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
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Please Note: The Ocean Baths are closed ALL day on Scheduled cleaning days to allow adequate time for cleaning and maintenance to occur. The required times will vary dependent on weather conditions on the day. To find out more about Ocean Baths Cleaning refer to the FAQs.
* These days to Be Confirmed
Merewether Ocean Baths are cleaned every Thursday during the season.
Cleaning may be altered if weather, surf, tidal or storm conditions are unsuitable. Please refer to FAQ's below for more information.
Please note: Merewether Ocean Baths will not be cleaned as scheduled on Thursday 22 September 2022 due to the National Day of Mourning Public Holiday for Her Majesty the Queen.
Lifeguard and changeroom hours
- Lifeguard on duty:
26 April 2022 to 23 September 2022 - 8am to 4.30pm
24 September 2022 to 23 April 2023 - 9am to 5.30pm
- 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.
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.
Newcastle beaches and ocean baths are regularly used for:
- Major sporting and social events
- Motion picture filming
- Swimwear and other fashion shoots
- 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.
Replacement of the water and cleaning is programmed to occur weekly. The time and dates of the cleaning is displayed at the facility and on our website - see above. The time taken to fill a pool after cleaning on any given day can vary and is dependent on the weather, tidal levels and surf conditions.
The tasks performed during the weekly cleaning process include:
- Emptying of the pool to remove dirty water
- Removal of debris such as seaweed and rubbish from pool floor
- Cleaning walls
- Back blade (brush) sand floor with machinery
- Clean all access ramps, stairs and handrails
- Removal of shellfish
- Maintenance on gates, pumps, water inlet/outlet
- Pool refill (up to 10hrs)