Kōrero: Gay men’s lives

Te Aro baths

Te Aro baths

Te Aro sea baths in Wellington were divided into men's and women's pools. The men's pool – shown here in 1950 – was a popular meeting place for gay men. Here they could sunbathe, show off their physique and swimming prowess, admire other men's bodies, socialise and pick up sexual partners. The baths were demolished in the early 1960s and replaced with the mixed-sex Freyberg Pool. In the early 21st century some public swimming pools and beaches – such as Wellington's Breaker Bay – remained popular among gay men for the same reasons that drew men there 60 years before. 

Using this item

Alexander Turnbull Library, Evening Post Collection (PAColl-0614)
Reference: 114/221/12-G

Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

All images & media in this story

Me pēnei te tohu i te whārangi:

Chris Brickell, 'Gay men’s lives - History', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/mi/photograph/27640/te-aro-baths (accessed 21 August 2019)

Story by Chris Brickell, published 5 May 2011, reviewed & revised 11 May 2018