As the summer months arrive, you’re probably waiting for your first swim of the warm months. Or maybe you aren’t lucky enough to – we can’t all live in Bondi or Brighton! Either way, we’ve compiled a great list of our favourite outdoor pools, aquatic centres and swimming holes that are close enough to the city that they can be enjoyed at any time – by anyone!
Brighton Baths Health Club
This Melbourne institution has a unique Olympic-sized open water pool with a beautiful view of the Bay, and additional access to the health club’s gym, and a steam room.
This heated outdoor pool operates year-round with indoor facilities for the cooler months. Group fitness classes, gym, steam room and sauna are also available. In the heart of Brunswick opposite Jewell Station, it is easily accessible, affordable and fun for the whole family.
Harold Holt Swimming Centre
One of the most popular aquatic facilities in Melbourne, holding both 25 and 50 metre heated pools as well as gym facilities and kids splash areas. Swimming classes and hydrotherapy are among the services that this swimming centre offers.
Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
Since opening, MSAC has held thousands of events including the aquatics for the 2006 Commonwealth Games. The centre caters for families as well as professional swimmers (and everyone in between) with a range of facilities including indoor, outdoor, multi-purpose, hydrotherapy and wave pools as well as diving boards, spas, saunas and activities for the kids.
This natural rock pool turned 33 meter swimming pool is at the edge of the harbour with amazing city skyline views. Although not catering exclusively to lap swimmers, it does offer a relaxing place for a dip and to cool off after a hot Sydney day.
Bondi Icebergs Pool
Just around the corner from famous Bondi Beach, this saltwater pool is a super popular spot for locals and tourists alike. The small entry fee of $6.50 makes this swimming spot a real gem for everyone.
Just a 10 minute drive from Bondi Icebergs, you will find Bronte Baths built into the rocky cliffside. A location that is quieter than Bondi but suitable for all swimmers – there’s a shallow pool for families and a divided section for lap swimmers. Pro tip: get here at 7am to witness a truly spectacular sunrise over the ocean.
There’s nothing like freshwater swimming on a hot day. Lake Parramatta has a roped-off swimming area with free parking, BBQ, toilets and even a café. The swimming area is patrolled by lifeguards and the facilities are well looked after. What a great place for a BBQ picnic!
Dickson Aquatic Centre
This Aquatic Centre has facilities for all bathers including three, outdoor heated pools for lap swimming, recreation and toddlers. You’ll also find facilities for a BBQ picnic and a game of volleyball.
Club Blue at the Canberra International Sports and Aquatic Centre
Let the kids have fun while you relax and work out! Club Blue has Canberra’s only indoor waterslide as well as an obstacle course and a kid’s water-squirting hedgehog-thing and mushroom fountain! As tempting as it is for adults to play too, parents can swim laps in the Olympic sized lap pool or relax by the leisure pool beach!
Spring Hill Baths
Spring Hill Baths, home to Brisbane’s first in-ground swimming pool, are located in the heart of the city. This convenient swimming centre’s pools are heated for the cooler months and have a long list of classes, making this a great spot to access all year.
Wynnum Wading Pool
The pool and adjoining playground are much-loved destinations for a family day out. The pool fills with seawater at high tide and is an ideal spot for kids to splash around and have fun without having to venture out into the open water. As low tide hits, relax for a BBQ picnic and watch as the little ones chase the legions of soldier crabs scuttling across the foreshore.
South Bank Beach and Aquatic Playground
Make this man-made crystal lagoon your next tropical getaway – except you won’t need to go very far as it’s right in the centre of Brisbane! South Bank Beach is the size of 5 Olympic swimming pools and there really is something for everybody. Don’t forget to check out the free dive-in movies this summer!
Got a favourite swimming hole we haven’t heard about? Drop me a line and share it with us! We promise to keep it a secret…
– Valentina Di Sauro