Another day, another beautiful hewn from the rocks ocean bath. This one is free by the way. The pictures that accompany today's swim are sublime and that's because it was a sublimely picture perfect kind of day.
The baths are situated on the north side of Maroubra Beach (Mahon Baths). There is free council parking on the corner of The Corso and Marine Parade just up from Maroubra.
A little walk down some stairs carved in the natural rock face of course and you are at the showers/toilets. Not the best place for changing or toileting – it's ala public toilet standards. All rust, sand and detritus. Take your gear so all you have to do is strip off your outer clothes and you'll be right.
Now to the baths, this is a proper, natural ocean bath. Stairs carved from the rock, natural rocks on the bottom and very little of that man-made "concretus detractus". It's a natural amphitheatre, with your viewing platform being a rock shelf that the waves are determined to erode. I can imagine at high tide this would be a washing machine. In fact, I remember trying to come here once and being turned away because it was just that – a washing machine full of bluebottle jellyfish. Can you say sting? And not the good-looking one who sings Roxanne – in your dreams. These buggers may be little but they pack a wallop. Not that I've been stung but I've seen the results on little kids and adults. Tears galore. And that's just the adults.
Today was a bright, blue sunny Sydney day and the sky went on forever. The waves when they crashed were that flashing, turquoisey-green reminiscent of the Mediterranean – except with movement. That pearlescent, white foam that goes on forever after the wave and then another begins. Building up creating colour and then oblivion – a metaphor for life really.
Mahon baths are well-patronised with locals and tourists alike. It's not very big so try to come at off-peak times. The floor of the baths is natural rock with nooks and crannies for fish and other sea life to hide. There were some lovely tiger striped wrasse and fairly big-sized *almost eating sized fish. Lots of sea urchins along the walls and not a lot of seaweed. It would be great on a stormy day too I can imagine it would be very dramatic.
Coffee is available at the nearby Pool Cafe (open for breakfast and lunch weekdays 7-330 later on weekends) on the corner of The Corso and the Marine Parade. I had lunch and the coffee was good but try the Reuben sandwich if you are a true Reuben aficionado – it has proper corned beef and the only thing missing is the sauerkraut. But you can forgive that because of the quality of the corned beef.
Particulars: Rating System: 1-5 (lowest to highest)
Rating: 2.5 - Great setting, natural rock (which counts for more in my rating system). Let down by quality of change rooms/toilets. Lots of spots for a picnic or sunbathing on a rock shelf – for those so inclined. Points for a good cafe with good coffee and good food. Free parking! Map here Google Map
Open – all the time Cost – FREE!!