Swimming Holes in Melbourne

These swimming holes are all within around an hour's drive from the Melbourne city centre, including several spots along the Yarra River. I've also included a few iconic swimming pools and bathing options for the colder months of the year, as well as some historical but now defunct swimming holes in Melbourne. Feel free to browse the online version, which includes some (but not all) of my favourite spots. If you are looking for more you can order the full guide for a curated list of my top 50 swimming holes in Victoria. For any local changes in conditions and this season's swimmer's forecast, you can subscribe to my newsletter.
Select Your Swimming Hole in Melbourne:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each swimming spot below to find your next swimming adventure in Melbourne, or alternatively search by map. Swim safe, have fun and remember that no matter how cold the water is, it's alright once you're in! The Lerderderg River runs at its best in the springtime and early summer, delivering two great swimming spots on the western fringe of Melbourne. Visit the gorge before the river typically dries up in late summer or early autumn… Arguably the best outdoor swimming venue within the Melbourne metropolitan area, with two sandy beaches, electric barbecues and huge lawn areas for your family picnic. Worth a visit at any time of year…
This is more of a bathing option than a swimming option, but you can still do a couple of strokes in these geothermally heated outdoor pools. They are heated up to 42 degrees, which is perfect for those chilly evenings and cold winter days… Swimmer's Cove is the designated swimming area at Pykes Creek Reservoir, west of Melbourne. Noisy jetskis and a history of algal blooms mean that you have to pick the right time for a swim here. Alternatively just enjoy a picnic at the lake's edge… Exhilerating like no other swim in the mid-Yarra, this natural drop in elevation in the Yarra River creates some ferocious rapids, but the risks involved in swimming at this isolated spot require careful planning and will be too dangerous for most… The Yarra River at Bourchiers Rd in Kangaroo Ground is a popular (but legally ungazetted) skinny dipping location in Melbourne. Relatively secluded in a natural bush setting. You can still swim here without taking your clothes off if you avoid certain areas… The Yarra River at Laughing Waters in Eltham is a series of broad, deep pools separated by the gurgling rapids that lend this location its name. A little bit harder to get to than other places along the Yarra, but one of the best spots for swimming… Part of Melbourne's gold mining history, the Pound Bend Tunnel outlet is a popular spot for swimming in the Yarra River, either in the rock pool or just dangling your feet from the rock ledge that juts out into the stream…
Iconic Swimming Pools:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each swimming pool to find out more about why I consider them iconic. Keep these in mind for winter, or at any time you want to spice up your regular lap swimming. In my opinion this is Melbourne's best indoor lap pool for swimming on cold days. A huge PVC dome over the main pool keeps the air inside the venue positively tropical. If it's raining, head here to do some laps… MSAC hosted events in the 2006 Commonwealth Games and the 2007 World Swimming Championships. When it's too cold and wet for an outdoor swimming hole, go for a swim here in the same water that the Thorpedo sliced through. Clock your own times for reference against the world’s greatest under comparable conditions… Where is Melbourne's warmest pool for swimming? Which is the warmest lap pool near you? Here is a list of the warmest pool available at each public indoor swimming venue in Melbourne. A great reference for the squibs…
Historical (but now defunct) Swimming Holes:
Click or tap on the title or photo of each swimming spot to explore some of the oft-forgotten history of outdoor swimming in Melbourne. These are from a time before Olympic swimming pools came into vogue and the rise of the nanny state took over. Aura Vale Lake was a popular swimming spot on the outer eastern fringe of Melbourne until some time in the mid-1980s. I would swim there several times a year in summer, with and without a surf mat and lilo… The Nook in Sunbury was home to a local swimming club and annual Easter swimming carnival in the early 20th century. Today it still has a rope swing over the water, but water quality and visibility are poor, so swimming is no longer recommended… Surrey Dive was a swimming hole in Box Hill that operated from 1905 to 1967 at the site of a former brickworks quarry. Famous for being the first Olympic competition swimming pool in Australia, and infamous for its deep water and high cliff diving… The Yarra River at Deep Rock was a popular swimming spot and home to a local swimming club in the early 20th century. The rock wall on the opposite bank was also the launch pad of a cliff diving world record…
Other Swimming Spots:
To find other swimming spots in and around Melbourne, order a copy of the Guide to Freshwater Swimming Holes in Victoria, which includes more of my favourite swimming holes plus additional information about some of the ones that I've shared online. Alternatively there are several swimming holes western Victoria, north east Victoria and Gippsland that you can visit in an afternoon or day trip. If you know of a swimming hole in Melbourne that you think I should visit, suggest a site. My companion website Waterfall Seasons of Australia lists all of the waterfalls that I have visited during my search for swimming holes. You can swim at some of them, but most are just for viewing and admiring. Great for a day trip when it's too chilly to get into the water. My companion website Ankle Deep Water lists shallow water play areas that I have come across during my search for swimming holes. These include splash parks, splash pads, shallow entry lakes and shallow entry beaches. They can be a great option if you have a young family.

Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information.

© Brad Neal 2016. All rights reserved. This work is not to be sampled, copied, modified, adapted or reused for commercial purposes without the written consent of the author.