-west NSW opened in 1967.
  • The 33-metre pool and grounds at the Urana War Memorial Pool, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Sunlight shines on Urana's 33-metre pool.
  • Jerilderie Pool in south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Blossom, lawn, babies and middle-sized pools at Jerilderie Swim Centre, south-west NSW.
  • Jerilderie's 25 metre pool with slide, south-west NSW, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Striped shadecloth and slippery slide in Jerilderie's 25-metre pool, south-west NSW.
  • Deniliquin Swim Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Cleaning time at the 50-metre pool at the Deniliquin Swim Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Empty 50-metre pool at the Deniliquin Swim Centre, south-west NSW.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, opened 1984, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill, Victoria.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, opened in 1984, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Diving boards at Swan Hill's Richards Leisure Swimming Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Diving boards at the Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill, Victoria.
  • Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre Swan Hill, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Richards Swimming Pool Leisure Centre, Swan Hill.
  • The 33-metre pool at Sea Lake, Victoria, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Gazanias and the 33-metre pool at Sea Lake, Victoria.
  • Underbool Pool opened in 1977, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Victoria's Underbool Swimming Pool opened in 1977.
  • Underbool Pool opened in 1977, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017The empty Underbool Pool, Victoria.
  • Murrayville Pool Victoria, opened in 1955, 25-metre pool, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Victoria's Murrayville Pool was opened in 1955.
  • Murrayville Pool in Victoria opened in 1955, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017.Large lawn areas typify the pool at Murrayville, birthplace of Australian basketballer Rachael Sporn.
  • Duck swimming at the Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Lone swimmer in the 33-metre Pinnaroo Pool in South Australia.
  • Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Aqua blue at the Pinnaroo Pool, South Australia.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Not only the birthplace of Julie Anthony, Lameroo has one of very few L-shaped pools.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Retro-style at South Australia's Lameroo District Swimming Centre.
  • Lameroo District Swimming Centre with silos in background, South Australia, photo Therese Spruhan, Sept 2017Silos, shadows and starting blocks at the Lameroo Pool.

Saturday’s super swell smothers Mahon Pool

Late Saturday afternoon, after watching my niece Rosie play a great game of netball at Heffron Park,  we headed down the road to Maroubra’s Mahon Pool to join the other wave watches witness the sea put on a spectacular show!

  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan
  • Mahon Pool Maroubra, 22 July 2017, photo Therese Spruhan

Lunchtime swim at Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre

Autumn trees turning the hydrotherapy pool red, helping Robert, a stroke survivor put his sandals on, lime green reflections, gold glows, old men slapping the water down hard, a guy in the corner reading Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, a kaleidoscope of colours and a lane all to myself.

Friday morning at picturesque Petersham Pool

Under the surface at Petersham Pool

In the final days before Petersham Pool, aka Fanny Durack Aquatic Centre, closes for the colder months I have been taking photos below the surface where the light creates beautiful shapes, refractions and reflections. As I swim along it’s as if I am looking through a kaleidoscope!

  • Petersham Pool

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