Pool Reviews

Lane Cove Aquatic Centre – Lane Cove NSW 2066

Lane Cove pool

Named after either a cartographer in Cook’s time or the son of a London Lord Mayor.

My experience in the pool

Getting there, getting in, getting changed

There are buses to Lane Cove but I drove this time and parked up in the (busy) car park near the shops, about a five minute walk from the pool. There seemed to be more public parking in between the aquatic centre and the council offices.

Nice shallow steps at the shallow end but just the usual vertical metal steps at the deep. No diving board sadly, even though the pool was clearly built for one.

Changing rooms either by the indoor pool upstairs or down by the outdoor pool. Men, don’t be misled by the taps: H is for cold water; and if you want a warm shower, go for the tap with no lettering on it… Done to keep us on our toes, I guess.

Other practicalities

2017 price to have a swim is $8.20

50m Olympic pool outside – usually open through the year. There are also indoor pool facilities, 25m pool and toddlers play area.

History and stories of the pool

Thanks to the Trove website, I found a wonderful article from Women’s Weekly from February 1962 which referred to the ‘new’ Lane Cove Olympic Pool where a local heart throb ‘Roland Storm’ was said to have a regular lunch hour swim. And this gent is still going in 2017, an ‘Australian Ambassador of Rock ‘n’ Roll’

The Lane Cove Swim Club also has a fantastic 20-page history of the pool, by a guy called Ryan Sparks. From that I gleaned the following wonderful quote from Lane Cove’s Mayor in September 1961:

“It transcends anything ever before attempted by Lane Cove Council as an amenity for the people of a swimming centre in the heart of Lane Cove, and will be a source of pleasure and usefulness to both the present and future generations of Lane Cove” proclaimed the Mayor of Lane Cove – Ald. A. E. L. Griffith – I couldn’t help thinking the people deciding to break up Parramatta Pool in 2017 might reflect on that as the bulldozers go in…

Lane Cove Pool opened in the summer of 1961-62. Its first swimming carnival was held in 1962, and you can see the old trophy in the cabinet still dating from that era.

It was extraordinary to read the suggestions for icing the pool water in winter to create an ice rink. Whoever proposed that didn’t know much about the impact of ice on surrounding surfaces clearly – it was rejected in 1963!

And on a personal level, I was rather pleased to see reference to a debate of early 1968 – exactly the time my family, especially my sister – would have been swimming regularly at Lane Cove Pool. This referred to the need for cover over spectator areas – was this an early recognition of the dangers of strong sunshine or did it just rain a lot in Lane Cove then? Sadly my father’s diaries of the period don’t go into such details…

Thanks to Lane Cove Swim Club for linking to this history on their website.

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

Lane Cove Pool is clearly popular with Mums and toddlers, so my first two links come from exactly that demographic. First up, someone I’ve been following around Sydney, it seems, the Hello Sydney Kids blog.

Then the North Shore Mums blog also came to Lane Cove Aquatic Centre, and featured it as one of nine swimming spots to visit.

Lane Cove Pool is one of eleven swimming centres featured on the Sitchu website.

And the Ellas List swimming blog has also been to Lane Cove and written about it.

Since she apparently learnt to swim at Lane Cove Pool at the age of 4, I was rather hoping Therese of the Swimming Pool Stories website might have written about this place but I couldn’t find anything on her website…

Coffee, tea or milkshake after the swim?

Lane Cove is full of decent coffee shops, but my favourite, found by chance as I walked from my car to the pool, has to be…

Story Espresso – Birdwood Lane, Lane Cove, NSW 2066

Open: Mon-Fri 6am – 3pm; Sat-Sun 7am-2pm

Coffee in Lane Cove at Story Espresso

Story Espresso reviewed on the FancyaCuppa website.

I love this coffee shop in Lane Cove. I discovered it by chance when coming in search of a post swim coffee after visiting Lucretia Baths, down the road in Longueville. So I was keen to come back. They have lots of coffee options, with their espresso blend roasted in Adelaide, their single origin from the wonderful Seven Seeds roaster in Melbourne. And they’re friendly as well as knowledgeable about their coffee. Nice white tiling, and just a simple set-up that works for me. Makes me wish I lived a bit nearer Lane Cove.

4 thoughts on “Lane Cove Aquatic Centre – Lane Cove NSW 2066”

  1. Swimming for me is an outdoor pastime and the perfect pool time is mid-week, middle of the day in winter! I invariably have a lap lane to myself and can laze about in the sun without having to worry about getting burnt.

    Frustratingly, each year Lane Cove, one assumes for financial reasons, close their outside pool from 10 till 3 from mid April -. Strike 1.
    The only time I was in the locality, the grass area on the eastern side of the pool was a construction site. Your lead photo shows this was done to extend the car park. It’s now practically a drive-in pool. Seriously, who would want to lounge about in an area directly adjacent to a car park separated only by a chain wire fence? – Strike 2.
    Unlike yourself, I don’t have the experience of overseas pool entry prices, so I can only compare with other local pools. Lane Cove is among the most expensive – Strike 3 and I’m out!

    I suppose if you’re an executive pre or post work lap swimmer, none of the above matters. Personally, going to a pool is more than that for me, so I can only rate Lane Cove as disappointing.

    1. I get your points, Graeme. I think my experience was coloured (in a positive way) by the knowledge that my family swam here 50 years ago (though I have no recollection to be honest). I think the higher price is down to all the other facilities on offer at Lane Cove. I guess it’s harder to make a pool financially viable if it is just offering swimming, but like you I prefer the simple pools that were built for that purpose without all the bells and whistles. And yes, who needs to drive to these places, really, unless you are coming from the NSW South Coast, like me…

  2. My name is Kevin Pippard and my family history with Lane Cove Pool started when the pool opened in 1961. My father Bill and my younger brother Philip and myself were original members. Later my other younger brothers also swam (much better than I did) and Mum helped with timekeeping. We all were involved in club activities including the “learn to swim” programs that were very popular. None of us were champions but that was not the point. Like all of the other kids we just got “stuck in” and enjoyed our swimming.
    After Philip passed away in 1968 a perpetual trophy was presented in his name. I am keen to know if it is still in the trophy cabinet and still in use.
    Best Regards, Kev

    1. Thanks for sharing a great memory Kevin. I didn’t notice what the other trophies in the cabinet were for, but if it was there, it certainly needs a bit of a polish, as they all did! Chances are my sister, who was a regular swimmer at Lane Cove Pool when we lived in the northern suburbs in 1967-68, might have met one of your relatives. Not me, sadly, as I couldn’t swim in those days…

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