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Adelphi Hotel rooftop pool Dec 2017
Photograph: Meagan Harding

The best places to swim in Melbourne

Take a dip at one of Melbourne's most best rivers, lakes, pools and beaches

Written by
Time Out editors
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Feeling hot hot hot? When the sun shines in Melbourne it really shines, but luckily there are plenty of ways to cool off in the water. Here in Melbourne we've got beaches, we've got lakes and we've got pools, all of which are just waiting for you to dip your feet (nay, whole body) in. Stay cool this summer at one of our favourite swimming spots in Melbourne.

And if you really want to get back to nature, dressed as nature intended, why not try one of Victoria's best nudist beaches.

RECOMMENDED: Victoria's best swimming holes to try.

Pools

St Kilda Sea Baths
  • Things to do
  • St Kilda

The soothing effect of swimming in natural seawater has been drawing us to the St Kilda Sea Baths since the 19th century. Bliss out in their 25-metre heated seawater pool, complete with beautiful views of the bay.

Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre
  • Sport and fitness
  • Albert Park

One of the Olympic-standard MSAC's biggest drawcards is a 50 metre outdoor pool built in 2006 and updated in 2008 to include a world-first moveable floor. There's also an indoor pool, a wave pool and a water slide.

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WaterMarc Aquatic and Leisure Centre
  • Sport and fitness
  • Greensborough

The largest and leisure centre in the northern region of Victoria is famous (among kids and parents, at least) for its huge waterslides and top-notch facilities, including an indoor 50 metre swimming pool.

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • Melbourne
  • price 3 of 4

The Adelphi’s rooftop pool is probably one of the most photographed pools in Melbourne, thanks to its cantilevering glass bottom, which juts out over Flinders Lane. If you're not staying at the hotel, the pool is open 7am to 8pm Monday to Friday at a rate of $30 per day (call reception on the morning you wish to attend to snag a spot). 

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Harold Holt Swim Centre
  • Sport and fitness
  • Glen Iris

Harold Holt (strangely named after our ill-fated Prime Minister) is a suburban swimming haven. Both the mosaic-tiled indoor 25 metre pool and 50 metre outdoor pool are heated, for a start.

Beaches

Brighton Beach
  • Things to do
  • Brighton

Brighton's iconic bathing boxes, 82 to be exact, line the foreshore. Not only is this beach pretty to look at but it's excellent for swimming and when the wind picks up, it's a pretty decent area for surfing.

Distance from CBD: 15km by car; nearest station: Brighton Beach, 250m

Half Moon Bay
  • Things to do
  • Black Rock

Half Moon Bay is a secluded, blue-and-yellow postcard of a beach. Named for its crescent shape, the bay is protected from weather and is popular for boating, but is equally perfect for swimming in calm waters.

Distance from CBD: 19km by car; nearest station: Cheltenham, 4.7km

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Elwood Beach
  • Things to do
  • Elwood

Over the past few decades, Elwood Beach has been developed into a top destination for wind surfing, fishing, and most of all, swimming. The prime swimming spot is located just in front of the lifesaving club.

Distance from CBD: 10km by car; nearest station: Elwood, 2.6km

  • Things to do
  • St Kilda

With its close proximity to Acland Street, it's no wonder St Kilda has one of the most popular beaches in Melbourne. The shore is home to all kinds of sport and the water is safe for swimming.

Distance from CBD: 9km by car; trams: 3a, 16, 96

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Mordialloc Beach
  • Things to do
  • Parkdale

Mordi beach is one of those places that has everything you need within easy walking distance. There's a huge playground on the foreshore, a barbecue area and a café close by. Oh, and the water's pretty nice too.

Distance from CBD: 25km by car; nearest station: Mordialloc, 1.4km

  • Things to do
  • Williamstown

Melbourne's first sea port has developed into a trendy seaside suburb with a village feel. Stick to the western side of the beach for best swimming, and make a day of it by exploring nearby cafés and shops.

Distance from CBD: 17km by car; nearest station: Williamstown Beach, 500m

Rivers and lakes

Lysterfield Lake
  • Things to do
  • Narre Warren North

Featuring a lake and parkland, Lysterfield Lake offers two protected swimming bays and tracks and trails for walking, as well as the opportunity for other water activities including sailing and canoeing.

Distance from CBD: 42km by car

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  • Things to do
  • Melbourne

About one hour west of the CBD is the Lerderderg State Park, in which the pristine Lerderderg River meanders through native bushland. MacKenzie's Flat Picnic Area is the perfect spot for a swim and a lunch.

Distance from CBD: 60km by car

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Emerald

This park lies in the heart of Emerald in the Dandenong Ranges, about an hour's drive east of Melbourne. You can't swim in the lake itself, but there is a 25 metre wading pool that is between 0.5-one metre deep and is open December through March when it's 26 degrees or warmer.

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