Epping was named after the east London/Essex town of the same name.
My experience in the pool
Epping Aquatic Centre sits surrounded by bush in this leafy northern suburb of Sydney. It’s a wonderful place to swim, with those tall gum trees towering over on all sides, and the bush inhabitants squawking or cooing as you plough up and down your laps.
I was pleased to get to Epping Pool before we move interstate because this iconic pool was under threat a few years ago, with a campaign to save it even opening their own Twitter feed. Funnily enough, the pool looks as if it has been saved by virtue of another unpopular NSW government policy: the council mergers and re-bordering.
You see, as the lady managing the reception desk told me when I arrived on a sultry but showery morning in late November, the pool is now under Parramatta Council, rather than Hornsby, and Parramatta has already lost another of its swimming icons this year (not, she emphasised, anything to do with local decision-making, but rather again a state government edict), with the closure of Parramatta War Memorial Pool.
She should know, by the way, as she sits on the business council of Parramatta local authority, and she was enthusiastically telling me about the plans they have for a new super-modern swimming centre in Parramatta. So I may have to come back to Sydney when they get that one built…
But for today, this was my farewell swim in Sydney, so it was apt that it should be in such beautiful bush surroundings, especially as this sort of area was where I lived when I first got to know Sydney 50 years ago (in those days, Lane Cove was our local pool, but Epping reminds me of Lane Cove, at least poolside).
There are great views whichever direction you swim in for backstroke with those trees above you all around.
When I first arrived at the pool, I had just driven through a torrential rain shower, and when I arrived at the pool, there were two coach loads of school girls having lessons in the water. But this was my lucky day: the rain cleared up and the girls cleared off, almost as soon as I arrived, so there were just three of us plodding gently up and down for the half hour or so of my swim.
It’s a beautiful but unpretentious place, Epping Aquatic Centre. They make no claims to have nurtured former Olympic swimmers, but they have a national standard squad training here, so there may be future Olympians here now. And aside from the plaque marking the date in 1960 when Eastwood-Epping pool first opened, little is made of the place’s history. Either this is just a simple community resource, or they are missing out on potentially interesting stories, here.
Anybody got memories of Epping Pool in the 57 years of its existence? Blimey, I just realised, I am actually older than the pool itself.
Getting there, getting in, getting changed
Epping train station is a good 10-15 minute hike from the pool and there are lot of train services on this northern suburbs line loop. Lots of parking by the pool too.
There are hoists for disabled access, but otherwise this is a good old-fashioned Olympic Pool, with nothing remarkable about the ways into the water.
Lovely old changing rooms – I loved the old signs to toilets and showers in the Gents, and rather liked also the warnings for lightning. When there are so many trees about, it probably makes good sense to be cautious about where lightning might strike round here – see the photo in the gallery….
Pool closed in winter.
Entrance fee $6 in 2017-18
1.1m shallow end, 1.8m deep end. Also learners pool and toddlers paddling pool under shade.
History and stories about this pool
I didn’t find too many stories about Epping Pool, so I may need to hear from locals who have known it since its opening day in 1960.
What I did find in the amazing Trove website was an article about a proposed new road to be built through Epping in 1933, with talk of a causeway across the Lane Cove River and a mention for swimming baths nearby, but I’m guessing these might have been linked to the later Lane Cove Pool rather than Epping itself. Let me know if my hunch is wrong…
What’s your story? Any memories of swimming here?
Any stories to tell? Or did you just have swimming lessons in days gone by?
Whatever you have to say, however brief, I’d love to hear from you and will add any stories to this section of the site as and when I receive them. Add your comment or story under ‘Leave a Reply’ below.
Links to other articles on this pool
This is the website set up for the successful campaign to Save Epping Pool!
The thing about parents posting about good swim places for kids is that the 50m pool comes last if it gets a mention at all…So scroll down for the mention of Epping in Parra Parents website.
But the Sydney Mums Group website does have a Mum who went to the Olympic Pool at Epping.
Coffee, tea or milkshake after the swim?
My choice for coffee in Epping involved driving over to near the train station, but staying on the pool side of the track for what I think might be the best coffee in Epping…
Alpha Espresso Bar – 42 Langston Place, Epping, NSW 2121
Open Daily: Mon-Fri 6am-4pm; Sat-Sun; 7am-2pm
Pablo & Rusty’s coffee is always likely to do you a good flat white and indeed the coffee at Alpha in Epping was as smooth and tasty as I had hoped. Nice pastries too, and an overall good community feel to this coffee shop on the poolside of the tracks in Epping.