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Harold Holt Swim Centre

The best outdoor pools in Melbourne

Feel like a splash? Jump into one of these outdoor Melbourne pools and sea baths

By Time Out editors

Despite complaints of inclement weather, Melbourne does a good turn when it comes to its pools. Pick a day over 30, hit one of these urban oases and drag your towel to a spare bit of premium pool real estate to soak up some rays. Alternatively, see if you've got the metal to become one of the Iceburgers at Brighton Baths and swim come rain, hail or shine.

That said, maybe a sandscape is more your speed – if so, head to one of our favourite beaches for some salt-air goodness. Waterholes are another good alternative for a hot-day dip – we've tried out some of Melbourne's best for your swimming pleasure.

1. Brighton Baths Health Club

Things to do Brighton
Offering a view of the beach that you'd be hard pressed to beat, The Brighton Baths Health Club's gym and steam room mean you can still enjoy the view and get a workout in if swimming in an Olympic-sized open water pool isn't so much your bag. Vitally, there's also a café and a bar! Brighton.
A swimmer kicks off from the pool wall
Photograph: iStock

2. Brunswick Baths

Sport and fitness Brunswick
The redeveloped Brunswick Baths boasts an environmentally friendly, cost-efficient facility with a 50-metre outdoor heated pool (which operates year-round) and grass surroundings. There's also a 20-metre indoor pool, a spa, sauna and steam room, a gym, group fitness classes, a childcare centre and accessible facilities. Brunswick.

3. Carlton Baths

Sport and fitness Carlton
The Carlton Baths have undergone major renovations, and now sit firmly in the 21st century. The inside is now sleek and modern, but the vibe still retains some of that old Carlton charm. The 25-metre pool is outside, and because of its shorter length, there tends to be fewer hardcore swimmers doing laps, so it's a lot less intimidating. Carlton. 
A swimmer at Fitzroy outdoor Swimming Pool
Photograph: John Halbrook

4. Fitzroy Swimming Pool

Sport and fitness Fitzroy
Open since 1908, Fitzroy Pool is a northside institution. Thanks to its big 50-metre heated outdoor swimming pool, lap swimmers can stick to their fitness routines all year round. Come summer though, it's a much more happening and is the perfect place for people watching. Sunday afternoons are where the party's at; DJs and live bands get the mood pumping. There's also a gym, spa, sauna and a toddler's pool for the little kids. Fitzroy.

5. Harold Holt Swim Centre

Sport and fitness Glen Iris
Nestled within the leafy streets of Glen Iris, Harold Holt (strangely named after our ill-fated Prime Minister) is a suburban haven for southside fitness junkies. Both the mosaic tiled indoor 25 metre pool and 50 metre outdoor pool are heated, so there's no excuse not get your Thorpedo on. There's also a gym, swim classes and a big shady area to loll about in the sun in the warmer months. Glen Iris.

6. Prahran Aquatic Centre

Sport and fitness Prahran
Prahran Pool is where to go if you want to see and be seen. The 50 metre outdoor lap pool is open year round – and it's heated, so you don't let the thought of icy cold water put you off in winter. Just off Chapel Street, summer at the Prahran Pool draws a mixed crowd, check out the beautiful people preening on the stairs, the cool kids lounging on the lawns or the families running around the toddler's pool. Prahran.

7. St Kilda Sea Baths

Things to do St Kilda
The restored St Kilda Sea Baths exude that eclectic but easy-going ambience typical of St Kilda. The 25-metre seawater swimming pool is heated, but only uses a small amount of chlorine so you get less of that itchy feeling on your skin once you get out. If you really need to unwind, head to the hydrotherapy spa or the aromatherapy steam room, both will soothe tired muscles. St Kilda.

More ways to cool off

Need a treat after your swim?

A malted milk soft serve covered in sprinkles
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Melbourne's best ice cream and gelato

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