Newcastle Ocean Baths

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

Stage 1: Pools and promenade

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 the tender process for constuction has commenced. City of Newcastle will be seeking a construction program that will see the least possible disruption to pool users.

The final design incorporates the art-deco inspired circular stairs, bleachers and retains the boardwalk. Watch a short animation, below, to view key features of the final design.

Stage 1 of the Newcastle Ocean Baths upgrade is proudly funded by the NSW Government in association with the City of Newcastle.

Stage 2: Pavilions

The next stage of the Newcastle Ocean Baths revitalisation will focus on the Pavilions. We will work with the Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group to develop concept designs for future pavilion upgrades, which will be available for further community feedback.

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

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Community engagement

Community engagement was carried out from 22 November 2019 to 1 March 2020 to better understand community priorities for future use of the site. The community engagement reports are available on our dedicated Ocean Baths Have Your Say page.

The Newcastle Ocean Baths Community Reference Group (CRG) was formed to help the planning process for revitalisation of the Baths through discussions and co-design workshops. The CRG has been meeting throughout 2020 and 2021,and has provided significant input into the preliminary, concept and final design for Stage 1 (pools and promenades). The CRG will continue to meet throughout the concept design phase for Stage 2 work (the pavilion area), and be disbanded once a final concept design is determined and the project enters the detailed design phase.

Concept design(s) developed with CRG input for the pavilion area will be placed on public exhibition and finalised with input from the CRG and broader community. The final concept design will go to the elected Council for approval before proceeding into detailed design.

Visit our dedicated Ocean Baths Have Your Say page to stay up to date with opportunities to have your say as the project progresses.

Background

The Newcastle Ocean Baths are ageing and need substantial upgrades to continue to provide use and benefit to the community. This includes the whole site - pavilions, pools and promenades. The pools and promenades will be upgraded to a similar standard as the Merewether Ocean Bath upgrades completed in 2014.

City of Newcastle has committed to retaining the aesthetic of the Inter-war Striped Classical / Art Deco façade of the Newcastle Ocean Baths, as well as the iconic bleacher seating, while improving public amenity through provision of improved shade, disability access, seating, and new public changerooms with hot water showers. The public will continue to have free access to the Baths, as well as access to toilet, change and community facilities. All of the public domain will also remain accessible and free.

Refer to map floor plans (PDF 1981KB) for Newcastle Ocean Baths (PDF 466KB) and to view the site.