A list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools

A list of Melbourne’s best swimming pools

Harold Holt Swim Centre - image by Wikimedia Commons
Words By Jessica Boland

Time for a dip.

With summer fast approaching, it’s again time for Melburnians to start searching for ways to beat the heat. 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).

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.

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).

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.

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.


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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.

Brighton Baths

Brighton Baths stands out as one of Melbourne’s only enclosed, outdoor sea baths. 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.


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.

The Harold Holt Swim Centre

This Glen Iris swim centre is 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 and his body was never found.

So, what else would you do but… name a swim centre after him.

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.

Yarraville Swim Centre

In true Yarraville fashion, Australia’s ‘coolest’ suburb is home to undoubtedly one of the coolest 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.

Northcote Aquatic & Recreation Centre

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 ethereal 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.

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