Harbour and ocean pools

Unique to New South Wales, our ocean and harbour pools reflect the egalitarian nature of Australian society and our love of the outdoor lifestyle.

Built into the cliff, or defined by shark nets, these pools date mainly from 1930s when segregated swimming was considered most appropriate.

Many view these pools as an anachronism and only the province of the elderly or very young but to others they are a great way to enjoy the ocean without the capriciousness and dangers of the open sea.

High maintenance costs, crippling public liability claims and increasing numbers of private pools mean that many of these pools’ existences are now threatened. The ocean pool at Ramsgate was demolished, and only two, Dawn Fraser Pool and Wylie Baths at Coogee, are heritage listed.

Photographer, Patrick Van Daele captured the beauty of over 30 of these pools from Newcastle to Kiama, and Palm Beach to Cronulla. 

5 January 2002 - 22 June 2002

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