Newcastle Ocean Baths

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Newcastle Ocean Baths are ageing and need substantial upgrades to the pavilions, pools, and promenades to continue to provide benefit to the community.

City of Newcastle has committed to retaining the aesthetic of the Inter-war striped classical / art deco façade of the baths as well as the iconic bleacher seating, while also improving public amenity through provision of more shade, disability access, seating, and new public changerooms with hot water showers.

The revitalisation of Newcastle Ocean Baths will be completed in two stages:

Stage 1: Pools and promenade areas

We are prioritising upgrades to the pool area to improve safety and accessibility for all users. This includes remediation to the pools, lower promenade and pump upgrades. After considerable engagement with the community, the final design for Stage 1 was finalised in August 2021 and incorporates the art-deco inspired circular stairs, bleachers and retains the boardwalk.

Construction of Stage One commenced in March 2022 and is well underway, with the pool and promenade areas on target to re-open for swimming in Summer 2023.

Watch a short animation, below, to view key features of the final design.

You can also view an overview of how the new pump system will work, and read about the key considerations for the design of the pool promenade and sand floor.

The $9.5 million recovered from the sale of CN's Fred Ash building is helping fund the Stage One upgrade, along with $3 million in funding from the NSW Government’s Public Spaces Legacy Program.

What is happening on site?

  • Work to restore the iconic bleacher seating is nearly complete, ahead of re-painting to match the iconic teal colour.
  • The new shade structure is taking shape.
  • Finishing touches to the pool are underway including painting the pool walls.
  • Construction of the wet well area to support the new pumps have been a focus in recent months, with the new pumps to be installed ahead of testing and commissioning before the pool is re-opened for swimming.
  • The foundations are in place for the return of the much-loved art-deco circular stairs.
Newly constructed diving blocks
Above: New diving blocks under construction on the eastern side of the Baths.
Above: The circular stairs are taking shape.

Stage 2: Pavilions

We are now planning to commence the concept design of Stage Two, an upgrade of the pavilion buildings, and we recently asked the community for feedback on preliminary floorplan options for these spaces. Visit our Have Your Say page to find out more.

Further information

View our Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) to learn more about the Newcastle Ocean Baths revitalisation.

Your safety

The community is reminded that the entire site is inaccessible for the duration of the construction period. We ask that for your own safety, you please adhere to site signage and follow instructions of site personnel.

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