Dawn Fraser Baths Will Reopen to the Public This Week with Free Entry for a Limited Time
Australia's oldest public pool has been given permission to reopen on Wednesday, September 8.
UPDATE Wednesday, September 22: The Dawn Fraser Baths are now open to the public and free entry has been extended until the end of September. You can book in for a swim via the Inner West Council's website.
Inner West Mayor Darcy Byrne has announced that Balmain's historic Dawn Fraser Baths will reopen to the public later this week, following major renovations to the historic site. If you live within the inner west LGA or within five kilometres of the baths, you can book a one-hour swim from Wednesday, September 8.
A number of COVID-safe measures will be in place including a maximum capacity of 26 patrons at any one time, mandatory appointments, no access to the changerooms or showers and a ban on lingering — visitors will be required to leave immediately after their swim, and sunbaking will not be permitted.
Entry for the first two weeks will be free, which was announced when the reopening of the baths was first confirmed. At the time, a program of daily health and wellbeing classes including yoga, pilates and tai chi was also planned, however these programs will not run yet due to current public health orders in Sydney.
Byrne confirmed in a Facebook post that NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard had issued an order allowing the pool to reopen during Sydney's lockdown, following discussions with the mayor and Member for Summer Hill Jo Haylen.
Renovations on the Dawn Fraser Baths were completed back in August. Constructed in the 1880s and renamed after local Olympian Dawn Fraser in the 60s, the baths have been closed to the public for upgrades since 2019. The $8 million heritage restoration saw the swimming hole receive a host of cosmetic improvements, as well as addressing the structural issues that were flagged by engineers and the inner west council back in 2018.
The restored pools were originally set to be completed by the summer of last year, however a series of issues delayed the restoration process.
You can read more about the restoration of the Dawn Fraser Baths and stay up-to-date with how to book a swim at the baths at the Inner West Council's website.
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