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 Baths in 1935.

The Merewether Baths are open all 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. At present, Merewether Baths are cleaned weekly and the cleaning schedule is available under Documents.

Merewether Ocean Baths

Cleaning Schedule

Merewether Ocean Baths are cleaned every Thursday during the season.
Please note: Merewether Ocean Baths will be closed from Thursday 12 May 2022 for cleaning and replacement of the penstock gate in the South-East corner of the pool. It is anticipated that the facility will be reopened to the public by Monday 16 May 2022.

Lifeguard and changeroom hours

  • Lifeguard on duty:
    18 September 2021 - 25 April 2022: 9am - 5:30pm
    26 April 2022 - 25 September 2022: 8am - 4.30pm
  • Changerooms close at 7pm daily

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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.

The Baths will be closed for the duration of the work, which is expected to be completed by mid-2023.

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 train and compete at both Ocean Baths. The 'Merewether Mackerels' and 'Dixon Park Coldies' swim all year round, even during the cooler winter water temperatures.

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?
Why is the cleaning day sometimes changed at short notice?
Can the pool be cleaned more often?
Why does the cleaning of the baths occur at low tide?
Why are the pool walls dirty?
Is sand removed from the bottom of the pools during cleaning?
What about water quality?
Are the bathroom facilities or pool surrounds available when the pool is closed for cleaning?
How often is the 'round' pool refilled at Newcastle Ocean Baths?
Priority Project
The pavilions at Newcastle and Merewether Ocean Baths are ageing and require substantial upgrades in order to continue providing use and benefit to the community. Read more about the Ocean Baths priority project.