The most northerly of NSW's ocean pools, Yamba Pool is located at the southern end of its Main Beach. Further up the beach sits Yamba Surf Life-Saving Club, founded in 1908 and one of the oldest SLS clubs in the world. A practical rectangle and 33 metres in length, Yamba Ocean Pool is perfect for swimming laps when Main Beach is unpatrolled and the sea too choppy. The Pool, alas, is evidently not as rugged as the rocks into which it is built, closing for repairs on a regular basis since its launch in 1969. When we visited, Yamba Pool was full of water but closed for swimming, possibly due to a section of concrete - formerly part of the pool's perimeter - sitting in the water like a broken springboard. Aye, they don't build 'em like they used to.
After watching Kiama's Blowhole huff and puff for some minutes in horizontal rain, I threw my useless umbrella back in the car before sloshing my way down the road-cum-river on foot to take a look at nearby Blowhole Point Pool. I would have been drier in the Pool. Like Bogey Hole, Blowhole Point Ocean Pool originated as a small bathing place for men, carved out of a natural, rock platform. Nude bathing, being the norm until the twentieth century, decorum demanded that men's and women's public bathing be conducted at separate facilities. Blowhole Point Ocean Pool was enlarged in the 1880s, remaining a male preserve for the next 40 years; the Pheasant Point Baths on the other side of Kiama's harbour opened in 1870 to cater for ladies' bathing. Both pools are still in use, the large, deep Pheasant Point Baths, or the Continental Pool, as it is known today, being ideal for lap-swimming and Blowhole Point Baths remaining popular for their spectacular location on Kiama's rocky peninsula.