The History of Sydney Pools

Swimming pools are a popular addition to many Sydney backyards and allow residents to enjoy the city’s beautiful climate throughout most of the year. However, the decision to install a pool is not one that should be taken lightly and there are several important considerations to keep in mind before making this investment. Choosing the right Sydney pool builder is an essential step to ensure that your new swimming pool meets all local laws and regulations. A qualified pool builder will be able to listen to your needs and provide you with the best solutions for your property.

Ocean pools were a fixture along Sydney’s surf beaches in the 19th century, when swimmers competed in club carnivals and novelty events. The pools were a popular alternative to the often treacherous conditions of the waves, which were buffeted by winter swells that churned up from the south and summer cyclone swells that trundled thousands of kilometers up from the north. They also offered the peace of mind that came from being protected by walls, as opposed to the more hazardous rips found at the beaches, which are the source of many of Australia’s surf rescues and coastal drownings.

As well as providing safe bathing, ocean pools became a focus for recreational and learn-to-swim programs for children from country areas. By the 1930s, Bondi and Bronte amateur swim clubs were spearheading a free state-wide learn-to-swim program, visiting country towns to teach local children to safely enjoy the beach.

A few ocean pools have survived to the present day. One of the most famous is the Wylie’s Baths, established in 1907 by champion long-distance and underwater swimmer Henry Alexander Wylie. This tidal pool consists of raised decking built into the Coogee sandstone cliffs and a spacious 50m-long pool with two smaller areas for swimming, splashing and play. The pools are sheltered by cliffs and rocks, shielding swimmers from the winter swells that pound the beach and the dangerous rips that form there.

The fate of other ocean pools is less certain, but Clover Moore, the current Lord Mayor of Sydney, has unveiled a plan to turn part of Sydney Harbor into a public swimming pool. Her proposal has sparked outrage among many Sydney residents, who see it as a waste of taxpayer money and an unnecessary vanity project. The mayor’s office has defended the plan, saying that it would promote tourism and encourage healthy lifestyles in the city. However, city councillor Linda Baker calls the proposal “a load of absolute bollocks” and has called on the local ombudsman to investigate.