The swimming enclosure pictured [on the website] was very different to the one which remains at Clifton Gardens today. Although both were ‘ocean baths’ which permitted safe swimming in the harbour (though the shark proof net is apparently not particularly shark proof today), the original was unique in its design. Sometimes referred to as the ‘amphitheatre bath’, the huge circular swimming enclosure could apparently accommodate up to 3000 spectators on the decks! The enclosure was circular, surrounded by a two storey walkway which connected at either end with the dressing sheds (also apparently two storey). The baths were used for mixed bathing, both during the day and at night.
The Past Present
Sydney. fortunate much beyond all other cities of the Commonwealth in the matter of swimming baths, is now in possession of another bathing en closure of larger dimensions than any previously existing. The Clifton Garden Baths, erected by the Sydney Ferries Co., Ltd., is now available to the public. Altogether the space covered by the structure is 30,000 square feet, and when it is fully completed there will be comfortable accommodation for 5000 people. Two platforms, each 12ft. wide, run round the swimming space, which is circular in shape. Dressing room has been provided for 2000 people. -A special section outside the deeper portion is being set apart for ladies, while another is to be for the use of nonswimmers.
Sunday Times, 9 December 1906