(Image taken in September 2006. Author’s own collection.)
This large shallow children’s pool sited on the same rock platform as the Newcastle Ocean Baths is one of the few standalone ocean pools created specifically for children’s use.
An old tourist map for Newcastle shows this pool jammed with small boys in canoes circling the coloured concrete map of the world that once graced this pool. This pool is a popular subject for photographers and other artists.
Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle, NSW, 2300, Australia
(Latitude South 32 degrees 55 minutes 47 seconds, Longitude East 151 degrees 47 minutes 29 seconds)
The Young Mariner’s Pool completed next to the southern end of the Newcastle Ocean Baths was considered both ‘educational and recreational’ as the bottom of this new pool featured a map of the world in pigmented cement. This geographical pool originally intended fortiny children also appealed so strongly to bigger children and was often crowded.
A massive 1939 extension on the ocean-side of the existing ‘Young Mariner’s Pool’ created the present-day Canoe Pool. This ‘new boat pool for children’ with a shelving bottom at the north rocks of Newcastle Beach and to the side of the Ocean Baths was expected to be ‘popular with youngsters in the summer months’.
The two sides of the pool were still referred to as ‘Young Mariner’s Pool’ and the Canoe Pool.
Photos show the map of the world at the Canoe Pool. A tourist map for Newcastle shows this pool ‘regarded as providing ‘perfect safety for children’ was jammed with small boys in canoes circling the pool’s coloured concrete map of the world .
Problems with sea lice and dirty water prompted calls to close the Canoe Pool.
The Canoe Pool’s map was demolished.
A feasibility study on restoring the map of the world produced estimates that Council considered too expensive.