Balmy, breezy and beckoning, the warmer months are well and truly here, bringing with them blue skies and long days. And while Melbourne isn't blessed with too many beaches in the inner city, it does have plenty of exemplary outdoor pools just waiting for you to glide into their cool, blue waters — either for exercise, play or to just plain cool down.
As part of metropolitan Melbourne's step two restrictions, outdoor pools are allowed to open — with restrictions. You need to remain within your five-kilometre bubble and you can only exercise for a maximum of two hours a day.
FITZROY SWIMMING POOL, FITZROY
Fitzroy Pool on Alexandra Parade is a dreamy old-school pool that's perfect for weekday lap swimming or weekend poolside chills. The modernist building is flanked by murals and features an eight-lane 50-metre pool as well as two kiddie pools. The water is always the ideal temperature a swim here is just generally an invigorating experience. It's one of the best pols in the north. And, usually, the poolside bleachers are the perfect place to sunbathe after your swim — but, at the moment, the pool is only open for lap swimming. Bookings are essential with 20 swimmers allowed in the venue at one time. Sessions are also limited to 45 minutes.
160 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy. Open 6am–8pm Monday–Friday and 8am–7pm Saturday–Sunday. Make a booking here.
PRAHRAN AQUATIC CENTRE, PRAHRAN
The Prahran Aquatic Centre may be a public pool, but it's a little bit fancy. The eight-lane, 50-metre pool is heated and overlooked by a gorgeous wooden sunbathing deck. There's no indoor pool and in summer there are (usually) all-day pool parties with DJs and sausage sizzles. At the moment, the pool is open for up to 20 people at a time and sessions are limited to 45 minutes. Bookings are essential and can be made two days in advance over here.
41 Essex Street, Prahran. Open 5.45am–9pm Monday–Thursday, 5.45am–8pm Friday, 6am–7pm Saturday and 7am–7pm Sunday. Make a booking here.
BRUNSWICK BATHS, BRUNSWICK
Whatever swimming you feel like doing, Brunswick Baths have a body of what to suit your needs. They've got a 20-metre indoor pool as well as a spa, sauna and steam room (which are, sadly, currently closed), but when it's hot out you'll want to head straight to the heated eight-lane Olympic-sized outdoor pool. It's open all year-round and is great for hardcore lap swimmers. Post-COVID-19, it's reopening on Monday, October 5, with sessions limited to 45 minutes and bookings essential.
14 Dawson Street, Brunswick. Open 6am–10am and 4–8pm Monday–Friday, 8am–12pm and 2–6pm Saturday and 8am–12pm Sunday. Make a booking here.
BRIGHTON BATHS, BRIGHTON
Brighton Baths is not so much a pool as a patch of ocean, so it's not for the faint hearted or those used to heated water. But if you want to get salty and safely swim 50-metre laps in the ocean, this is the pool for you. The pool area has been sectioned off with a boardwalk that you can laze around on to dry off. At the moment, the sea baths, lap lanes and outdoor personal training areas are open, but the steam room is closed. It's not taking online bookings, but you can give them a call on (03) 9592 7350 to discuss locking in a session.
251 Esplanade, Brighton. The baths are staffed from 7am–7pm daily.
MONASH AQUATIC RECREATION CENTRE, GLEN WAVERLEY
For those of you out east searching for your everything pool, check out the swim centre at Monash. It has some incredible features, including a 25-metre indoor pool; a spa, sauna and steam room; and — wait for it — a wave pool (that you can take a boogie board into), but at the moment only the eight-lane, 50-metre outdoor pool is open. Bookings are essential and sessions are limited to 45 minutes.
626 Waverley Road, Glen Waverley. Open 6–9am and 4–7pm Monday–Friday and 8am–12pm Saturday. Make a booking here.
MELBOURNE SPORTS AND AQUATIC CENTRE, ALBERT PARK
Just south of Southbank, you'll find the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC) hidden away in Albert Park. If you're a sports person who enjoys running, jumping and movements of all varieties, you'll absolutely love MASC and its huge range of fields, courts and sports doodads. But its aquatic facilities blow all others out of the water (excuse the pun). It has a lush 50-metre outdoor pool that's perfect for both exercise and play. Plus, a 50-metre indoor pool, a 25-metre indoor pool, 14 indoor diving boards, a multipurpose indoor pool, a hydrotherapy pool, an indoor wave pool, a water slide, a spa and change room great facilities. Yes, it's all here. Of course, under current restrictions only the outdoor pool is open and 50-minute bookings can be made over here.
30 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park. The outdoor pool is open 6am–8pm Monday–Friday and 7am–4pm Saturday–Sunday.
NORTH MELBOURNE RECREATION CENTRE, NORTH MELBOURNE
The outdoor pool in North Melbourne is small but perfectly formed. The 25-metre pool has eight lanes for you to just keep swimming and is kept at a balmy 27.5 degrees all year-round. In summer, it also runs cute, aquatic movie nights, where you can catch movies on the big screen while floating in an inflatable pink swan (BYO pink swan and water-resistant popcorn). The outdoor pool is reopening from Monday, October 5, with bookings limited to one hour. To make a booking, you'll need to download the City of Melbourne's Active Melbourne app.
204-206 Arden Street, North Melbourne. Open 6–11am and 4–7pm Monday–Friday and 8am–12pm Saturday–Sunday. Make a booking over here.
Published on October 01, 2020 by Imogen Baker