Pool Reviews

Auburn Aquatic Centre (Ruth Everuss) – Lidcombe, NSW 2141

Auburn Aquatic Centre

Auburn was named after a village in England that features in an 18th century poem.

My experience in the pool

Getting there, getting in, getting changed

It’s about a ten minute walk from Lidcombe train station to Auburn Aquatic Centre. If driving, the Church Street turning is a pretty small entrance off the main A6 axis through Sydney and I drove straight past at my first attempt. Ample parking near the pool, though.

Excellent access to the 50m pool with a long slow wheelchair ramp allowing great disabled access; there are shallow steps in and the usual vertical metal steps too.

Changing rooms are either next to the indoor pool or go the dedicated changing rooms by the outdoor pool, towards the deep end. Showers were a bit luke warm, but otherwise it all looked and felt fresh and clean.

Other practicalities

Pool open all year round.

Good disabled access.

1.1m in the shallow end and 1.8m in the deep, but with a ledge to stand on if you need a breather.

$6 for a one-off swim.

History and stories about this pool

Auburn Swim Centre opened in 1959, with lots of 1960s Olympic swimmers involved, including the woman whose name has now been given to the Centre. Ruth Everuss was an Olympic medallist in 1960 and then coached at Auburn pool until 2002.

The historical notices round the newly-revamped centre speak of the pool being frozen over one winter in the 1970s to allow for ice-skating. There was me ridiculing such a notion when I read that someone suggested it for their pool elsewhere in the state, but maybe it can work without damaging the tiling??

There’s a nice sign about how synchronised swimming got going at Auburn swim centre in 1986, and then a lovely story about a blind swimmer whose guide dog would be allowed to pace up and down along the edge of the pool in time with his lap swimming owner. Fat chance of that these days!

And Auburn swim club obviously has a prestigious past, with lots of competing in local state champs and Olympic swimmers to boast of. Auburn has a real name in Australian swimming history, it seems

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

Here is the link again to swimming blogger Therese’s visit to Auburn swim centre before its recent refurb – check out the old tiling.

A local newspaper reported on the re-opening in 2017 of Auburn aquatic centre.

And in May 2017, the new measure aimed at encouraging Muslim women to swim even got TV coverage. — that happened only in the indoor pool, though.

Coffee, tea or milkshake after the swim?

Lidcombe has the nearest shops to Auburn pool, but Lidcombe at first sight seemed to be a good coffee desert. Until I found the flower shop, that is…

Mattaniah Flower Shop Café – 21 Joseph Street, Lidcombe, NSW 2141

Open: Daily 6.30am-10pm

Mattaniah Flower Shop Café in Lidcombe

They use the rather good Bassett Espresso and make your coffee on a lovely Marzocco machine. This area is so oriental with lots of Korean, Vietnamese and Chinese food available and very average looking coffee on offer anywhere nearer to Lidcombe Station. This place was really good, though,  and it was a lucky find for my post swim coffee in Lidcombe. Sit among the flowers and watch the world go by, literally with the ethnic mixed bag that is in Lidcombe…

8 thoughts on “Auburn Aquatic Centre (Ruth Everuss) – Lidcombe, NSW 2141”

  1. It must be years since I regularly swam at Auburn, if Ruth Everuss stopped coaching in 2002. One morning when I was there for my pre-work swim (this must have been in the 90s), she commented on my style and invited me to join the 2 Masters swimmers she was coaching alongside the really fast squad for children/teenagers. From then on I swam with her Masters group (free of fees!) 2 or 3 times a week. Back then the outdoor pool wasn’t open year-round and the indoor pool was so shallow I can remember hitting my head on the bottom a few times during badly-executed tumble turns. One year the squad moved to the Sydney International Aquatic Centre, as it was called when it opened in the 1990s, for a few weeks because Auburn was closed for repairs or something. That was great!

    I can’t remember why I stopped going to Auburn but I’d moved from the area (closer to Cabarita Pool) in 2000. I’m sad to hear that the beautiful tiles have gone in the recent refurbishment.

    1. Thanks for sharing that Manda. With my long arms I tend to know the depth is getting too shallow if my fingers start to scrape the bottom in freestyle! Sounds painful what happened to you!

  2. I swam there from 1959 through the 1960’s. Only once jumped off top tower. Did swimming lessons and lots of school carnivals plus almost every weekend with family and mates.Went ice skating a few times, it was great. I thought it was there in the mid to late 60’s.

    1. Yes it was an ice skating rink in 1965 and 1966. Only reason I went there at that time.

  3. I grew up in Lidcombe and Auburn Swimming Centre was my local for our family of 6 kids. Lovely summer days in the outdoor pool, diving off the old concrete towers when the heat was so bad the water on the springboards would sizzle. The lovely colourful retro tiles that would burn your feet on a hot day, the grassy hill behind the grandstand where the cool kids would sunbathe and make out, the bar-gates with colourful circles on them looking out onto the street overlooking the trains zooming by, life saving classes with plastic dummies and foul smelling anticeptic wipes, red and yellow surf caps and running drills on the grassy patch behind the indoor pool, the indoor pool ceiling collapse in the 1980’s in a storm, the kiosk smelling of sausage rolls and meat pies and musk sticks, the huge shower vestibules and massive changing space, jumping in the 2ft training pool outside the indoor swim centre to warm up in the cold before jumping in the outdoor pool, the kids water fountain pool, diving off the deep end blocks with young guys sitting on the wet concrete behind the blocks perving at girls backsidews, the overcrowded summer days in the Olympic pool when they tested the water and when it got too dirty we had to pile out for it to be cleaned, the big boys doing running bombs into the outdoor pool, Ruth Everuss swim lessons as a child and being thrown into the diving pool – 18ft! to get rid of fear of swimming. Yes I remember it well. Good old Auburn. My childhood.

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