Newcastle inland pools smash visitor records

06 Apr 2024

With a month of the season remaining, City of Newcastle's (CN's) inland pools have already experienced their busiest summer in almost 30 years, attracting more than 410,000 visitors.

The total, which is a 33 per cent increase compared to the same time last season, comes just one year after BlueFit began operating all five of Newcastle’s swimming centres and is the highest annual visitation since the 1997/98 season.

Lambton Park War Memorial Swimming CentreLambton Park War Memorial Swimming Centre

Further cementing their popularity, customer satisfaction surveys conducted throughout the season by BlueFit found that 88 per cent of respondents are likely to continue using CN's inland pools in the future.

Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said CN has prioritised investment in the city’s much loved community facilities to ensure they are inclusive and accessible for everyone to enjoy.

"We know visitor numbers were reduced during the COVID-19 pandemic, but these statistics prove our pools are more popular than ever," Cr Nelmes said.

"Our five inland pools hosted 91 special events and carnivals across the summer, as well as six major events including the Australian Water Polo League Games, Diving NSW Country Championships and NSW Underwater Hockey championships.

"We're committed to maintaining and investing in our network of inland swimming centres to ensure they continue to meet the expectations and evolving needs of the community.

"It's part of our 'Inland Pools Strategy 2043' which includes accessibility upgrades and redeveloped changeroom facilities."

Lambton Park War Memorial Swimming Centre enjoyed a meteoric rise with almost 48 per cent more people choosing to cool off at the facility compared to the previous year.

CN's first inland pool received its new $2.2 million grandstand just in time for Christmas to help accommodate more than 26,000 extra visitors across January, February and March.

BlueFit’s customer survey revealed that 95 per cent of respondents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the new grandstand, which now includes much-needed storage space and upgraded accessibility.

CN's decision to relocate temporary tiered seating from Lambton to Mayfield, Stockton and Wallsend during the winter of 2023 was well received, with new shade covers providing extra protection for visitors, schools, sporting groups and spectators.

Swimmers at Wallsend took full advantage with the centre receiving more than 11,000 extra visits by the end of March compared to last summer.

Ninety per cent of surveyed customers were impressed with the centre's new accessible changeroom, which was completed in November as part of CN's 20-year Inland Pools Strategy.

All five of CN's swimming centres now provide accessible amenities, ensuring a more inclusive swimming experience for all members of the community.

The seating and shade were also welcome additions at Stockton Pool, which has already had 8,000 more visits than the entire 2022/23 season.

Mayfield Pool enjoyed a 24 per cent boost in swimmers until the end of March, with the customer survey showing a 97 per cent approval of its upgraded family changeroom.

December proved a peak month for Beresfield Swimming Centre, which received more than double the number of visitors compared to the same time last season, who were also able to enjoy a new playground, shade sail and picnic tables.

CN's investment will continue this year with the installation of new heat pumps at Mayfield and Wallsend Pools.