Wollongong Ladies Baths

PeterB666

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No ladies but a few photographers and tourists.

Wollongong is an industrial town about 1 hour south of Sydney and has masses of ocean baths amongst its suburbs. This is one of the oldest and dates back to the 1850s - there use to be a sign here saying "men would be well advised to keep away from these baths, which have been specially reserved for ladies who do not favour surf beaches".

All I saw around these baths this morning were men.

Both photos taken with an Olympus E-P1 and Olympus 9-18mm zoom lens.

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BBW

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Peter, nice introduction to these two bath photos. Are these baths still in use? I have to believe they are and it's just your early morning forays that tend to show them unpopulated.

I, too, really like that first one the most due to its stormy sky with that bright horizon line. I'll have to head over to Flickr to see more!
 

PeterB666

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There is nothing to stop these baths from being used.

Unfortunately the steps leading down to the pool arein poor condition and the concrete barrier separating the two parts of the pool (the ladies 'lap' pool and the childrens splashing pool) is a bit worse for wear from the sea. They are still in reasonable condition despite the neglect but there are others with better facilities nearby so this particular baths are close to forgotten. There are no facilities at this site, no change rooms (demolished in 1940), no toilets or lighting. The lack of lighting is very unusual. This pool was placed on a heritage listing in 2001 so I would expect it will be around for a while.

A number of the rock pools in this area have been left to be swept away by the oceans during storms over the years or demolished. Others are well maintained, very popular are like overgrown Olympic pools fed with seawater and come complete with every facility including a club house for swimming clubs.

Behind the headland in the second shot (or more accurately smack bang in the middle of it), in a deep crevice is another rock pool that was not accessible from this side of the point. It has an even more interesting background and is even older. The path and steps to it were removed for 'safety' reasons a few years ago but is it at least partially accessible from the rock shelf on the other side. That will be the subject of a trip in the near future.

The blue in the sky is interesting because it seemed very grey at the time but the colouring came up in a number of shots taken at that time and facing that direction.
 

PeterB666

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Peter, thanks for describing these baths and giving us an overview. I would be in heaven to live someplace that had these - and that coast line!
I think I have about another 70 to go :wink:

After that there are the river baths. I have only done one of those, one around the corner from my home.

It is mid-winter in our neck of the woods so that may also explain the absence of ladies in the above pool. It isn't unusual to have someone swimming at 5am in the warmer months but in Bondi they throw ice into the baths to make it colder to prepare swimmers for a winter splash.
 

G1 User

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I was going ask where the "ladies" were.
but, your description answered that :frown:

Great photo's indeed
 

BBW

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It is mid-winter in our neck of the woods so that may also explain the absence of ladies in the above pool. It isn't unusual to have someone swimming at 5am in the warmer months but in Bondi they throw ice into the baths to make it colder to prepare swimmers for a winter splash.
You know, while posting it did occur to me that it was not summer down under...but not really knowing the temperatures, etc., I wondered. Peter that image of throwing ice into the baths is fantastic - perhaps you can photograph it one day!:biggrin:
 

PeterB666

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I haven't even done that one without the ice, little only with the ice. The ice is a Bondi Icebergs Club event so I would expect that permission would need to be sought. I will put it on my 'to do' list.
 
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