Giles Baths

Giles Baths

105-109R Beach Street, Coogee NSW 2034

105-109R Beach Street, Coogee NSW 2034

  • Ocean pool

  • Alcohol prohibited
  • Smoking is prohibited in this area
  • Dogs prohibited
  • Fires prohibited
  • Glass prohibited
  • Spear fishing prohibited

Features

Giles Baths is located at the foot of the northern headland of Coogee Beach.

It's a natural rock pool, known as the "Bogey hole" and was used by male bathers in the nineteenth century and continues to be used today.

It's a popular swimming hole with young people and is a fun place to explore from Coogee Beach. You can access it from the Coastal Walkway in Dunningham Reserve, near where the Bali Memorial stands, or walk along the rocky foreshore north of Coogee Beach. The entry portico from the original "Giles Gym and Baths" still remains.

The baths can be rough during strong surf conditions and Lifeguards are often kept busy with first aid for bumps, cuts and bruises.

History

The Giles Gym and baths was a prominent feature of Coogee Beach for most of the past century. Built in 1928 and under the management of Mr Oscar Giles, the health centre and hot baths became the progressive fitness venue of the time.

Services that were offered included electricity treatments, hydrotherapy and hot sea baths as medical treatments. One of the more bizarre treatments available was the sweat boxes. The boxes were heated by light bulbs on the inside and only had enough room for someone's head to stick out, the heat generated would aid in weight loss. Separate facilities were provided for both genders but the ocean pool and nude bathing was for men only and remained so for many years.

Mr O.E. Giles proved remarkably successful with his weight-reducing massage course. Sportsmen, racing identities, criminals, the constabulary and well known politicians all mixed amiably at Giles baths. Sam Inglis was a well-known patron who regularly taught young boys to swim and box. In honour of his service a memorial sun dial was erected. In an era where fitness was not a high priority, Giles provided a unique service where an unusual mix of males could mix and bond.

In 1975 Messer's O'Neill, Motta and Stevens leased the premises until 1998. They redeveloped the building and added squash courts but retained the name Giles Baths. After 1998 the building was left in disrepair and in the interest of public safety the building was demolished in 2000. All that remains is the original portico entry and sections of the wall.

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