All posts by Simon Duffin

Born in Yorkshire, now living on the beautiful south coast of NSW. Have lived and worked in eight different countries over the years and swum in nearly all of them. Now in Australia, I want this website to reflect a new life, where swimming takes centre stage and there's a pool in nearly every small community.

Towradgi Rock Pool – NSW 2518

Towradgi rock pool The name apparently comes from the Aboriginal word ‘kowradgi’,  meaning ‘guardian of the sacred stones’ My experience in the pool It was a cloudy morning, not long after low tide, for my swim in Towradgi Pool. It’s funny how grey water is never quite as inviting as the blue stuff, and the slipway into the pool had a layer of green slime underfoot which made it look too slippery to risk. So I opted for the stairs midway along the 50m length of this pool, Read more [...]

Woonona Rock Pool – NSW 2517

‘Place of young wallabies’ , though the swimming group that meets here on Sundays through winter is called the Ockies… My experience in the pool This is a breathtakingly beautiful pool, perched up on a rocky headland; it’s not really a rock pool as such anymore, as it has been built into a proper Olympic size pool with lanes (though the lane markings are largely faded now). Water quality and temperature were excellent for my visit in early March. And there’s a great spirit Read more [...]

Men’s Baths – North Wollongong rock pool – NSW 2529

Its name dates from a bygone era for gender segregation in swimming. Open to everyone now. My experience in the pool Both times I’ve swum in this pool have been joyous occasions. Once, in the middle of a summer heatwave, it was a wonderful cooling off spot, even though the water levels were low as it was heading for low tide. And tide times are important so pick your slot carefully for optimum pool conditions. My second swim here was on a balmy autumn day but it was early morning before Read more [...]

Continental Baths, Wollongong, NSW 2529

Continental Baths, Wollongong The name Wollongong comes from the  local Aboriginal word for ‘seas of the south’ My experience in the pool This is a pool where people work hard. The main pool is organised into four wide lanes, allowing everyone to swim clockwise with a passing channel down the middle. On a cloudy morning in early February, there were about 10 people in the water, all doing freestyle at a fair lick. I joined two others in one ‘lane’ for my 600m swim – a Read more [...]

Port Kembla Olympic Pool – NSW 2505

  Famous now for its steel works, but back in 1770 Red Point near Port Kembla was Captain Cook’s first sighting of the East Coast My experience in the pool My first swim here was on a bright but very breezy day in early February. The wind off the sea was so strong that as I swam eastwards it whipped up small waves which made breathing more difficult (though it also just made me improve my head lift each time I came up for air in freestyle). This is a beautiful 50m pool, marked Read more [...]