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Published February 16th 2015
A safe pool for younger children
The George Bolton Swimming Centre, known to locals as the Burnside Pool has been closed for almost one year having a major refurbishment costing 6.8 million dollars. Bulldozers have been digging up the grounds, with new waterproofing and piping being laid. The Centre has been given a much needed new facelift. Some of the old pools sections were removed and have been retiled.
A toddler enjoys the new look infants pool on her own. Image by the writer
I drove past the pool some months ago and remarked to myself, now you think they would have had things finished in time for summer. However it seems summer has come late this year, and works took longer than anticipated. Now locals are celebrating the re-opening of the pool, even though the opening missed the school holidays. Summer has come late this year, so there is plenty of time to enjoy the pool. On a hot summer's day, my family and I went along to check out the new facilities.
The new reception area with plenty of room for all. Image by the writer.
Upon entry, I noticed the reception desk as been moved providing easier access with a gate that opens to allow baby prams and parents carrying arms full of necessary aquatic aids, and carry bags of snacks and towels. All concreted areas surround the pool areas and are new and smooth to walk on gently easing to the pool edge.
The toddlers pool with a beach entry at the far end. Image by the writer.
The babies and toddlers pool has had the best improvements. At the flat end, with water only about a few centimetres depth it seems as if babes are walking on water. New spouting fountains and sprayers have been installed, much to the delight of the youngsters. The semi circled end is perfect for parents to sit on with their toddlers at arms length frolicking in the shallow water. Kids sure love water and the babies who were trying out the pool were all giggling with delight so I guess that means a good review from them. Lifeguards are on duty at all three pools and I notice they stand close and vigilant. Having very young kids in our group and not such a good swimmer myself, I felt very safe here.
Babies and toddlers are loving it here at the new look toddler pool. image by the writer
Swimming lessons are held in the mid sized or learners pool for school children and preschoolers on weekday afternoons. This pool has a sitting end with steps at the shallow end, providing security for those who cry "watch me". This area is now covered with new shade awnings. There are playgrounds and benches nearby both smaller pools, so when the kids are running all over the place you can easily spot them.
The learners pool has new shade awnings and looks fresh and clean. Image by the writer.
The full size pool has had a wheelchair access ramp installed to one side, and has been widened and re-tiled. The tiles appear to be a darker blue, making the water look even more refreshing. For adults, they can swim in peace as the kids pools are some distance away. All in all everyone is well catered to at this swimming centre.
The big pool with wheelchair access ramp is far from the kids pools and a very pleasant swim. Image by the writer
The best thing about the outdoor Burnside Pool is it is situated in the grounds of very pleasant grounds of Hazelwood Park, surrounded by old shady gums and other trees, and large areas of green grass. The whole place feels as if you are in the great outdoors in nature even though you are within the built environment of an a aquatic centre. Facilities also include a snack and coffee kiosk, which can also be used by the public from outside the pool. Adults can pay extra on their entry to have access to the spa and steam room area at in the main building. This appeals to me being a no kids zone and being enclosed so the space is quiet and relaxing.
This blissful man was well relaxed and had the adult spa area all to himself. Image by the writer.
The only thing that remains the same is the wasps. They seem to love this area and head right to your space to hover at your snacks and drinks. Once someone in our group got a bee sting getting out of the pool, so if you go ensure you wear thongs everywhere around the grounds and leave them on the edge of the pool when you get in the water. The centre is open later during warmer days. Check the website for opening times as these can change.
The pleasant grounds of Hazelwood Park with the pool in the distance. Image by the author..
Ensure you leave enough time for some fun on the playground before you leave. You walk past it to the car park area off Davenport Terrace or Howard Terrace. This is a lush green park surrounded by shady mature trees. First Creek runs through at the rear of the park and this is fun to watch the water after heavy rains.
John Bolton, a past Lord Mayor of Burnside City received much criticism from the community in the 1960s when he had visions of establishing a swimming complex in this park. However he was determined and his dreams became reality. The move has proved to be the right decision and the pool blends into the park without taking away its natural beauty, enjoyed over the years by many residents and visitors. My family love swimming and this is our favourite place to go in Adelaide.
We were there yesterday for our first ever visit and our 3yo loved it - especially the windows where you can look through into the children's pool. I was worried about the wasps, too, but I guess not much can be done. The change room facilities were clean, staff friendly and the coffee good. We'll be back.