According to records, the Newcastle Ocean Baths were officially opened in November 1922. However, construction started many years earlier, in 1910, and it was 1912 when the first swimmers dived in.
Many generations have enjoyed the open space and fresh ocean water that hides behind the art deco facade and stepped concrete seating. The facility has open space to play and many places to escape whether it be high on the stair surrounds or down on tiered levels. I find it amazing that it never feels crowded even when it’s busy. There is no better place to be watching the waves roll in at eye level that gets even more exciting when the waves break over the wall and washes over you. Best of all this place is free to all.
In 2013, the Newcastle Ocean Baths was falling into disrepair until Newcastle City Council stepped in with some money to restore it. Like many developments in Newcastle there was controversy over the program and cost to restore the facility. I fathom to understand why.
At the end of April 2015, Newcastle was savaged by an intense storm that brought pounding rain, cyclonic winds that triggered a large-scale flood around Newcastle. The storms did not miss the Baths and there has been ongoing repairs to maintain the 100 year structure. I believe more controversy is needed as the Baths is in need of a major reconstruction. A reconstruction that respects the history and that can restore the facility for generations to come.
For now, we will settle with the beauty and potential of the history that stands. Enjoy a swim, an ice-cream, and time in the sun. The simple things are often the best.
My setup included:
- Olympus OMD E-M5;
- My go to prime lens being the 17mm 1.8; and
- Processed utilising HDR Efex Pro2 and Lightroom.
Hope you enjoyed a little history with some modern images.