I’ve always been a sucker for a big bridge. Especially one that resembles a Game of Thrones set piece. For many people this is the only reason to visit Northbridge. A suburban pocket of the L.N.S (Lower North Shore) that is about as sleepy as a one-week-old newborn.
Surrounded by thick green bush and the noisy cries of Kookaburra’s the Northbridge Baths are not really on the Sydney swimming map. But always one to seek out the innocuous, I was intrigued.
Greeted by a very steep carpark and a large sign alerting swimmers to ‘visually inspect the water before entering,’ I would not be deterred. Fair enough, the swimming pool is actually an open bath situated on Middle Harbour, so it pays to know what you’re getting into. Literally.
The sign continued. “If the water is discoloured, smells or has significant debris get out.” Okay, point made Willoughby City Council.
The baths are really in a lovely spot, and despite being only a few kilometres from North Sydney CBD, the swimming spot seems almost forgotten. The only chatter came from a family playing a civilized game of boules, a sunbathing group of North Shore tweens and half a dozen kookaburras. The water looked pretty good to me, although only one swimmer was actually game enough to try. Surrounded by a decent sized boardwalk and a decent array of yachts and launches, Northbridge I’m glad I persevered.
Highpoints: The lovely solitude and touch of bushland, only a few kms from the CBD.
Low Points: Pollution was a little off putting when it came to swimming
Attire: Labradors, European cars and boat shoes
Cost: Free as the many birds in the area
Best for: Getting away from North Shore and avoiding Military Road
Overall rating: 5.5