Fascinating Facts about Dee Why’s Rock Pool

Know more about the rich history of Dee Why’s 50-metre rock pool and toddlers area located at the southern end of Dee Why Beach.

There are 14 rock pools found at the northern beaches in Sydney. Each of these rock pools is unique in its own way. But more importantly, all rock pools serve as an important part of seaside living.

One of the most popular rock pools that people often visit is located at Dee Why. Compared to others, the Dee Why rock pools are bigger, with more facilities placed within the pool’s vicinity. There are also a number of cafes and restaurants nearby; hence, drawing more people into the area.

History of Dee Why Rock Pool

Dee Why Rock Pools
Dee Why Rock Pools in 2012
Photo credit: http://agreenphotojournal.blogspot.com/

Have you ever wondered how these rock pools at Dee Why came to be?

According to some of the remaining compiled files from the Warringah Council, the first pool at Dee Why was created by nature itself. At that time, the first pool was in a form of a broad shallow basin located in the rock shelf of what is now known as the main pool.

This basin was called the Bogey Hole. However, the heritage consultants back in 1990 refer to this basin as the first beginner’s pool.

Following the natural creation of the shallow basin, different local community organisations then decided upon themselves to create a man-made pool by excavating further the basin. This was the first man-made pool at Dee Why, and it was excavated by members of Dee Why surf club in 1915.

When the first pool opened, it had a size of 5-metre square, and it was also less than 1 metre deep. The small pool size was definitely ideal for parents who do not want their young children swimming off in the ocean. But a few years after its opening, in 1919 the pool was expanded further by the Council- making it 33.5 metres long.

Dee Why Rock Pools
Dee Why Rock Pool in 1920
Photo credit: Narrabeen Reunions and the Northern Beaches/ Facebook

In 1923 the Council appointed trustees called the Dee Why Improvement League, to overlook the maintenance and future improvements of the pool. 

The League contributed significant funds for the regular improvement of the facility. In fact, they have even hosted several events such as Christmas Carnivals in order to gain sufficient funding for improvements of the rock pool, the seawall, the dressing sheds and kiosks at Dee Why Beach, Dee Why Park and Stony Range Reserve.

Some of the money allocated for the rock pool was used to build a second children’s pool which opened in October 1930. It was also during this period when Dee Why rock pool had an upgrade of 50-metre length and 21-metre width.

Due to the limited stored information about some of the developments of the rock pool, there were zero to few records that show or prove when and how the stilling pool – one of the elements at the rock pool- was formed.

The stilling pool or what the heritage consultants in the 1990s refer to as “the dam” or the catchment pool is located at the eastern end of the main pool. Despite its small size at 17 meteres by 6 meteres, the stilling pool is able to absorb some of the impacts of the waves that roll towards the main pool in heavy seas. Up until today the stilling pool remains and does its job effectively.

In 1973, a new pool was built for children by the Council. The heritage consultants call it the third beginners’ pool. The third pool was built specifically and immediately at the west of the main pool since the second beginners’ pool that was built a couple of decades back can no longer be used.

Later on, the Council named the new children’s pool after John Morison in honour of his countless hours of teaching children how to swim. The Northern Beaches Council also renamed the main pool after Isa Wye, former president of the Dee Why Amateur Ladies’ Swimming Club.