The Bogey Hole in Newcastle is not just your average rock pool. Convicts carved it from the ocean rock wall in a stunning effort in the 1820s. James Thomas Morisset, Commandant of Newcastle from 1819 to 1822, ordered the construction but decided he didn’t want to share and had it made as his personal rocky ocean bathtub – which was why it was called Commandants Baths for many years.
“THIS WAS MY LOCAL SWIMMING HOLE GROWING UP. FANTASTIC WITH THE WAVES CRASHING OVER THE ROCK WALLS AND AWESOME ON NEW YEARS DAY WITH A BEER.” – Michelle Hespe

Luckily for us, it’s been a public pool since 1863, and was renamed after the Aboriginal Dharug word bugi: to bathe. As you stand and watch the waves smashing into the pool, you can picture what it must have been like to quarry it manually from the rocks, standing deep in troubled water. Especially since the rocks in the area are a sandstone-conglomerate and considered stubbornly hard. 

WHERE // Newcastle, 160km north of Sydney. The pool is at the foot of Shepherds Hill, beneath King Edward Park.

DID YOU KNOW? // Newcastle is the seventh largest city in Australia and is the largest city that’s not a state or federal capital. It’s known for its convict tracks all around the area, such as the site of the former Convict Lumber Yards, the oldest surviving example of a convict industrial site.

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