Last post + Top 5 Pools of Canberra!

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Hi everyone!

While it’s still technically summer (for those of us who go by the solstices and equinoxes, anyway), the fact is, summer is over.  The kids are back at school, the graduate jobs have started, and the weather’s getting cooler.  This means that the season of pool-going has, for the most part, ended, and with it, this little project of mine.  In the end, I visited 11 of the public pools/swimming holes our fair city of Canberra has to offer, and while there may be a few left over (the AIS, for example), I think I achieved a fairly good representation of the C-bra’s pools.  What do you think?  In any case, I hope my circumnavigation has helped at least a few of you to enjoy this long, hot summer just a little more than you would have done without it :).

Down to the important stuff – which pool comes out on top of my list of the Best Pools of Canberra?!  Here’s my completely personal, subjective, totally-not-scientific Top 5:

5.  Tuggeranong Pool (Lakeside Leisure Centre)
4.  Dickson Pool (Aquatic Centre)
3.  Queanbeyan Pool (Aquatic Centre)
2.  Manuka Pool 

aaaand the top prize goes to…………

1.  Kambah Pool!!!  Yeeaaahhhhh!  Go Kambah!!  

What’s your Top 5???

My sincere thanks go out to everyone who helped me complete this project, from the friendly pool staff I met across the city, to the friends who ventured out to visit pools with me, to all of my fabulous readers, and, finally, to Mother Earth, who served up one eeeexcellently hot summer for all of us to enjoy, with not a bushfire in sight.  (Oh, except for that one near Kambah Pool THE DAY I WENT THERE!  ….. Eeek!)

Cheers everybody, and all the best for the year!
Over and out,
Dunja, xoxo

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Kambah Pool

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I’m still away on holidays, but finally found a bit of WiFi fast enough to bring you post #11 in Pools of Canberra!  I know it’s been raining back in Canberra lately, and the weather’s been cooler, but here I bring you photos from Kambah Pool on a hot, hot, hot day earlier this month.  Living on the south side, I’ve passed the sign for Kambah Pool on Drakeford Drive thousands of times, but it wasn’t until I decided to do this blog that I realised it’s not a “pool” in the conventional sense of the word, but more of a riverbank swimming hole.  And WHAT a swimming hole!  The moment I glimpsed the water on my way down the steps to the beach, my breath was completely taken away, and the first impression definitely lasted.  Turns out it’s a rather famous swimming hole, too – and, some might say, infamous, as it is the only public place in Canberra that has a specific area all for… you guessed it… nudists!  Watch out for the signs if you want to avoid it  – it’s 200m downstream :).  

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Who says Canberra doesn’t have a beach?!

1.  Cost of entry:  FREEEEEEE!!
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the buildings/surrounds:  The water quality at KP is honestly pretty good!  Being a natural body of water (it’s the Murrumbidgee, for those playing along at home), it’s much better than you might expect, and probably better than what I saw at Point Hut Crossing.  Visibility is probably to about 1m in depth, and it’s a pleasant greenish-blue colour, and cool.  The surroundings… oh, the surroundings.  Excellent!  You have the sand on one bank, then the water, and then the back wall is an awe-inspiring hill covered in gum trees, letting just the right amount of afternoon sun in – you can see it in the photos both above and below.  A definite must-see!
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  The ratio seemed to be about 50/50 the day I was there – a mix of teenagers and parents with children.  
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  The tanning opportunities are excellent here – there are expanses of hot yellow sand to lay on and the sun coverage lasts until late in the afternoon – these photos were from 7pm!  For shade, your best bet is to bring your own if you’re really worried, as the bushes don’t offer much shade and where there are trees, there isn’t much space to sit under them.  That’s what you get when you get into nature, I guess!  🙂
5.  Price of a Paddle Pop/Billabong ice cream:  Ha – no shops here!  That just means that the price is how much they cost at the Kambah shops, around 6km away – plan ahead or get an ice cream on the way home!

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Check that view out, would ya?!  All in all, Kambah Pool is so great!  Really pushing its way up to the top of my list of favourite Pools of Canberraaaa…  Only problem would be its accessibility for pool-goers with mobility issues – the steps down to the beach make wheelchair navigation nigh-on impossible.  :(.  For more information, check out this ACT Government website, or go have a look!

xoxo, Dunja

Canberra International Sports & Aquatic Centre (CISAC)

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Hey peeps!  So I’m away on holidays at the moment, but before I left I was a busy bee and went to a bunch of pools early so I could keep posting regularly for you all.  One of the pools I visited was this one right here – the Canberra International Sports & Aquatic Centre (CISAC), in the Belconnen Town Centre. Located on Eastern Valley Way, the pool at CISAC forms part of ‘Canberra’s largest indoor sporting venue’, and boasts a 50m 10-lane swimming pool, a 25m 5-lane swimming pool, a leisure pool, a whirlpool and even an indoor water slide. In addition, it has a spa and a steam room, a cafe serving hot food and ice creams, and plenty of seating throughout. Pretty good offering if you ask me!

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1. Cost of entry:  adults: $6.00; students: $4.90; children: $4.00 (under 2 go for free)
2. Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  
The water quality at CISAC is pretty great!  Considering it’s an indoor pool, though, it could probably be better – there is a fair amount of sand at the bottom of the 50m pool, particularly in the outermost lanes, which is brought in by children after they play on the big jumping pillow (surrounded by sand) outside.  That said, the sand is really only at the bottom of the pool, and since most of the pool is 1.8m deep, you really only come into contact with it if you’re (a) above-average in height and not actually swimming, or (b) snorkelling at the bottom.  Since both of those cases are pretty rare, you mostly don’t come into contact with it, so while it’s an aesthetic problem, it’s not something you really have to deal with.  The building itself is pretty and new-looking, with great super-high ceilings and tall windows letting in a lot of natural light.
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  Now that school is back on, the ratio of kids to adults is going to even out quite a bit at all of Canberra’s pools, at least during the day.  However, considering CISAC’s wide offerings of swimming lessons and swim squad activities, that might not apply to CISAC too much, so the sound of kids’ voices is likely to hang around at CISAC a fair bit.  If we keep having hot weekends like we have been, that’s likely to be even more true on Saturdays and Sundays, but it’s a big place, so you’ll probably always be able to find a bit of space to yourself!
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  CISAC is an indoor pool, so the shade opportunities are fantastic (obviously).  Tanning opps, not so much.  The glass walls surrounding the 50m pool open up in the hot weather, which means you can go out into the sun, but there isn’t a whole lot of space out there to lie down, especially as the jumping pillow takes up most of the space on the long side.  Still, a good place to go for those of us who have hit the sun too hard all summer!
5.  Price of a Paddle Pop:  $1.30

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Hmm… reckon I should blur out the monkey’s face?  😉
In sum, CISAC is an excellent indoor pool facility that offers more than you probably even need.  From the lap pools to the kids’ play pools (not to even mention the Club Lime gym that exists in the same building), it’s a one-stop-shop for all your summer swimming needs.  Except for tanning ;).  For more information, check out their website.

xoxo, Dunja
(And now back to my holiday… 🙂 )

Queanbeyan Pool (Aquatic Centre)

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Wahoooo, guess what peeps?!  This week took me INTERSTATE!  Okay, yes, you probably gathered that from the title.  Point is, while the whole region was melting under the 39-degree heat on Sunday, I decided to cross the ACT/NSW border and venture into the cool waters of Queanbeyan pool.  But who cares about borders on boiling summer days?  Queanbeyanites are a huge part of our life here in Canberra.  Whether they’re our friends, colleagues or family, they are an integral part of life in our great Ngunnawal country, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.  Plus, guess what?  Queanbeyan is apparently the anglicised form of the Aboriginal word, ‘Quinbean’, which means… clear waters!!  How perfect!  

Queanbeyan Aquatic Centre offers several swimming options – a 50m outdoor pool, a 25m indoor pool, and an outdoor shaded toddler’s pool.  The 25m pool is open all year ’round, while the outdoor pools are open October to March.  The complex is located on a 1.3 hectare triangular plot in Moore Park, in the middle of Crawford, Campbell and Antill Streets.  It boasts BBQ faciltiies and a pretty big kiosk, as well as an extensive range of swimming activities, including a swim school and training programs.  

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1.  Cost of entry:  adults: $5.60; students: $3.90; children over 3: $3.90 (children under 2 enter for free)
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  Similar to Dickson a few weeks ago, the pool at Queanbeyan was super busy the day I went, with the indoor pool being particularly packed.  As a result, the water was a little cloudy (so not really ‘Quinbean’), but not to a worrying level.  Band-aids were at a minimum and the temperature in the outdoor pool was a perfect sun-warmed 25-ish degrees.  Don’t take my word for it; that’s just my approximation.  
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  Heavily in the kids’ favour at Queanbo on Sunday!  From 2 to about 4pm, it was kids, teenagers, and more kids, with the obligatory parental chaperonage evening the kid:adult ratio out to about 75:25.  
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  Being an indoor/outdoor pool, Queanbeyan offers something for everyone as far as the sun goes.  Those who are sun-sensitive or want to avoid it altogether can pool away inside, while those who like to get some Vitamin D can swim and lay in the sun in the expansive outdoor area.  Queanbeyan has stadium-style seating on the far side of the outdoor pool, providing excellent shade sails.  In addition, it has shady trees on both ends of the pool, giving both the sun-conscious and the sun-weathered a break from the burn.  Not bad!
5.  Price of a Paddle Pop:  Arrrrgh, once again forgot to check!  Will report back very soon!

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All in all, definitely a place to go if you feel like a little road trip to visit our NSW neighbours, or if you feel like a dip on your way to Karabar IGA.  Man, do I love that IGA.  For more information, check out the Queanbeyan City Council website, or Visit Queanbeyan.

xoxo, Dunja

Erindale Pool (Active Leisure Centre)

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THE MURAL!!!  This has been here as long as I can remember :)).  Love that they haven’t changed it yet.

After an emotional week which culminated in the passing away of our family dog (RIP Molly <3), I’m back on the pool trail, and not a moment too soon – it’s warming up again, isn’t it?!  Today, I bring you Erindale Pool – not only a great little pool providing 25m of comfy 30-degree water, but also… wait for it… the place where Yours Truly learned to swim!!  Along with Erindale Theatre and Erindale College, the Active Leisure Centre forms part of the Erindale Education and Recreational Complex, and is one of the few pools in Canberra that is open until the late evening – an 8:45pm closing time means night swimming and more flexibility for those of us who work full time.  (I quite like the aesthetic of pools at nighttime anyway – do you agree?)   Erindale offers a range of pool-based services including lap swimming and aqua-aerobics, not to mention swim classes and holiday programs for the littlies, plus a toddlers’ paddling pool.  (Can’t believe it’s already 20 years since I was a littlie!)

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I’ve always loved the atrium-style ceiling at Erindale ^-^. 

1.  Cost of entry:  Adults and students: $5.40; children under 16: $3.70; Aged concession: $2.30
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds: Being a small pool, Erindale offers a high level of water quality and clarity – the very mild 30-degree H2O is checked every two hours for chlorine levels, and is perfect for light exercise such as aqua-aerobics and/or rest-day muscle relaxation for the gym junkies.  Those who like a more invigorating experience may want to choose the nearby Tuggeranong pool for their swim workouts…  As you can see in the photos, Erindale has a lovely atrium-/greenhouse-style partial glass ceiling which lets in great amounts of sunlight in the daytime and a view of the night sky in the evening.  The pool itself has been redone recently, with the islet it used to have (those who have been in the past would remember it) being taken out, leaving space for six full 25m lap lanes.  Outside, the grass is green and well-kept, which, at this time of year and after the scorching days we’ve had, is a real achievement.  The glass doors surrounding the pool open up in the hot months, so you get the feeling of being outside while still having a cover over your head.
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  Depending on the time of day you come, you’ll either encounter lots of children, or lots of adults.  Swim school operates in the mornings and afternoons, but the pool is relatively free during lunchtime and in the evenings, so pick your time depending on your needs :).
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  Erindale is an indoor pool, but with the glass ceiling, it offers a safe amount of natural light for the sun-conscious.  Outside, it has a small amount of grass and leisure areas, but these are really well-kept and pretty, so you can lay on the thick, luscious grass and tan in style.  Might want to time your tanning though – since it’s a small area, you might not have sun the entire day.
5.  Cost of a Paddle Pop ice cream:  $1.30.  WOOT!

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All in all, a super cute place to swim, located conveniently for those who live in Woden, Tuggeranong and Lanyon, with plenty to offer, particularly as far as swimming and aqua-aerobics classes are concerned.  With the 30-degree water temperature, Erindale Pool is a fab place to take a splash, no matter the season!  For more information, check out the ‘Active Aquatics’ tab on their website.

xoxo,
Dunja

Dickson Pool (Aquatic Centre)

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Hi everyone!  I hope you’ve all been enjoying the cooler weather this week, ’cause I certainly have!  (Funny that 30 degrees can be classed as ‘cooler’, isn’t it?).  This week’s trip took me to Dickson Pool, the favourite pool of almost everyone I’ve talked to since starting Pools of Canberra.  Dickson Pool was built in the 1960s and boasts a 50m heated outdoor lap swimming pool and three more outdoor pools that are mostly suited to younger children.  Situated on a large inner city block, it has beach volleyball courts, plenty of grassy areas, a kiosk (the ‘Shark Bite Cafe’) that provides a pretty good range of food, and lifeguards, all of whom are First Aid qualified. 

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1.  Cost of entry:  adult: $5.50, student: $4.50, family: $19, and children under 3 go for free!
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  Considering the amount of people that frequent Dickson, the water quality is pretty good!  The 50m pool was akin to a human soup the afternoon I went, but the water was still clear and pretty refreshing.  Can’t say the same for the smaller pools, though… the covered wading pool had quite a bit of grass and things in it, but was similarly filled to the brim with children, so who can blame them?  The buildings are functional and clean but could do with a refurbishment in the next couple of years.  (This is emerging as a common theme amongst the older pools in Canberra… or am I just a sucker for shiny, new things?  I’m sure a few Dickson fans would disagree!)
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  On a 40-degree day like the one I was there, there was no real ratio – kids and adults alike were scrambling for a cool-down.  From what I’ve heard, in general, it’s adult lap-swimmers in the mornings and younger swimmers and families in the middle of the day, but I guess it depends on the day and season!
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  Being an outdoor pool complex, Dickson offers plenty of tanning opportunities, but if you go in the late afternoon, try to get a spot in the grassy area behind the 50m pool, towards the beach volleyball courts – otherwise, the shade created by the trees near the shallow end will cut your tanning time veeery fine.  For the shade mongers, Dickson is the place to be – from huge leafy trees to man-made shade constructions, you’re sure to find a place to stay sun-smart while still being outside in the fresh air.
5.  Cost of a Paddle Pop/BIllabong ice cream:  $2.  Man, I remember when these things were 80 cents!

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All in all, Dickson Pool is a great place to cool down and have fun with friends, but if you can, try to give yourself an entire day to enjoy it.  You’ll have more time to appreciate its laid-back atmosphere and won’t have to elbow too many people to make some space for yourself in the pool, as you sometimes have to if you go for just an hour or so.  If you want a post-work dip, get there ASAP, ’cause it closes at 7pm and fills up like crazy!  There’s always a negative side to popularity!!  Haha!  

xoxo, Dunja

Jamison/Macquarie Pool (Big Splash Waterpark)

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I couldn’t get a clean shot of the pool today, ’cause there were so many people!  For privacy reasons, all faces have been blocked out with a yellow circle in this post’s photos:).

Today’s scorcher of a day took me north side to the pool in Jamison, also known as ‘Big Splash’.  Why ‘Big Splash’, you ask?  Why, because it provides opportunities for kids to make… big splashes… at every corner.  Not exactly the place for those hoping for a quiet lap swim or lazy afternoon spent by the pool, but with a huge slide tower boasting 8 slides and blow-up obstacles courses located in the pool, it’s every kid’s fantasy (and a lot closer to home than the new Wet ‘n’ Wild in Sydney).  Big Splash is only open in the summer (November to mid-March), so if you’re keen, get in quick!

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1.  Cost of entry:  Pretty steep here – if you only want to swim (i.e. no slides), it’s $8 for adults, $6 for age pensioners and $7 for kids.  With the slides, it’s $25 per day for adults and children alike, or $23 if you just come for the afternoon.  They have season packages, too, but at $450 for a family of four, it’s probably best for those who plan to go pretty often.
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  The water quality at Jamo pool is not as good as I’ve experienced in other places, but considering the number of visitors it gets, this isn’t particularly surprising.  The water in the main pool is somewhat cloudy and there seems to be a layer of sunscreen grease on the top.  Its temperature is pretty perfect, though – cool and refreshing after any time spent in the sun today.  As far as the buildings go, they could probably do with a facelift.  It doesn’t look like they’ve been changed since I was a kid.
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  Definitely in the kids’ favour at Big Splash!  I suppose it depends where you are, though – the slides and pools are the kids’ domain (around 80%), but the areas surrounding them are mostly occupied by parents taking care of their kids’ things.  Pretty good place to socialise, if you ask me!  The mothers I were sitting near seemed to be having a great time :).
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  Big Splash is set up on a pretty huge block of land, and considering that, it does a great job of providing shade.  There are trees on either side of the big pool, and sails, umbrellas and marquees set up everywhere else.  Not an easy task, but they pull it off pretty well!  If you’re coming with a big group, get in early – the shade gets snapped up pretty quick.  Not a problem for the tanners, but bring extra slip/slop/slap stuff just in case.
5.  Cost of a Paddle Pop ice cream:  Argh!  Totally forgot to check this today!  It was so hot, I barely had an appetite. Will call them and update tomorrow :).

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All in all, a great pool and slide complex that will keep kids well and truly occupied (not to mention tire them out) on a hot summer’s day.  Not as flash-looking as I assume Wet ‘n’ Wild is right now, but definitely a lot closer and quite a bit cheaper, too.  An update to the buildings is all it needs to stay popular well into the future.  For more information, check the website.

xoxo, Dunja

Point Hut Crossing

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HAPPY 2014, EVERYONE!

After New Year’s and Serbian Orthodox Christmas (Srecan Bozic, peeps!), I’m back and happy to bring you the fifth installment in Pools of Canberra.  This is the first of my promised creative additions to the blog, as it saw me visit my local stretch of river, Point Hut Crossing (PHX).  PHX isn’t technically a pool, but it’s definitely a legit place to cool off of a summer’s day.  Located just 1km off Jim Pike Avenue in Gordon, Point Hut is an ACT Recreational Area and Nature Reserve and offers a beautiful swimming hole that brings you the country while being just a hop and a skip from the city :).

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1.  Cost of entry:  FREEEEE
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  The water at PHX is warmed by the sun, and today, the temperature was PERFECT!  The clarity of the water is pretty variable, and depends on recent rainfall and the things that might float into it from upstream.  Today, visibility was probably 60cm – at waist-deep, I couldn’t see my feet – so you have to be careful of submerged rocks and wood.  All in all, though, pretty good for a natural pool, and it glistens with golden flecks from the Murrumbidgee, too, which is really special.  The surroundings are typical Lanyon bushlands everywhere you look – perfect to get your mind off the city for a bit!
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  This morning when I went to PHX, there was only me and a loved-up teenage couple taking a dip.  The weekends get a little busier, and it’s mostly young families with packed lunches and paddle boats.  Great for a quiet get away, and most of the time, you’ll have a whole stretch of the Murrumbidgee River to yourself.
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  The tanning opportunities overflow at PHX, but unfortunately it has very little as far as shade goes.  The flora surrounding the water is bushland (i.e. not leafy trees), so your best bet is to bring your own shade – a beach umbrella or tent will be perfect.
5.  Cost of a Billabong/Paddle Pop ice cream:  Well… there are no kiosks or cafes at PHX, but the Gordon shops are super close – a quick 1.5km drive – and they sell Paddle Pops for just $1.30.  Lanyon is the best.

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When I was a kid, my family and I used to go to Point Hut all the time, but that practice dried up when the crossing itself… dried up… in the drought.  These days, I’m happy to report that PHX is back to its former glory, and the sand’s as hot as ever!  If you feel like going on an old school road trip but don’t want to go too far, PHX is the place to be!  Give it a go this weekend.   For more information, get in contact with the ACT Government.  This webpage on Visit Canberra’s site gives you a bit of info, too.  http://www.visitcanberra.com.au/Accommodation/Details.aspx?ID=9002799&Title=Pine%20Island%20to%20Point%20Hut%20Reserve

xoxo, Dunja

Civic Pool (Canberra Olympic Pool and Health Centre)

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Good afternoon, everybody!  As we reach the end of the year – and of the first month of summer – I hope everyone’s well and happy and getting around to as many Canberra pools as I am!  The fourth pool on my list took me north side and really surprised me with its fantastic summer atmosphere.  I’m talking about Civic pool – officially the ‘Canberra Olympic Pool and Health Club’ (COP) – which was built in 1955 in the lead-up to Australia’s first hosting of the Olympic Games in Melbourne, 1956.  The COP garnered much celebration and acclaim at its completion, receiving the Sulman Award of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in the recreational and sports class in 1955, and inclusion on the Register of the National Estate.  Today, it is a vibrant and happening complex that boasts not only pools (a 50m covered lap pool, an outdoor pool and a toddler’s pool), but also diving boards, a music system, a gym, beach volleyball courts and a massive inflatable children’s slide.  Seems more like an amusement park than a pool to me!

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Believe me, the place was much busier than it might appear in this photo.  In the interests of privacy – particularly that of young children – I was careful to take a photo that didn’t feature too many people.  Shows off the diving tower well, though!  Have still never worked up the courage to jump off the 10m one myself…  Have you?

1.  Cost of entry:  adult: $5.60, student/child/concession: $4.10, children under 3: free.  Similar to the LLC in Tuggeranong, the COP also offers family and gym deals and aqua aerobics classes.
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  Despite its popularity, the COP maintains a high standard of water quality, with the covered lap pool being clean and refreshing, and the diving pool and covered toddler’s pool similarly clean, but a little warmer (since they’re out in the sun).  The dome covering the indoor pool was replaced in 2008 as part of a $2 million refurbishment project.  This project also funded the repainting of the pools and building, and as someone who went to Civic pool before the refurbishment, I can tell you that the place looks really great now.
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  On account of the diving tower and children’s slide, the majority of the COP’s clientele is kids and teenagers throughout the day, most of whom take up the outdoor pool and grounds (leaving the indoor pool relatively empty).  Early in the morning and later in the evening, a stronger population of lap swimmers occupies the indoor pool.
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  If you’re looking for shade, your best bet is under the dome covering the 50m lap pool, as the trees in the grassy area are usually snapped up pretty quickly by family groups and teenagers.  Unfortunately, setting up under the dome takes you away from the action a bit, as it were, but still gives you a good view of the outdoor pool if you’re supervising young ones.  For the tanners, there’s plenty of grass space next to the outdoor pool, but bring a towel as the grass becomes a little dry as the temperatures soar (as well as your sunscreen – the noontime sun is HARSH!).
5.  Cost of a Billabong/Paddle Pop ice cream:  We’re back to economical prices at the COP, with a group-of-hungry-kids-friendly price of $1.30.

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All in all, Civic Pool is an awesomely summery Canberra pool destination.  From the divers to the sliders, the pop music lovers to the tanners and lap swimmers, there really is something for everyone here… as long as you don’t mind the sound of happiness when expressed at the TOP OF CHILDREN’S LUNGS AHHHHHHH!  And if you do mind it… well, just get in early ;).  For more information, visit the website.

Until 2014!!!  xoxo, Dunja.

PS
I’d particularly love to hear from anyone who’s been brave enough to jump off the 5m or 10m diving boards!  What’s it like?!  I’m too much of a wuss myself…

Tuggeranong Pool (Lakeside Leisure Centre)

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It might be raining buckets right now, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t perfect pool weather earlier in the day!  Chapter three of my summer project saw me visit the Lakeside Leisure Centre (LLC) in Tuggeranong for a quick swim (10-odd laps) and a couple of lazy hours spent reading a magazine by the pool.  Tuggeranong pool is one of my favourites in Canberra, probably because I grew up going there.  It opened in 1992 in step with the growing Tuggeranong community, and has three indoor pools with a little bit for everyone – a 50m lap pool (currently divided by a bulkhead into two 25m pools), a large family-oriented leisure pool, and a toddler’s pool.  All of these are within viewing distance of the indoor cafe, making it easy to have lunch at the same time as supervising little ones.

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The near end of the 50m lap swimming pool –  it extends all the way to the back glass wall.

1.  Cost of entry:  adults: $5.60, child/student/concession: $4.10, children under 3: free.  It also has family, gym and steam room deals, as well as season passes and aqua aerobics classes.
2.  Water quality and prettiness of the building/surrounds:  The water quality is excellent at Tuggeranong.  The lap swimming pool is cool but not cold (perfect for exercise) while the leisure and toddler pools are warmer to allow a longer sojourn without making you sneeze.  Being family-oriented, the leisure pool can have the odd band-aid in it at times, but this is usually quickly cleaned up.  The building underwent a major refurbishment in 2008, in which the ceilings and 50m pool were upgraded and modernised, and it really makes a difference!
3.  Ratio of kids to adults:  The leisure pool usually has a majority (maybe 80%) of kids and adolescents in it (from ages 5 to 15-ish), while the lap pool has mainly adults and older adolescents (around 85% adults, 15% children).
4.  Tanning/shade opportunities:  I have added the “/shade” component into this criterion in response to feedback on the blog (thank you!), and can say that Tuggeranong, being an indoor pool, definitely has plenty of shade opportunities for the sun conscious (as we all should be)!  It also has plenty of chairs around the pool for supervising parents, and tables near the cafe.  For the sun-loving lizards among us, the staff tend to open up the big glass walls in the summertime, meaning that a quick sun bathe out in the sun is never too far away – they have concrete and grass areas, as well as leafy trees for those who like to mix it up.
5.  Cost of a Billabong/Paddle Pop ice cream:  A bit steep here!  $2.30 for chocolate or triple swirl Billabongs… pricey!

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The leisure pool, complete with water fountains, eheheheh!

Overall, I had a great morning at Tuggeranong pool today, revisiting old memories of afternoons spent splashing about in the leisure pool, and being pleasantly surprised by the shiny newness of the building and pools.  If you live southside, you can be proud of your local pool, and if you’re northside, you should come and have a splash yourself!  For more information, visit the website.

Until next time!  xoxo, Dunja