Bogey Hole


The Bogey Hole, also called the Commandant’s Baths, is a sea bath located in Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia, and is included in the heritage listing of the country called the “land down under.”

The pool is in the middle of a vast sandstone/conglomerate rock shelf located at the base of cliffs near Shepherds Hill.

It’s believed to be the oldest surviving European ocean pool construction in the city area on the NSW coast. It’s rare because it’s a convict-constructed bathhouse — an unusual item in this part of the world, dated between 1819 and 1891.

However, there is evidence that suggests the pool was built by convict labour between 1820 and 1823 for then Commandant of Newcastle, Lieutenant-Colonel James Thomas Morisset. He was a notable military figure from the early period of European settlement in Australia.

The “Bogie” or “Bogey” is an Aboriginal word that supposedly means “bathe”, but its meaning has been lost over the years.

The Bogey Hole is a public bath cut out of the rocks below the cliff at Shepherd Hill. This bath is 10 metres long, and the maximum width is 6.5 metres. The average depth is 1.5 metres.

It’s in its original form. However, various weatherboard sheds and a brick toilet block were added over time, but they’ve all now been demolished.

There are steel fencing posts and chains along the seaward side of this structure.

The Bogey Hole is part of a wider public landscape of recreational activities and facilities, which is collectively known as “Bathers’ Way”. They are designed to enhance the amenity of the area for visitors to use for a range of purposes. Some public art pieces will be commissioned and installed along the cliffs overlooking the swimming pool.

One of the two surviving constructed features from the days of the earliest European settlement in Newcastle, Australia, it is a convict-built bath hewn out of a rock face for Lieutenant-Colonel Morisset. It was him who commanded its digging for his own personal use.

A picturesque and interesting feature in the coastal landscape of King Edward Park is the Castle Keep. It’s of considerable social significance to the people of Newcastle. A great place to also visit is Glenrock State Conservation Area.

This popular sea bath is an integral part of Australia’s history, being one of the two remaining European-made structures from the days of the earliest European settlement in Newcastle, perhaps the earliest European-built structure. In fact, Bogey Hole is one of a number of sites listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 21 November 2003 after satisfying the various criteria.

In NSW, it is one of the many places with  a solid or particular association with the local’s history. The list includes the Sydney Opera House, the Blue Mountains, the Northern Beaches and the Royal Botanic Gardens. More about Newcastle here.

The Bogey Hole is an important part of the King Edward Park Foreshore, being an attractive natural area for the locals and tourists. Its distinctive and pleasing features are a subject for contemporary artists and photographers.

The place is very significant or special place in New South Wales for cultural, social and spiritual reasons.

Embedded Driving Directions from Bogey Hole to Glenrock State Conservation Area

Written Driving Directions from Bogey Hole to Glenrock State Conservation Area

Start: Bogey Hole

Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle NSW 2300


Take Shortland Esplanade to Reserve Rd

1 min (450 m)
Head north towards Shortland Esplanade
80 m
Turn left onto Shortland Esplanade
350 m
Turn right onto York Dr
39 m


Take Memorial DrGlebe Rd and City Rd/Pacific Hwy/A43 to Fernleigh Loop in Merewether

10 min (6.8 km)
Turn left onto Reserve Rd
350 m
Continue onto Bingle St
110 m
Continue onto High St
250 m
Turn right onto Memorial Dr
950 m
Turn right onto Parkway Ave
400 m
Turn left onto Darby St
94 m
Slight right onto Glebe Rd
1.5 km
Turn left onto City Rd/Pacific Hwy/A43
3.1 km


Take Gun Club Rd to Yuelarbah Management Trail

8 min (1.3 km)
Turn left onto Fernleigh Loop
110 m
Slight left onto Gun Club Rd
Restricted-usage road
650 m
Turn right
Restricted-usage road
300 m
Continue onto Flaggy Creek Trail
Restricted-usage road
68 m
Turn left onto Yuelarbah Management Trail
Restricted-usage road
Destination will be on the right
210 m

End: Glenrock State Conservation Area

Yuelarbah Track, Highfields NSW 2289

Embedded Driving Directions from WASP Industries to Bogey Hole

Written Driving Directions from WASP Industries to Bogey Hole

Start: WASP Industries

98 Weakleys Dr, Beresfield NSW 2322


Get on New England Hwy/A43 from Weakleys Dr

3 min (1.4 km)
Head east on Bowden Way towards Weakleys Dr
120 m
Turn left onto Weakleys Dr
240 m
At the roundabout, continue straight to stay on Weakleys Dr
650 m
Turn right to merge onto New England Hwy/A43
400 m


Follow A43 to King St in Newcastle West

21 min (21.1 km)
Merge onto New England Hwy/A43
13.5 km
Turn left onto Industrial Dr/A43
5.4 km
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit onto Hannell St/A43
1.2 km
At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit and stay on Hannell St/A43
Continue to follow A43
1.0 km


Continue on King St. Take Tyrrell St to York Dr in Newcastle

8 min (3.1 km)
Turn left onto King St
140 m
Turn right to stay on King St
1.4 km
Turn right onto Darby St
120 m
Turn left onto Tyrrell St
700 m
Turn right onto Newcomen St
200 m
Turn left onto Reserve Rd
59 m
Turn right onto York Dr
550 m

End: Bogey Hole

Shortland Esplanade, Newcastle NSW 2300