Swimming Pools in Australia

Time for me to catch up on another reprint of my Australia and New Zealand magazine articles; this one appeared, rather ironically, in their winter edition.

Now it is being added to my blog just about a few weeks before we will probably be closing down the pool for the colder months here.

Great timing Bob!

Last week I was whingeing about the ridiculousness of Queenslanders swimming pool fence laws. This article levels the field a bit, because, after all, swimming pools are great fun; it’s just fencing them to comply with the latest rules that’s a bit of a bore.

Anyway, the magazine called this one…

Taking the plunge.

ANZ Winter EditionPool anybody? The sound of those two words in England would probably have you heading off to the public bar of your local pub, searching your pockets for one pound coins, chalking up and spotting the black.

Here in Australia of course, the words have a completely different meaning.

Here, you’d be grabbing your togs, heading to the garden and getting wet. Today, I’ll be answering these questions; is a pool worth having? Are they expensive? And does everyone have one in Australia?

Starting with the last question first, the short answer is no, they don’t. But let me be a little more specific. Nationally, slightly less than one in eight homes has a swimming pool. But the figures vary from state to state in a way that almost perfectly mirrors how hot, or not, that state is.

Northern Territory is easily the leader where about 29% of homes have pools. Queensland is second on 18% and Western Australia third on 15%. For those who want to know, New South Wales is on 12%, South Australia 7%, Victoria 6% and not so hot A.C.T. and Tasmania are down at around 4%.

Whether or not a pool is worth having is a matter of personal choice, but imagine this.

When we moved to Australia back in November 2007, the journey, door-to-door, took about 36 hours. It involved a taxi, a couple of flights and a car trip. We finally touched down at Brisbane around 6:30 AM on a Thursday morning.

By the time we’d cleared customs and made the journey to our final destination, it was nearly 9 o’clock in the morning. One and a half hours later, Elizabeth, our daughter, was in the pool.

On that occasion, she had armbands on. Three months later, our little girl, about a month or so short of her fourth birthday, swam her first width of the pool. Now she swims like a fish!

Here in Queensland, you can generally use your pool any time between September and April. It’s during these times that we can hardly keep Elizabeth out of the swimming pool.

She can be in it four or five times a week, with friends, after school. Or sometimes she’d be round a friend’s house, jumping in their pool! For the amount of time my wife and I spend in the pool, the cost is probably not justified. But with kids, it’s well worth it.

But what is the cost?

Here’s a rough guide. First, there’s the cost of running the electrical pump. This should be on between four and eight hours a day, depending on whether it’s winter or summer. On average, that will cost about $30 a month. Then there is maintenance of the equipment plus chemicals, salt and acid to keep the water in balance. That will run you to about $40, making it about $70 a month all in.

So, in conclusion, a swimming pool is a consideration, not a necessity. But if your kids love swimming, it may well just be a great investment. You can pay almost double that cost each month just for subscription television.

What would you rather your kids do when they get in from school; watch the box or jump in the pool?

swimming pool splash

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{ 6 comments… add one }
  • Zoe Taylor October 3, 2016, 5:38 pm | Link

    Thanks so much for your great website – it’s proving to be a huge help for myself and hubby. Why do you only use the pool between September and April Bob?

    • BobinOz October 4, 2016, 6:16 pm | Link

      Hi Zoe

      That’s simple, the water is just too cold. Whilst we might have daytime temperatures here of around 20° to 22°C in Brisbane during the winter, night time temperatures drop as low as around 5° during winter.

      I’ve not really tested the temperature of my pool during winter, but I do suspect it probably goes as low as around 16°, maybe less. In the middle of summer, I’m pretty sure it sits at around 28° to 30°C which is lovely.

      There’s nothing to stop anyone using their pool all year round if they want to, if they can brave it. I can’t and I don’t know many that do.

      • Zoe Taylor October 4, 2016, 6:30 pm | Link

        That’s interesting – we are looking at Adelaide, so we definitely wouldn’t be using it in Winter then…. I must say, I didn’t realise night time temperatures were so low up in Brisbane either. Thanks for letting me know.

        • BobinOz October 5, 2016, 9:53 pm | Link

          Yes, but that is about the lowest it gets in Brisbane, I’m talking 4 o’clock in the morning in the middle of winter. You certainly won’t be swimming in your pool in Adelaide during the winter months so, not even with a wet suit 🙂

  • Afton March 24, 2012, 8:24 am | Link

    Best fun in the world for kids! Thought I might buy my granddaughter one of these for next summer > Seadoo: Dolphin Seascooter, recommended 8 years+, she’s a couple of years shy of that, but it’s the smallest version, and everybody should have supervision/mates when in water.

    • BobinOz March 26, 2012, 9:44 pm | Link

      Yes, agreed, they are fantastic fun for the kids! We were looking at swimming pool toys for Christmas, really wanted to get a slide for Elizabeth. Wow, they’re expensive!

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