I like to participate in life rather than be a spectator. Music, dancing, theatre, travelling, food, cycling and walking are some of my passions. Writing is an enjoyable pastime that allows me to share my experiences.
Swim in a historic coastal pool that was hewn out of rocks in 1819 as a private pool for Major James Morriset, The Commandant of Newcastle. The Bogey Hole was originally known as The Commandant's Baths and was hand-built by convict working gangs. It passed into the control of the Borough of Newcastle and public use in 1863. Further historical information and photographs can be discovered in Hunter Living Histories.
The oldest ocean pool on Australia's east coast has an average depth of 1.5m and at 10m by 6.5m (at its widest) is about seven times larger than the original size. The Bogey Hole was listed on the NSW State Heritage Register in 2003 and is now under the management of the NSW government. The natural environment is beautiful and the Bogey Hole is a wonderful photographic subject in all weather conditions whilst providing a great vantage point across the ocean.
The pool is located on a rock platform under Shepherds Hill and can be accessed via a 250m walk down many stairs from York Drive in King Edward Park. Alternatively, it is about a ten-minute scenic walk along Shortland Esplanade from Newcastle Beach. New stairs and a safe access platform were completed in 2012 and rock bolts to stabilize the cliff face were installed in 2016.
Although the Bogey Hole is suitable for swimming, care must be taken as it is not patrolled, the stairs and rocks can be slippery and the surf is unpredictable. The closest toilets are in King Edward Park and the nearest change rooms, showers and cafes are at Newcastle Beach and unfortunately there is no access for those with mobility issues.
Take a walk down to the Bogey Hole for spectacular coastal views and a cooling dip, you may even spot dolphins or whale or two.