As it was the first sunny day in a while, and the kiddlies have been driving me a bit batty, two invitations to go swimming couldn’t be ignored. I enjoy an outdoor pool (despite the having to slap on the sunscreen on squirming children) than the noisy echo filled and swampy watered indoor pools. Outdoor pools have that shimmer and sparkle that makes it inviting, rather than the stiffling chlorine drenched atmosphere of the indoor variety. So an invite to Phillip for the morning and Dickson in the arvo was just the ticket.
Firstly, to Phillip Pool in the morning. I used to live at Phillip Pool as a child. It was my choice of pool, living in tuggers in the 80’s, before the big indoor pool opened up and if I wanted to avoid the tit and ball soup that was Erindale I would catch the bus to Phillip. Nothing has changed (accept the price) and its like stepping back in time. In fact, I think the man at the front was the same lifeguard we used to oggle in our teens in his speedos and lack of shirt. Now, with myself, a 5 year old and a 1 year old… $15. Now, I can get that prices rise. I get that. I get that pools are expensive to run….But to charge $4.50 for an infant who barely paddles and $6.00 for an adult who isn’t swimming is a bit steep. The pool has not had an upgrade/facelift EVER, it still has the same pinnies in the canteen that were there 25 years ago. Nearly every other pool in Canberra has had a facelift except Phillip. It was also very quiet. A few lap swimmers, a couple of parents with kiddies having a splash but very quiet considering it was getting warmer by the time we left at 12.
Now, for Dickson. Firstly, the place is PACKED. yes, it was later in a hot day, but it was very busy. An another selling point… no charge for the 1 year old. So including hubby who came this time as well, $14. Friends who invited us, family of 5, $20 family pass. Win.
The crowds filled me with a kind of dread, thinking its going to be crazy to even get into the pool but there is so much going on, that not everyone is in the pool. There’s the new (I gather) water play park which was cool for the kids, there was the baby pool, the middle sized pool and the big pool. While it has the same number of pools as Phillip, they are all under shade sails in some shape or form. Another bonus, much more places to sit in the shade, as I stupidly got burnt at Phillip in the morning and needed some respite from the sun. Bands, sausage sizzles, zumba lessons, jugglers, and a red man in a full body lyrca suit running around kept the kids amused. I even spotted Johnboy there, thankfully without speedos… I remained anonymous and incognito. 🙂
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Despite Dickson being a tad far away for us, I would definitely go again. Phillip could learn a few things about getting the crowds in.
So discuss dear rioters, what is your favourite pool in Canberra and why?
[ED – Worth noting that Dickson Pool was running it’s Aquaculture Nights program every Saturday night through summer.]