Let’s not mince words, it’s pretty warm right now. Blisteringly hot, some might say. And it’s likely that our efforts to reduce carbon emissions may not stand up to the next four years of environmental ravaging at the tiny hands of the Marmalade Tyrant, which means we need to find our chill and fast. This is one time when Netflix and a stiff drink won’t cut it. We’re charging into the heart of the furnace, towel and trunks at the ready, and fighting this heat where it can see us: in Brisbane’s best pools. There’ll be drinks, there’ll be ice cream, and a whole lot of other stuff you can’t stream online.
AND as an added bonus to this already brilliant article we’ve sorted Brisbane’s pools into three segments tailored to the three most prominent demographics: drinkers, frolickers, and athletes.
No YOU’RE welcome.
Lennons Pool Terrace + Bar
We’re firm believers that Brisbane city’s spires are a marvel to gaze at, and Lennons at NEXT Hotel is a perfect splash pavilion to admire them from. Designed for the wide-brimmed glamazon in all of us, summers spent in the 21-metre infinity pool are languid and idyllic with a spritz in hand and an umbrella waiting for you.
Testing the limits of just how much frivolity can you cram onto one rooftop are the Limes hotel pioneers of party times. Respected as one of the original rooftop bars responsible for sending sky-high drinking into vogue, Limes is also kitted out with two plunge pools that are best enjoyed with a martini in each hand.
Soleil Pool Bar
With an impressive menu of cocktail fancies and generous furnishings of wicker lounges and sorbet coloured cushions, Soleil is like a sun-bathed West Hollywood diorama. Basking on the terrace would be enchanting enough but the addition of a pool sets up everything you need to become as fabulous as Tallulah Bankhead would have been if she’d been born in Brisbane in the mid-80s.
Spring Hill Baths
If Wes Anderson directed a short film about our quest to cool down this summer, he’d undoubtedly use the Spring Hill Baths for the pool scene. As the southern hemisphere’s oldest surviving public pool it’s got heritage to burn, a border of doors the colour of fruit Roll-Ups, and residency in almost every Brisbanite’s earliest summer memories.
With the fun, local, communal vibe of your mate’s backyard without the bush turkeys, Ithaca Pool is a longtime favourite of Brisbane pools for being a community hub and super family friendly. It’s also really nicely situated between Paddington proper and Caxton street for après swim entertainments and frivolities.
Diehard frolickers looking for a non-scary transition into actual exercise look no further than Centenary Pool. Standard practice is to be lured in by the four-level diving tower and a chance to get your adrenalin kicks, and from there it’s an easy transition to the Olympic standard 50m pool and health club.
Langlands Park Memorial Pool
All you fitness junkies listen up because champions are minted in Langlands. There’s no reason why you can’t keep up your rigorous training regime just because we’re hitting highs of 36 degrees. Swimming is the fitness loophole that’ll keep your rig TAUGHT until autumn, and with Langlands’ summer swim fit sessions there’s no excuse for breaking your resolutions, ya barracuda.
No surprises why these guys made the grade when they’re packing an Olympic standard 50-metre 8 laner. But Newmarket Pool’s Olympic standard doesn’t just apply to the lanes, oh no. Their toddlers pool is like the aquatic playground of my 5-year-old self’s wildest dreams complete with slides and fountains and probably a magic snake.
The Valley municipal has been serving Brisbane’s swimmers and bulkers since the dawn of time, or so it feels like. This aquatic centre tends a water pit where elite and professional, as well as recreational, swimmers get their gains and chuck side eye at each other's stroke technique.
Musgrave Park Pool
Tucked away next to a little grassy stretch, Musgrave Park Pool is a legit oasis in Brisbane’s urban centre. Swimming is obviously what we’ll be opting for but Musgrave also offers basketball and tennis court hire for the non-amphibious, and because they’re only open during the hotter months summer is the perfect time to check them out.
Not actually a pool, but we don’t care because it’s hotter than boiling pitch right now. Unlike most other swimming spots, reservoir-goers lounge on a grassy bank surrounded by greenery and lush land. Take heed, though, unlike Nicki’s Twitter feed there isn’t a lot of shade here so don’t forget the brims and SPF.
Image credit: Ariana Gillrie