University of Wollongong Aquatic Centre – URAC, NSW 2522

My experience in the pool Wow, we never had facilities like these when I was at uni! The University of Wollongong Aquatic Centre is not only a great 50m Olympic Pool, but it's in a wonderful leafy setting on the edge of the UOW campus. You don't often get as magnificent a backdrop as this, either, even in Australia. Mount Keira looms in the background, looking almost volcanic and reminding me of a dramatic swim I once had in a lake in Guatemala under the shadow of a volcanic cone. The Read more [...]

Guildford Swimming Centre – Guildford, NSW 2161

Named after the Earl of Guilford, though he never had a second 'd' in his name... My experience in the pool Guildford Swimming Centre's outdoor pool is not the kind of place you're likely to find Australia's next generation of Olympic champions working out. It's a bit of a miniature pool, being about half the size of your typical Aussie outdoor pool at 25m in length, with only 4 lanes and barely reaching 1.5m at its deepest point. I liked it though. Not least, because of the magnificent Read more [...]

West Pymble Pool aka Ku-Ring-Gai Aquatic Centre, NSW

Ku-Ring-Gai is named for the original inhabitants of the area; Pymble was an early European settler. My experience in the pool A visit to West Pymble Pool aka Ku-ring-gai Aquatic Centre is the kind of experience that makes me wish we could afford to live in Sydney's leafy northern suburbs. I could probably cope with the feeling of suburbia if I had all this wonderful parkland and bush all around me. It's not the easiest place to get to by public transport, but as I found out when I began Read more [...]

Waves Fitness & Aquatic – Baulkham Hills, NSW 2153

Named after hills in Scotland which were home to an early settler in the area. My experience in the pool Waves War Memorial Swimming Centre in the wonderfully named The Hills Shire sits half way between Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill, about a mile from both so very much part of Sydney North West suburbia. I hadn't got beyond the reception desk before someone engaged me in conversation, though - my tee shirt with the map of Scotland drew quite a bit of interest, and before I'd even got Read more [...]