I'm a freelance writer living in Newcastle. I'm passionate about travelling, writing, photography and food. I enjoy experiencing new adventures and look forward to sharing my stories with you.
Published November 10th 2012
One of Newcastle's best beach locations has to be Merewether Ocean Baths. Not only catering to the die hard swimming enthusiasts, it is also a very popular spot for young families.
The baths first open in 1935 and is open all year round. It has also been made famous by its iconic lap numbers which have featured in many Novocastrian photo shoots. The ocean baths is regularly used for major sporting and social events, motion picture filming, swimwear and fashion shoots, artist work, swimming carnivals, wedding parties and social functions. To find out more click here.
The ocean baths have a wonderfully safe feel about it. With beach goers lining the foot path with prams and bikes, it is reassuring that I too can leave my pram and enjoy a great day out with my kids.
Off the main baths there is a paddle pool for families with young children. The water is very clean and so is the sand. The deepest part of the paddle pool would be slightly over a metre in depth. The ocean baths are cleaned out regularly which makes it a popular beach destination with locals and visitors. The facilities on offer are fantastic, with oversized undercover picnic tables and shower facilities, and most importantly it is patrolled beach, so it's nice to know that big brother is watching. There is access to the actual beach on either side of the baths, but it is not patrolled.
As I watch my kids play in the sand, it hits home how wonderful this place truly is. The whole package – view, cleanliness, patrolled beach, facilities and safety. I then turn to watch the other beach goers and they too are talking to their children and engaging in polite talks with other parents. Ah bliss!
But wait, there is more; Merewether Ocean Baths has an ace up her sleeve. I call it the 'Stairway to Heaven or Hell', depending on your mood. You will see plenty of fitness fanatics tackle these stairs. I must admit I did it once, lugging a loaded beach bag and being seven months pregnant I seriously thought I needed to be rescued of these damn stairs. I have never attempted the stairs again.
Parking is limited near the ocean baths and are zoned P2, however there is plenty of off street parking. After a nice long swim or a play in the sand, Merewether Beach House has drinks and snacks available from various cafe outlets. A perfect way to end a fun day out and a great beach to spend summer. The only downside is the amount of sand my kids manage to carry back to the car.