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Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve

  • 602040
  • The Esplanade, Wynnum


Also known as
Manly Wading Pool
State Heritage
Register status
Date entered
5 October 1998
Recreation and Entertainment: Swimming pool/Baths - in-ground
3.5 Developing secondary and tertiary industries: Struggling with remoteness, hardship and failure
8.5 Creating social and cultural institutions: Sport and recreation
Relief work
Construction periods
1932, Wynnum Wading Pool
unknown, Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve - Memorial, WH Barnes
Historical period
1919–1930s Interwar period


The Esplanade, Wynnum
Brisbane City Council
-27.44179707, 153.17614384


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Criterion AThe place is important in demonstrating the evolution or pattern of Queensland’s history.

The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve is demonstrative of a government scheme which was implemented to assist the unemployed throughout Queensland. It was constructed in 1932 under the Unemployment Relief Scheme which was implemented in the same year as a means of generating work projects for the unemployed during the Depression of the 1930s.

Criterion BThe place demonstrates rare, uncommon or endangered aspects of Queensland’s cultural heritage.

The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve is a rare example of early wading pool technology of this type in Queensland.

Criterion DThe place is important in demonstrating the principal characteristics of a particular class of cultural places.

The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve is a rare example of early wading pool technology of this type in Queensland.

Criterion EThe place is important because of its aesthetic significance.

It is also of aesthetic significance due to the surrounding landscape and its siting adjacent to Moreton Bay.

Criterion FThe place is important in demonstrating a high degree of creative or technical achievement at a particular period.

The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve is a rare example of early wading pool technology of this type in Queensland.

Criterion GThe place has a strong or special association with a particular community or cultural group for social, cultural or spiritual reasons.

Well known and utilised by local residents and visitors, the place has strong association with many community groups and is significant as a park complex and for its social history.


The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve was constructed in 1932 by relief workers and is a shallow tidal pool with concrete walls and a sandy bottom.

The first European settlement of the Wynnum Manly area of Moreton Bay occurred in the 1860s when two sugar mills, Lota and Wyvernleigh were established. The area soon became popular with holiday makers, and holiday homes were constructed along the bay. In 1882 land sales of the Manly Beach Estate (named after the coastal Sydney suburb) were held, giving the area its present name. The completion of the railway in 1889 provided further impetus for the development of the area as a seaside resort, although the area maintained its connections with the fishing industry. By the late 1920s, access to the area was possible by rail, bus or road, further increasing its popularity as a resort and also as a permanent place of residence for Brisbane businessmen and their families.

The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve was constructed by the Brisbane City Council, as part of the Unemployment Relief System which was established to provide work projects for the unemployed during the Depression of the 1930s. The Council took advantage of this scheme to complete a number of projects in the Wynnum Manly area, including the Manly Retaining Wall [602039] providing tools and materials for each project, whilst the state government provided the labour.

The pool was created by the construction of a concrete sea wall beyond the high water mark, with little excavation required. This wall creates a barrier between the pool and Moreton Bay and also provides a promenade along the foreshore of the Bay. Three pipes are located along the length of the wall, through which water flows at high tide. Flood gates are then closed to prevent the water from receding at low tide. This process is carried out fortnightly and the bottom is cleared of any build up of silt at the same time.

It seems that few alterations have been made to the pool since its original construction, although alterations have recently been carried out on the surrounding area to provide change rooms and a barbecue area, as well as a white sandy beach. Installation of flood lighting also occurred before the summer season of 1933, presumably to allow for night time use.

The pool has been popular with both locals and visitors since its inception in 1932. It remains in use for most of the year, by swimmers in the summer months and by model boat enthusiasts during winter.


The Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve is located in a recreational reserve on the foreshore of Moreton Bay. The Manly jetty extends into the bay to the north of the pool and barbecue areas are located at either end of the pool. The area at the northern end has been refurbished to include showers, change rooms, toilets, a play area and a man-made white sandy beach known as 'Pandanus Beach'. Trees are planted along the foreshore and at either end of the pool and include pines, bauhinia and figs. A memorial to W H Barnes, MLA for Bulimba and Wynnum, in the form of a sandstone drinking fountain is also located at the northern end of the pool.

The pool is a large oval shape measuring 128 metres x 54 metres, with a depth at the centre of approximately 750mm. Separated from the bay by a narrow concrete path, it is constructed of concrete with a natural compacted clay base which is covered with fresh sand fortnightly. It has five shallow steps surrounding the edges on all sides except that closest to the road. A concrete ramp provides additional access at the south-western corner of the pool and a slippery slide is located in the northern end of the pool. Two depth indicators are located at either end of the pool.

The pool contains salt water which enters the pool through three concrete pipes at high tide when flood gates retain the water. The pipes have mesh across them to prevent sea life entering the pool.

Vegetation in the surrounding park area includes pine, bauhinia and fig trees.

Image gallery


Location of Wynnum Wading Pool Reserve within Queensland
Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
Last reviewed
1 July 2022
Last updated
20 February 2022