Pool Reviews

Prairiewood Leisure Centre – NSW 2176

Prairiewood Leisure Centre

Prairiewood hosts Australia’s oldest Eid Festival every year

My experience in the pool

It’s almost a year since I swam in the Olympic pool at Prairiewood Leisure Centre in Sydney’s west. But since I didn’t find anywhere decent for a coffee after my swim, I was holding off posting until I had a chance to revisit the area.

A bit of a gap in my outdoor swims this year has pushed me into posting now, and let’s see if any Prairiewood locals read this and have an idea where to go for a cuppa after the swim?

Prairiewood Leisure Centre is a real community pool, though in winter it is perhaps not used as much as it could be.

It was my destination on a sunny day in August as the days were just starting to warm up and I was desperate for a swim, but had already found out that the outdoor pools in both Campbelltown and Liverpool were still closed for the winter.

It’s a really lovely eight lane pool, Olympic size 50m, with a big grandstand looking down over the pool on one side and the gym and entrance on the other.

There was lots of room on a weekday at the end of the morning to do my laps in my own lane – yes, meaning I could mix in lots of backstroke – and by the time I got out of the pool at about midday, there was absolutely nobody in it. It looked pristine and beautiful.

The lifeguard I spoke to knew of nobody famous who swims here, nor big sports teams that train here. And you can tell it is a community pool by the sign at one end that is only in Chinese and Vietnamese, even though Assyrian is the most common other language spoken round here, and it was indeed Assyrian that I overheard in the changing rooms (yes, I had to ask).

Getting there, getting in, getting changed

Quite easy to find the place if you’re in or near Prairiewood. It’s a few minutes’ walk from the Stockland Shopping Centre, but then nobody seems to walk around here…

I didn’t have a problem getting in, but read the blog below from Pool Lady and she clearly did!

Changing rooms with warm showers (3 minutes max, though a rather good system where you wave your hand over the ‘tap’ to stop it if you need less).

Other practical points

Entry fee $9.00 in 2015.

Pool depth goes from 1m in the shallow to a lovely 2.0m in the deep.

Open all year round.

History and stories of the pool

This pool only opened in 1994. I found one article of a tragedy in the pool when a young girl drowned, but other than that I have not found any history or stories talking of this pool, except for the links below from fellow swim bloggers…

The pool has been named after local MP John Newman who was murdered in front of his home in 1994.

People I met in the pool

I had a fascinating chat with a guy who declared himself to be Assyrian, part of the cultural mix of Prairiewood and its neighbourhood. We spoke more about football and current affairs in his former homeland than we did swimming, but still a nice encounter I would not otherwise have made if it were not for this swimming quest…

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


The Pool Lady came here in 2011 and had some bad luck, it seems.

This blog has a nice little entry by someone who took part in the 2014 school swimming carnival at Prairiewood pool

Coffee, tea or milkshake after the swim?

I failed completely to find anywhere decent for a post swim coffee near Prairiewood Leisure Centre.

I have a total aversion for the coffee shops that tend to end up in big corporate shopping malls and all there was within ten minutes walk of the Prairiewood pool was a massive sprawling mall, with some bland looking places for an insipid coffee.

If anyone knows of a decent independent coffee shop within a mile or so of this pool, let me know which direction I need to go. PLEASE!


6 thoughts on “Prairiewood Leisure Centre – NSW 2176”

  1. Not related to swimming here, but as no one else has commented ……..

    About five years ago, my son was playing a State Cup soccer match in the area, so with an hour to kill while they warmed up, I walked down to have a look at the pool. There was a large area of adjacent vacant land to the west of the centre, so I wandered in to have a closer look. Mid July, so not a lot happening in the pool. There was, however, some guy working near the fence, who I approached to ask about the pool. He was not in a pleasant mood and rather abruptly told me I shouldn’t be where I was. I replied, “Okay, but you should either shut the gate or have a sign saying it’s private property”. This did not improve his mood! I’d say the guy was a contractor. Perhaps he thought I was checking on his work.

    One thing that drew my attention in your report was the $9 entry. This is by far the most expensive I have come across. To be fair, this does appear to include the use of the sauna, but as a non-sauna person I would prefer to see a lower entry price with the sauna an additional charge. For comparison, the most expensive Sydney pool I swam at in the last 12 months was $6.20 and the average was $5.71. As a 20 visit pass using my recently obtained Seniors Card works out at $4 a time at my favourite pool, I can’t see the long trip to Prairiewood happening again anytime soon.

    1. Yes, it’s easy for me to forget that $9 sounds a lot over here for a swim. Thing is back in the UK, that would a good price for a swim, outdoor or in, so I didn’t notice the price tag at Prairiewood as exceptional, but now you mention it, that is a fair bit more than other outdoor pools in Sydney. Wow, you really have been everywhere, though, it seems – I’m impressed!

  2. I started to swim at Prairiewood Leisure Centre in January 2016. The pool is clean and good size but the temperature for heated pool is bit low compared to other centres especially felt during winter time. The exact opposite goes for the shower temperature as it is too hot not warm and good enough to scald young kids.
    I would appreciate if the shower will be fixed and made only warm comparable to hospital showers.

    1. Thanks for commenting, Marcelina. I agree, scalding hot showers are awful. Have you thought of contacting the people who run the pool to raise this?

  3. Hi Simon, you mentioned the Pool Lady in this entry. I read some of her blog in 2013, but sadly it looks like all of her work has been deleted.
    On a brighter note, I saw the ABC article on you. Congratulations on your achievement 🙂

    1. I wonder what happened to the Pool Lady. I shall have to clean up my site and get rid of her content if she has gone. I hope The Pool Guy never goes the same way…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *