Balmoral Baths

Balmoral Baths

Stage Number: MBSH.03.03.18

Group: Southern

Local Study Area: Bulimba-Balmoral-Hawthorne-Morningside

Epoch: Early 20th Century

Street Address: Near Hawthorne Ferry

Latitude & Longitude: -27.46005556,153.05336111

Time Link: 1927

Map Link: 1927

Image Time Point: 1927

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This was one of a series of bathing enclosures on the banks of the Brisbane River during the early 19th century. They were opened with much pomp and ceremony, and were described as being ‘100ft by 33ft. with a maximum depth of 8ft at high water. and an average general depth of 6ft to 7ft. except at low tide. Being a tidal bath, it is flushed twice dally ensuring clean water for bathers. The swimming enclosure is strongly protected against dangers from the stream. There are 20 cubicles provided for each sex, also ample additional areas for children to dress or undress. Cold showers are provided, and all necessary appurtenances.’

Despite this promising start, it soon emerged that the baths were built in place where the current would not wash away debris, and they were condemned and closed in 1933 when the enclosure was full of decayed wood, empty tins, small dead fish, and foul-smelling mud.


Sunday Mail, 16 October 1927; Daily Standard, 23 October 1933.

Image Citations

The swimming enclosure at Balmoral was of a similar construction to these baths at Dutton Park, 1921. John Oxley Library, State Library of Queensland. Record number: 167415.

Map References

MLMS. 40 chain AG2 series 1887–1932—Moreton district. 40 chains to 1 inch. Moreton 40 Chain map AG2 series sheet 2 east. AG2