St Kilda Sea Baths, an iconic Melbourne swimming spot
If you’re planning a visit to Melbourne and you love to swim, you’ve come to the right spot. You’ll find here lists of the best Melbourne indoor and outdoor pools, the loveliest of the hotel pools, some gorgeous beaches and wild river swimming spots as well. Read on and you might even find some swimming buddies!
NB I haven’t put in opening times as they often change by season. Most pools do have lap swimming available most of the time, but I always suggest calling the pool to check when the best time is for a serious swim. Aussie pools do get VERY busy, so if you like a quiet swim, call the pool and ask advice.
Top Melbourne Indoor + Outdoor Pools
Melbourne City Baths
Starting with the oldest, this is also one of the most elegant of Melbourne’s old Victorian baths and also the closest swimming pool to the centre of Melbourne. This is one for laps and to tick off the swim bucket list.
Melbourne City Baths first opened on this site in 1860, and that original building was used until 1899. The current building was built and opened between 1903 and 1904 and is in the Edwardian baroque style, using red brick and contrasting cement render mouldings and detail.
The main pool here is 30 metres long but fairly narrow. There’s a delightful balcony above and a bubbly spa and a sauna close by. There’s a smaller pool, with changing rooms around it, mainly used as a learn to swim pool/
You’ll also find here a gym, cycle studio and squash courts, plus group fitness classes.
Address: 420 Swanston Street, Melbourne
Phone: 03 9658 9011
You’ll find both indoor and outdoors pools at Brunswick Baths, just a 5km journey from the centre of Melbourne. There are several pools:
- 50 metre outdoor pool, which is heated
- a kids splash playground outdoors
- 20 metre indoors heated pool
- Leisure pool for play indoors too
There’s also a spa, sauna and steam rooms, a gym, cardi0 room and group fitness classes.
Address: 14 Dawson Street, Brunswick
Phone: 03 9381 1840
Fitzroy Swimming Pool
Best known for its outdoors 50 metre pool, this is one of Melbourne’s favourite swimming spots and is very popular, especially on hot summer days. There’s also an outdoor toddler pool, plus a spa, sauna and steam room, gym and group fitness classes.
Getting there: Located in the trendy inner city suburn of Fitzroy, this pool is about 5km from Flinders Street sStation. It’s a delightful walk to get there, or catch Tram 11, there’s a stop on the corner of Alexander Parade and Brunswick Street.
Address: 160 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy
Phone: 02 9205 5522
St Kilda Sea Baths
The St Kilda Sea Baths are a great deal more than just a swimming pool, there are 4 cafe/restaurants there too and the beach and promenade right in front. But for the swimmers, let’s look at the pool first.
St Kilda Sea Baths has a 25 metre seawater pool, which is heated. There’s also a hydrotherapy pool, a steam room and a lounge area with terrific views.
There have been several iteratioins of baths at St Kilda (the website has a good timeline) but this pool complex has been open since 2001.
After your seawater swim, it’s de rigeur to have a stroll around the promenade, maybe a swim in the sea, certainly a meal at one of the cafes, perhaps you might like to kite surf down there too… and never forget a visit to Luna Park too.
Getting there: St Kilda is a seaside suburb about 6km from the city centre. The No. 16 tram leaves from Swanston Street, No. 96 from Bourke Street and No. 12 from Collins Street take around 25 minutes to get to St Kilda.
Address: 10 – 18 Jacka Blvd, St Kilda
Phone: 03 9525 4888
Website: St Kilda Sea Baths website here
Melbourne Sports + Aquatic Centre
This massive sports complex has several pools to enjoy:
- 50 metre outdoor pool
- 50 metre indoor pool
- 25 metre indoor pool
- Indoor leisure/lessons pool
- Indoor wave pool, toddler pool and 50m water slide
- hydrotherapy pool
- Spa, sauna and steam room
Getting there: Take Tram No. 96 to Stop 129 or Tram No. 12 to stop 131
Address: 30 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park
Phone: 03 9926 1555
Website: Find the MSAC website here.
Brighton Baths: Open Air Sea Baths
Down at Brighton you will find Victoria’s only 50 metre open water lap lane pool. These are a netted baths as you see widely in Sydney, with a private beach and boardwalk plus chaning rooms, showers, a healthy club and more.
You need to pay to use Brighton Baths, you can pay just for the day or take out a monthly or annual membership. Swimming laps, playing on the water and on the beach are all good fun here. Many people swim all year round, the water does get very cold here and the group are known as the Icebergers.
Address: 251 Esplanade, Brighton
Getting there: Take the Sandringham Line from Flinders Street to Brighton Beach station.
Melbourne Hotels with Great Pools
Crowne Towers Melbourne
Just go straight for the best Melbourne hotel swimming pool, why waste time? This 25 metre indoors pool has fab views over the Yarra to the city centre. There’s luxurious seating and lounging facilities all around and an excellent gym here too. My two nights spend at the Crowne Towers for work a few years ago were much improved by several swims in this delightful pool.
Address: 8 Whiteman Street, Southbank
The Langham Melbourne
The Langham revels in 5 star luxury, with a price tag to match. It is a fab place to stay though, my one night there was very enjoyable a few years ago. I had done a the City To Sea walk and hugely enjoyed a relaxing swim in the pool and bubble inthe spa afterwards.
The hotel pool is only 15 metres long, but it makes up for its lack of length in its exuberant views over the Melbourne city skyline. The Langham is situated at Southbank within easy walking distance to all the central Melbourne attractions.
Address: 1 Southgate, Southbank, Melbourne
The Adelphi Hotel
Winning prizes as Melbourne’s best boutique hotel, this city centre icon has a terrific rooftop pool deck with a glass bottomed pool which juts out over Flinders Lane. The pool is now only 15 metres in length so not really a lap pool any more but a lovely place to sit with drinks and to soak up the atmosphere.
Address: 187 Flinders lane, Melbourne 3000
Gorgeous Melbourne Beaches
St Kilda Beach
Not the world’s most beautiful beach, but great for getting to quickly from town and with plenty of other attractions close by and delightful cafes and restaurants all along the promenade.
Getting there: Trams No. 16, 96 and 12 stop at St Kilda and the beach is just a very short walk away.
The calm waters of Elwood beach make it great for swimming, and sometimes there’s a bit of surf just enough for some boogie boarding. There’s the Bayside Trail bike and running track if you fancy a walk or bike ride, plus cafes a’plenty.
Getting there: Elwood Beach is 9km from the city centre. There’s no tram direct to Elwood Beach, sadly so a journey by public transport requires a combination of bus, tram and/or train. Check the Public Transport Victoria Route planner here.
Famous for its 82 colourful bathing boxes, Brighton Beach is easy to get to and a fun spot to explore. The beach is south facing and is 1km long, there’s a seawall and a walkway along the beach here too. Generally safe when waves are small, but look out for rips when there are winds and waves.
Getting there: Take the Sandringham Line from Flinders Street to Brighton Beach station.
Half Moon Bay at Black Rock
This delightful crescent-shaped beach is about 350m long and is generally safe for swimming and for snorkelling. Do check with the surf life saving club if you are keen to find the best swimming and snorkelling spots.
Getting there: Half Moon Bay beach is about 20km fromthe city centre. As with Elwood Beach you need a combination of public transport methods to get there, best is a train to Sandringham and then a bus. Check the Public Transport Victoria Route planner here.
Peninsula Hot Springs
Peninsula Hot Springs on the Mornington Peninsula makes a great day out for all ages. There are geothermal pools plus baths and saunas, cold plunge pools, family friendly areas and spaces only for adults too. There is a spa with all sorts of enticing treatments, plus a restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s best to book ahead, prices start from $35.
Address: 140 Springs lane, Fingal, Mornington Peninsula Vic 3939
Ocean Swim Races
In summer there are many open water swimming races help around Melbourne and Victoria. The most famous are the Lorne Pier to Pub, Lorne is on the Great Ocean Road, and the Portsea Classic, on the Mornington Peninsula.
Find listing for Melbourne + Victoria’s ocean swim races on the Oceanfit website here.
More Melbourne Pools
A long time Melburnian friend has suggested some more pools
- Glen Eira Sports and Aquatic Centre, has 50 metre outdoor pool and 25 metre indoor pool, two thrilling waterslides and Pirate’s Cove water playground: https://www.geleisure.com.au
- Waves in Highett / Cheltenham – suburban pool which includes an indoor wave pool: https://kingstonactive.com.au/aquatics/pool-spas-and-saunas