Ocean Baths

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Newcastle is fortunate enough to have two ocean baths facilities, Newcastle and Merewether, that sit on its pristine coastline and are open year round for the community to enjoy. Newcastle Ocean and Merewether Baths both have a long history as popular swimming spots. Newcastle Ocean Baths was opened in 1922 and Merewether Ocean Baths in 1935.

Merewether and Newcastle Ocean Baths are open year round, subject to maintenance and cleaning. We clean, manage and maintain these facilities and always try to find the balance between availability and cleanliness.

Merewether Ocean Baths

Merewether Ocean Baths are cleaned every Thursday during the season. Please note the ocean baths are closed ALL day on scheduled cleaning days to allow adequate time for all cleaning and maintenance to occur. View the detailed cleaning schedule for:

January - June 2024

July - December 2024 

Cleaning may be altered if weather, surf, tidal or storm conditions are unsuitable. Please refer to FAQs below for more information.

Change rooms at Merewether Ocean Baths are open everyday from 5.30am. 

Lifeguard on duty:

  • 23 September 2023 to 28 April 2024 - 9am to 5.30pm
  • 29 April 2024 to 27 September 2024 - 8am to 4.30pm

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Newcastle Ocean Baths

The revitalisation of the Newcastle Ocean Baths is underway, with stage one works to improve the safety, water quality and accessibility of the much-loved community facility now complete. 

The Baths were reopened for swimming on 21 December 2023. New pumps were installed as part of our upgrade.

Newcastle Ocean Baths will be closed for cleaning every Wednesday. View the detailed cleaning schedule for:

January - June 2024

July - December 2024

Change rooms at Newcastle Ocean Baths are open everyday from 5.30am. 

Lifeguard on duty:

  • 23 September 2023 to 28 April 2024 - 9am to 5.30pm
  • 29 April 2024 to 27 September 2024 - 8am to 4.30pm

On Friday 21 June crews will be on site making minor changes to the connection between the Newcastle Ocean Baths and the canoe pool. Visitors to the pool are reminded to adhere to any safety signage and directions of workers on site during these works, which may require the pool pumps to be turned off for short periods.

On Tuesday 25 June and Wednesday 26 June crews will be on site working to inspect and finalise cabling on both the upper and lower promenade of the Newcastle Ocean Baths.

On Tuesday 25 June the pool will be open for swimming, however the pumps will not be operational due to the cabling work. Visitors to the pool are reminded to adhere to any safety signage and directions of workers on site during these works.

On Wednesday 26 June the work will continue while the pool is closed for cleaning per the regular cleaning schedule. We expect the work to be completed in line with the return to swimming on Thursday 27 June.


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Water Quality

We routinely monitor four ocean baths throughout the year for water quality; these are Merewether Main Pool, Merewether Learners Pool, Canoe Pool and Newcastle Ocean Baths.

The cleanliness of the facility is heavily influenced by the water temperature and usage. During summer, warmer water accelerates algae growth resulting in an unsightly build up on the walls in the splash zone. While this results in the appearance of an unclean pool, regular testing indicates that the water quality is acceptable for public swimming. It should be noted that the water quality is heavily influenced by the naturally occurring water quality of the ocean and the debris present.

There is a balance between the need to flush out the water in the pool, keeping the water at an acceptable level and the risk of introducing discoloured water from the ocean. Council staff continuously monitor the cleanliness of both Ocean Baths facilities and work within the numerous constraints to achieve a balance between availability and cleanliness.

Event Bookings

Newcastle beaches and ocean baths are regularly used for:

  • Major sporting and social events
  • Motion picture filming
  • Swimwear and other fashion shoots
  • Artists
  • Swimming carnivals
  • Wedding parties
  • Family and social functions.

You need to get an event licence from City of Newcastle to hold any event at Newcastle's Beaches or Ocean Baths (excluding small informal events).

Please contact Customer Service on 02 4974 2000 to enquire about your booking.

Winter Swimming Clubs

Winter Swimming Clubs compete at both Ocean Baths. The 'Merewether Mackerels', 'Newcastle Pirates' and 'Dixon Park Coldies' swim during the winter.

For more information on getting involved with either of these clubs, please contact the lifeguard on duty at Merewether Ocean Baths or Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I find out when the baths are being cleaned?
What work is involved in the cleaning of the baths?