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Newcastle Canoe Pool: The Former Map of the World Pool

Canoe Pool Newcastle
Photos by Wander ©

Newcastle Ocean Baths Neighbour – The Historical Canoe Pool

The Newcastle Canoe Pool is located next to the Newcastle Baths towards the North of Newcastle Beach and is an iconic landmark in the Hunter Region.

Now a popular swimming spot for young children, the ocean pool has a rich history, dating back to the early 1900’s.

Constructed on the same rock platform as the baths, the pool was excavated to be around 1 metre in depth towards the southern end to protect it from high seas.

History of the Young Mariners Pool

Constructed in the late 1930’s, the Canoe Pool looked very different to how it does currently.

Formerly known as the Young Mariner’s Pool, it was known for its concrete map of the world that was large enough for children to swim around and jump off. It was commonly referred to by locals as the ‘Map Pool’ or ‘Geographical Pool’.

Countries of the commonwealth were red and the remaining countries were green. Around 20cm of the concrete map was seen above the water line.

young mariners pool, also known as the geographical pool or map pool

Years later, another large area was constructed towards the north rocks, which became the Canoe Pool. This area was constructed after the City Engineer, Mr. L.J. Price suggested the idea to allow the possibility to cater to the crowds and to appeal to older children. This large area catered to a range of other water sports, such as canoeing or sailing.

The concrete map was said to be broken up and removed by Newcastle City Council as it posed as a safety risk and was continually filled with sand during large swells. Though many locals still believe sections of it may still remain which have been uncovered over the years by large waves.

young mariners pool

All that exists today is the Canoe Pool, which has been developed into being a much larger pool with the removal of the young mariners pool and its map.

Photo credit to the Newcastle City Library’s for the historical photos – Hunter Photo Bank

Getting There

The Canoe Pool is located on Shortland Esplanade, next to the ocean baths. The road through there is one way, which means you need to access it via the roundabout at Nobby’s beach.

There is a small parking area located at the baths itself, or there is additional parking along Shortland Esplanade. Both areas fill up very quickly during the summer months and school holidays.

Keep and eye out for dolphins when visiting

A couple of time when we’ve visited the Canoe Pool, we’ve spotted dolphins catching waves nearby. We were lucky enough during out visit to capture some photos with our drone!


There are toilet and shower facilities nearby at the Newcastle Ocean Baths.

There is a small beach kiosk located inside the Ocean Baths building also, and as an alternative, you will find all of these same facilities at Newcastle Beach or Nobby’s Beach, both are a short walk away.

More information can be found at Visit Newcastle

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