While Melbourne’s glittering beaches might be a degree (or twenty) too cold to enjoy in winter, there are heaps of cold weather-friendly winter sports to rustle you out of bed. From hardcore swimmers, to beginner water classes, dust off your swimsuit and head to one of Melbourne’s best aquatic centres!
Best for actual swimming
Undeniably one of Melbourne’s leading aquatic centres, MSAC boasts state-of-the-art swimming facilities including a 50-metre indoor swimming pool heated to a cosy 27-degrees. Lanes are split into speed levels, so you’ll never be awkwardly stuck behind a grandpa during your morning workout session again.
Post-workout treat: Don’t ruin all your hard work! Head to FODMAP-friendly Foddies for fructose-free, gluten-friendly treats.
Richmond Recreation Centre, Richmond
Used by professional athletes in 2006 to train for the Commonwealth Games, this 50-metre heated indoor swimming pool is the ideal facility for keeping fit (and warm) this winter. Toddlers and newbie swimmers are welcome in the nearby training pool, so bring the whole family if you’re in need of a little motivation.
Post-workout treat: The Beer and Burger Bar, because you definitely need to carb load after that workout.
Harold Holt Swim Centre, Glen Iris
There’s a 50-metre heated outdoor swimming pool, but since you’re unlikely to enthusiastically face Melbourne’s winter winds, opt for the 25-metre indoor pool at the Harold Halt Swim Centre and perfect your flip turn.
Post-workout treat: You’ve earned the Hong Kong egg waffles from Baba Sus.
GESAC, East Bentleigh
With an indoor lap pool heated to a toe curling 30-degrees, swimmers certainly don’t have to worry about being chilly this winter at GESAC. An outdoor 50-metre pool is also open in winter, which is heated to a comfy 26 degrees.
Post-workout treat: A short waddle away, The Merchant’s Guild is home to subtly healthy brunch like their sweet pea and feta smash on dark rye.
Dandenong Oasis, Dandenong
Boasting a 50m lap pool, and a separated women and weekly men’s only pool, exercise in a friendly, social environment in Melbourne’s south east.
Post-workout treat: Turn your swim into a day and drive down to Cafe de Beaumarchais.
Best for classes
From Deep Water Running to Aqua HIIT, aquatic exercise at MSAC is soft on the bones and hard on your fat. An Aqua Exercise class and a Deep Water Muscle Tone class also regularly rotate through the group fitness timetable.
Post-workout treat: Head to the Albert Park Deli for some irresistibly flaky savoury pastries.
Brunswick Baths, Brunswick
Sometimes the best way to get out of the comfort of your sinkable couch is with a little bit of well-placed peer pressure. The Brunswick Baths offer Deep Water Running and water workout classes ideal for all fitness levels.
Post-workout treat: Anything, literally, off the menu at Code Black Coffee.
A rotating calendar of fully instructed classes include Aqua Cardio, Aqua Fusion and Aqua Run. Classes range from high-intensity cardio workouts to classes aimed at promoting and improving muscle strength. In other words, there’s no excuse to not attend a session at WaterMarc.
Post-workout treat: Swing back towards the city and stop by local favourite Mr Wednesday for their smashed avocado with whipped beetroot and goats curd.
Melbourne City Baths, Melbourne
A pint-sized aquatic centre with a 30-metre lap pool and teaching pool used for classes, you can squeeze in a lunchtime workout at CBD located Melbourne City Baths. Expect high-intensity water workouts that will leave you sore the next day.
Post-workout treat: Drop by 1000 £ Bend for a post-workout coffee.
Best for not actually doing sport
St Kilda Sea Baths, St Kilda
If you haven’t heard of Kite Boarding, it’s nothing like your old childhood hobby. Expect to be pulled across waves with an attached kite, like surfing but without the effort.
Post-workout treat: You can’t go past Captain Baxter.
Who said surfing was only for summer? With MSAC’s FlowRider facility, the water-obsessed can enjoy surfing and bodyboarding on a safely static wave of water. You can thank us later.
Post-workout treat: Warm up at the rustic, cosy Guilty Moose with brunch meals like fried eggs, oyster sauce, chilli and spring onions on sourdough.
Adventure Park, Geelong
Victoria’s biggest water theme park boasts 360-degree high speed water rides. Enough said.
Post-workout treat: Freckleduck. Full-stop.
Any aquatic facility with a slide
WaterMarc, MSAC and Dandenong are two of the Melbourne facilities with gigantic, swirling slides.
And if you're just plain crazy...
Join the Brighton Sea Baths Icebergers. You weirdo.
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