Melbourne’s best swimming pools: Indoor, outdoor, rooftop and city baths
11.02.2022

Melbourne’s best swimming pools: Indoor, outdoor, rooftop and city baths

Melbourne best swimming pools
Words By Ben Lamb & Jessica Boland

Summer's here, it's time for a dip. Here's our massive list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools, and the city's best baths and spas.

With warm days still happening, it’s the perfect time for Melburnians to find different ways to beat the heat, so we’ve updated this list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools and the city’s best baths. We’re including public pools, outdoor pools, rooftop pools (including some infinity pools) and all the top 50 metre pools if you’re fit enough to manage a lap or two.

While some lucky buggers can cool down in the privacy of their own pools, not all of us are so blessed. So, for those who don’t feel like braving the icy ocean and having their togs fill to the brim with sand, Melbourne is home to some amazing swimming pools, free of creepy sea creatures, seaweed and sand (mostly). The fun doesn’t stop at pools either, many of the spots on this list also feature some killer spas, saunas, and gyms.

Stay up to date with what’s happening in and around Melbourne here. You can also check out the best swimming holes near Melbourne, and the best secret beaches near Melbourne.

Melbourne City Baths

This historic Melbourne City Baths dates back to 1860, and was built as an alternative for swimmers to escape the polluted Yarra River. The red and white bricked heritage exterior is matched with the similarly vintage interior, equipped with a viewing balcony surrounding the perimeter of the pool as well.

Back in 2021, Melbourne’s City Baths underwent a massive renovation and refurbishment, where large sections of the beautiful baths were fixed up and maintained to withstand another century.

Prahran Aquatic Centre

Situated right next to the Prahran markets, nestled between Victoria Gardens and our beloved Chapel Street, lies the Prahran Aquatic Centre. This spot provides a beautiful 50-metre pool and an expansive lawn for swimmers to lay down, relax and have a splash (or refresh and reset after a big night). There’s also a Sauna / Spa and Steam Room for those warmer months.

It’s not too expensive either, for a swim, it’s only an easy $7, or you can buy a 10-visit pass for only $62.70. To top off an already enjoyable visit, there’s a beautiful café on location, where you can enjoy some awesome hot food and coffee. Make sure you wait half an hour before you get back in the water though.

St Kilda Sea Baths

The St Kilda Sea Baths are situated in the heart of St Kilda’s beach strip, nestled in between restaurants, bars and other beachside attractions. This means you can enjoy a dip in the pool while overlooking the beach views, then grab a meal at Republica or a drink from Captain Baxter when you’re done.

Not to mention the pools are filled with natural sea water flowing from St Kilda Beach which provides extra buoyancy to stimulate your body and mind and assist with muscle and joint pain and recovery… if that’s your thang.

The enjoyment doesn’t stop there, there’s also a hydrotherapy spa, and aromatherapy steam room, each with beach views, making your path to recovery that little bit more enjoyable.

Docklands’ Mariott Hotel Rooftop Infinity Pool

Don’t worry, 95% of the huge variety of pools on this list are uber-affordable and accessible, but you simply can’t have a list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools without admitting there are a lot of rich punters here that can live the high life, literally. The Marriot Hotel offers Melbourne only outdoor, heated rooftop infinity pool. There are a few other infinity pools in Melbourne, but none of them really pull off the whole ‘Bay Sands Singapore’ Instagram vibe like this one.

The 28-metre wet edge pool is usually only accessible to guests, who can drink and dine and layabout on deck chairs and all that. However, on select occasions the hotel opens it up for day passes costing $98, which allows four-entries to the rooftop pool, whirlpool, gym and sauna.

Adelphi Hotel’s Rooftop Pool

We have two more fancy-schmancy pools to show you before we return to normality, so feel free to skip ahead but for now, we’re guessing you’re enjoying the voyeurism (or maxing your credit card).

The Adelphi Hotel’s rooftop pool is probably the best known of Melbourne’s rooftop pools despite its miniature size, due to its unique design. It’s cantilevered out of the building’s structure, intending to make paddlers feel like they’re floating above the city, with a glass bottom reminiscent of the Eureka Skydeck. Due to the skinny dimensions and the whopping great buildings blocking out the view, it’s a little bit of a novelty, but it’s a very cool idea nonetheless.

Quest Flemington Central 

The best pool with a view on this list, you can’t beat the Quest Flemington Central’s entire city panorama, not bad for a hotel that’s only 15 minutes from Melbourne’s CBD. It’s located right next to Flemington racecourse so does a lot of business around the spring carnival, and the cheapest rooms set you back around $200, so by all means, scroll on.

Brunswick Baths

Showcasing more of Melbourne’s history, Brunswick Baths was built in 1914. The building itself, found just off Sydney Road, is heritage listed and contains a yoga studio and workout room. Just like the Prahran Aquatic Centre, it’s situated in a prime inner-city location, close to so many of our favourite pubs, bars and clubs, making it the perfect place to refresh and relax this summer.

The Brunswick Baths’ has two pools perfect for any time of year, a heated 50m outdoor pool and 20m heated indoor, complete with a kiddy pool too, so there’s truly something for everyone at Brunswick Baths.

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

Located near the intersection of Alexandra Parade and Brunswick Street, the Fitzroy Swimming Pool is one of Melbourne’s most recognisable pools. With the blue mosaic tile walls becoming an intrinsic part of Alexandra Parade, and the bright white bricks and tiles that cover the building, the Fitzroy hotspot creates the perfect summer vibe.

Besides an iconic pool, the Fitzroy Pool offers a gym, group exercise studio, spa, sauna, and even a steam room, there’s no shortage of aquatic based activities at this spot.

Coburg Olympic Swimming Pool

Many spots throughout the city are often too jam packed and small, there’s no room to spread out and relax. The Coburg Olympic Swimming Pool is the reverse of that, there’s a number of pools spread out on a large area, perfect for lounging out and enjoying the sun while it’s still around.

The Coburg Pool often posts updates about their pools and things happening around them on their Facebook page, keep an eye on it here.

Pascoe Vale Outdoor Pool

Continuing our journey around Melbourne’s best swimming pools in the northern suburbs, Pascoe Vale outdoor pool is another great spot that’s worth checking out while the weather’s still a little bit warm. It’s a beautiful 33m outdoor pool that’s heated, so you’re able to enjoy a visit here all year round.

The fun doesn’t end there, the pools also got a diving board, so you can try out some new tricks and achieve those secret dreams of joining the Olympics.

Oak Park Pool

Not too far from the Pascoe Vale Outdoor Pool is the Oak Park pool, a child’s delight thanks to the awesome waterslides that makes a journey there much more worth it.

The gym centre alongside it has some great daily classes, these include things like Yoga, Body Pumps, and even a cool Body Combat session. Check out all the other classes on offer here.

Ashburton Pool and Recreation Centre

Ashburton’s Pool is one of the biggest pools in the Eastern suburbs’ region, you’ll find a great array of people here, from those training for events to young kids enjoying a simple day at the pool.

Like many good pools on this list, it doesn’t end at the pool, there’s a bunch of amazing gym sections across this spot, including a weights room, spin classes, and a whole heap more you can dive into here.

Hawthorn Aquatic and Leisure Centre

There’s no shortage of pools across suburbs in the Eastern Suburbs, with Hawthorn featuring a cool pool and aquatic centre.

It’s perfect for any types of swimmer, from young people who are just wanting to learn how to swim, to the outdoor 50m pool which is often used for intense Water Polo matches. According to their website, the Hawthorn Aquatic centre holds a whopping 100 classes every week, so you’re bound to find something up your alley.

Noble Park Pool

Noble Park’s Pool is a one stop spot for all the fun things. While we’re still getting days in the high 20s and early 30s, it’s the perfect time to head to this pool, it’s got an awesome outdoor play centre for kids, full of super fun toys and games that’ll keep them occupied for hours.

It’s pretty cheap too – to ride of the waterslide, it’s only $2.30! Dive into all the other prices here.

Brighton Baths

Brighton Baths stands out as one of Melbourne’s only enclosed, outdoor sea baths, making it one of the most beautiful and tranquil places on this list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools. Situated on Brighton Beach, this slice of private beach has been operating since 1881 and allows swimmers to reap the therapeutic, healing benefits of fresh sea water, with the peace and seclusion of a pool. This sea bath is operational all year round, and casual swimmers can claim single day passes whenever they feel the urge for a refreshing swim.

For less confident swimmers, the Brighton Baths offers some swim coaching, where you can get your swimming up to a level it should be and improve your health and wellbeing in the meantime.

Collingwood Leisure Centre

Collingwood’s Leisure centre is exactly what you’d want when you think of a family friendly aquatic centre. It’s got all the trimmings you’d want too, there’s something for every family member.

Their heated pool is equipped for kids swimming lessons, and they’ve got a great club for older adults who want to get their fitness back up again.

North Melbourne Recreation Centre

If you’re looking for one of Melbourne’s best swimming pools that’s also great for the whole family, the North Melbourne Rec Centre pool is the place for you. There’s a bunch of different pools of varying depths, so no matter what your confidence in the water, you’ll find a pool suited for you. Each pool is warmed to a perfect 27.5*, meaning it’s ideal for any time of year.

With a beautiful grass area surrounding the pool, lay out your towel and enjoy a few hours at this spot. The Rec centre shares space with the North Melbourne Football Club, so keep your eyes peeled for a footy player or two as well.

MSAC

It’s the family favourite, and the mother of all primary school excursions, but there’s no denying MSAC is one of Melbourne’s best swimming pools. With indoor and outdoor pools, diving boards, water slides and a wave pool, it’s perfect for a family day out. But if you’re looking for a chill day with your friends, this probably isn’t the one for you.

Due to the popularity of the spot, you need to book in many aspects of the swimming experience, which means you’ll need to become a member, which isn’t too bad of a deal, as you get to experience the same things as some of our best Olympians who train there too. Check out all the info on memberships here.

The Harold Holt Swim Centre

This Glen Iris swim centre may or may not be one of Melbourne’s best swimming pools, it’s just being included just for the sheer twisted Aussie humour in its naming. For those who don’t remember, Harold Holt was our Prime Minister back in the ’60s and after only two years in office, he went swimming one day and literally never came back (which is why if someone does a runner, you call it doing the Harold Holt). His body was never found, so, what else would you do but name a swim centre after him…

If you’re thinking WTF, Holt was actually a highly passionate diver who used to sit in parliament and practice how long he could hold his breath for, and he used to do regular diving excursions off the coast in dangerous water, hence why someone in a local council thought it would be an apt tribute, and hence why he never came back.

On a brighter note, the centre’s pretty jam packed with cool stuff though – you’ve got Harry’s Kiosk café, some laid back picnic areas with tables and chairs, and even a little shop where you can pick up those swimming items you forgot to bring.

Carlton Baths

For those who love a refreshing swim after a good, hard workout, the Carlton Baths are for you. This facility boasts a two-level fitness gym and health club, a cycle studio, cardio-fitness rooms and a single-court stadium on top of their outdoor heated pool.

In classic Carlton / Hipster fashion, the pool also converts into a bit of a live music stage on a regular basis, so you can enjoy some killer local tunes while you take a dip. Recently they’ve featured music from Feign Jima and Charlie Needs Braces. Keep an eye on their socials for any future show announcements.

Yarraville Swim Centre

In true Yarraville style, Australia’s ‘coolest’ suburb is home to undoubtedly one of Melbourne’s best swimming pools as well. This heated indoor pool is housed in a converted factory on Roberts Street in West Footscray so it’s incredibly deceptive from the outside. With a graffiti-clad exterior and a huge warehouse interior, this pool is one to visit. It’s perfect for the whole family as well, with some regular children’s swimming classes taking place.

The fun doesn’t stop there, it’ll cost you next to nothing to get in, it’s only an easy $5 for a casual swim, which sounds way too good to be true.

Northcote Aquatic & Recreation Centre

Note, these fellas are temporarily closed for redevelopment, but they insist they’ll be back sooner rather than later. Right in the heart of Northcote, in the midst of Victoria Road, the Northcote Aquatic & Recreation Centre is a comprehensive leisure and aquatics hub for everything you could need. It’s home to two huge pools, one outdoor and one indoor, a gym, a sauna, spa room and tennis courts.

Richmond Recreation Centre

Open 365 days a year, the Richmond Recreation Centre is home to Melbourne’s oldest indoor 50m pool. The pool, housed in a giant warehouse, with an delicate arched ceiling, is frequented by many an Olympic athlete or AFL player, according the City of Yarra Leisure website.

So, if you’re looking to smash out some laps, the pros seem to think this is the pool to do it. But it’s important to note that this pool is definitely suitable for swimmers of all different ages and abilities.

As it’s a hub for athletes, their gym equipment is some of the best, the group exercise studio has a mammoth 165-inch TV for virtual classes, and their spin studio has some state-of-the-art ic7 spin bikes. It almost makes all the exercising worth it.

Want to make swimming pools, baths and spas into a weekender? Check out our list of the best hot springs and bathhouses in the entire state of Victoria right here.