Where To Swim in Melbourne

St Kilda Sea Baths, an iconic Melbourne swimming spot

If you’re planning to visit 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 for advice.

Top Melbourne Indoor + Outdoor Pools

Melbourne City Baths image one of best pools in melbourne
The grand exterior of the Melbourne City Baths

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 structure was built (and opened) between 1903 and 1904 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 for learning to swim.

You’ll also find a gym, cycle studio and squash courts, plus group fitness classes.

Address: 420 Swanston Street, Melbourne

Phone: 03 9658 9011

Website for Melbourne City Baths is here

melbourne swimming oldest place city baths
You can’t take photos at all within the Baths, so this one is taken from the website. Isn’t it elegant?

Brunswick Baths

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 heated outdoor pool
  • outdoor splash playground for kids
  • 20 metre heated indoor pool
  • leisure pool for indoor play

There’s also a spa, sauna and steam rooms, a gym, cardio room and group fitness classes.

Address: 14 Dawson Street, Brunswick

Phone: 03 9381 1840

Website: Brunswick Baths website is here

Fitzroy Swimming Pool. Photo credit: Yarra Council

Fitzroy Swimming Pool

Best known for its outdoor 50 metre pool, this is one of Melbourne’s favourite swimming spots and is especially popular 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 suburb of Fitzroy, this pool is about 5km from Flinders Street Station. It’s a delightful walk to get there, or the Route 11 tram stops on the corner of Alexander Parade and Brunswick Street.

Address: 160 Alexandra Parade, Fitzroy

Phone: 02 9205 5522

Website: Fitzroy Swimming Pool website is here.

St Kilda Sea Baths’ 25 metre seawater pool (but heated!)

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 sit right in front. But for the swimmers, let’s look at the pool first.

St Kilda Sea Baths have 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 iterations 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 a kite surf down there too… and never forget a visit to Luna Park.

Getting there: St Kilda is a seaside suburb about 6km from the city centre. The Route 16 tram leaves from Swanston Street, Route 96 from Bourke Street and Route 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

St Kilda Sea baths image best Melbourne swimming pools
The exterior of the St Kilda Sea Baths – a Melbourne must-swim

The indoor pool at MSAC, image from the Instagram feed.

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 and toddler pool
  • 50m water slide
  • hydrotherapy pool
  • spa, sauna and steam room

Getting there: Take a Route 96 tram to stop 129 or a Route 12 to stop 131

Address: 30 Aughtie Drive, Albert Park

Phone: 03 9926 1555

Website: Find the MSAC website here.

Photo credit: Brighton Baths Facebook page, see more 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 the netted baths seen commonly in Sydney. There’s also a private beach and boardwalk, changing rooms, showers and a health club.

You need to pay to use Brighton Baths. You can sign up for a monthly or annual membership, or just pay for the day. Swimming laps, playing on the water and on the beach are all good fun here. Many people swim all year round. However, the water does get very cold here and the group are known as the Icebergers.

Address: 251 Esplanade, Brighton

Brighton Baths Health Club website here

Getting there: Take the Sandringham Line from Flinders Street to Brighton Beach Station.

Melbourne Hotels with Great Pools

25 metre pool at the opulent Crowne Towers

Crowne Towers Melbourne

Why waste time? Head straight to Melbourne’s best hotel swimming pool. This 25 metre indoor pool has fab views over the Yarra to the city centre. There are luxurious lounging facilities all around and an excellent gym 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

langham hotel indoor pool image
The Langham main pool and lounge area

The Langham Melbourne

The Langham revels in 5 star luxury, with a price tag to match. It is a fantastic place to stay though, my one night there a few years ago was very enjoyable. I had done the City To Sea walk and hugely enjoyed a relaxing swim in the pool and a bubble in the spa afterwards.

The hotel pool is only 15 metres long, but it makes up for its lack of length in exuberant views of 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

melbourne best hotels pools picture of Langham
The spa pool at the Langham

The Adelphi Hotel

Winning prizes as Melbourne’s best boutique hotel, this city centre icon has a terrific rooftop deck with a glass bottomed pool that juts out over Flinders Lane. The pool is only 15 metres in length, so not great for laps but a lovely place to sit with drinks and to soak up the atmosphere.

Address: 187 Flinders lane, Melbourne 3000

Adelphi website is here

Relaxing by the rooftop pool at the Adelphi Hotel, Flinders Lane, Melbourne

Booking Melbourne Hotels With Great Pools

Gorgeous Melbourne Beaches

The bathing boxes at Brighton Beach

St Kilda Beach

Not the world’s most beautiful beach, but great for getting to quickly from town. There are also plenty of other attractions close by and delightful cafes and restaurants all along the promenade.

Getting there: Trams Route 16, 96 and 12 stop at St Kilda and the beach is just a short walk away.

Elwood Beach

The calm waters of Elwood Beach make it great for swimming, and sometimes there’s enough surf for some boogie boarding. There’s the Bayside Trail bike and running track if you fancy a walk or cycle, plus cafes a’plenty.

Getting there: Elwood Beach is 9km from the city centre. Sadly there’s no direct tram to Elwood Beach, so a journey by public transport requires a combination of bus, tram and/or train. Check the Public Transport Victoria Route planner here.

Brighton Beach

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 1km long, with a seawall and a walkway along the shore. It’s 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 from the city centre. As with Elwood Beach, you need a combination of public transport methods to get there. The best is a train to Sandringham and then a bus. Check the Public Transport Victoria Route planner here.

st kilda beach image for swimming beaches Melbourne
Testing the waters of Port Phillip Bay at St Kilda

Peninsula Hot Springs group bathing

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 adult only spaces 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

Peninsula Hot Springs website is here

Serene spaces at Peninsula Hot Springs

Ocean Swim Races

In summer there are many open water swimming races held around Melbourne and Victoria. The most famous are the Lorne Pier to Pub, heldon the Great Ocean Road, and the Portsea Classic, on the Mornington Peninsula.

Find listing for Melbourne and Victoria’s ocean swim races on the Oceanfit website here.

More Melbourne Pools

A long time Melburnian friend has suggested some more pools

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2 thoughts on “Where To Swim in Melbourne”

  1. What an interesting read Seana. I checked out your About Page too. Swim the world – what an ambitious goal.

    We visit Melbourne regularly, as we have daughters living in Melbs. In fact, one lives at Brunswick. So we’ll have to check out the Brunswick Baths. And the Melbourne City Baths looks very impressive. Yet, I can’t agree with the “gorgeous” Melbourne Beaches… but that may be a NSW & Victorian thing ? But what really got my attention was the Penisula Hot Springs – now they do look gorgeous ?

    • Yes, I have mentally booked myself in to the Peninsula Hot Springs on my next visit south. I know I could stay all day. I think I can be a bit over-enthusiastic about beaches… it comes from being brought up in Scotland… actually, the beaches there are beaut too but… chilly.


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