Saturday, February 19, 2011

Lucretia Baths, Woodford Bay, Lane Cove River

Another one that I missed....

As part of my attempt to swim the shoreline of Sydney using bay and ocean pools, I should have visited these tidal baths back in December 2009. They should have been swum between the disappointment of Tambourine Bay Baths and the wonderful Greenwich Baths. On the day, however, I didn't know that they existed. They weren't indicated on any of the maps that I'd been using to plot my course on this extended swim trek. Only later did I spot a reference to the baths in an online council document. I supposed that, much like Tambourine Bay or Balls Head Baths, they were no longer in use.

Then, just last week, I was studying a map of the Sydney Harbour Circle Walk, and I noticed an icon for a tidal pool at Woodford Bay on the Lane Cove River. This must be, I thought, the baths that I read about, so I decided I'd go over and take a look. Even if they were no longer in use, I could photograph their location as I have done with other abandoned tidal baths.

When I arrived at the baths early this morning, I found, somewhat surprisingly, that they were open for swimming. I was the only person going for a swim at that time, but there were many kayakers setting off from the strand of beach next to the pool. The water was calm and warm (24 degrees Celsius), and I just gently breaststroked my way around for twenty minutes or so.

This has got me wondering, though, how many more tidal baths I am ignorant of. As I said, it's difficult finding out about harbour and river baths. Not all councils list the seawater pools that are in their municipality, preferring to promote their chlorine pools with lifeguards and facilities. There is no website dedicated to these baths, unlike the ocean pools (see ). 

Perhaps a little more research on my part is required.  


  1. sounds like the start of a very interesting quest Chris - maybe you could write a book from it?

  2. Hmm...well, maybe a website to list those neglected tidal baths. If I ever finish this swim trek, I'll try to find out where I might have missed, and chronicle those baths even if they've been abandoned.

  3. I found this document which may be of interest to you -

    1. Thanks for the link to this document. I had a look, and it is really interesting. Sorry for the delay in replying - I have been overseas for 6 weeks. Cheers, Chris

  4. Thanks for this tip! Found your site this morning after a random google search of places to swim on the Lane Cove River. Normally I just jump in off the canoe anywhere, but now finally we can swim shark-free! I'll definitely be swimming my way through your recommendations from now on!