It’s forty degrees out and fifty degrees in. You have spent the last hour sitting in the bathtub, scrolling through your Facebook homepage. It’s been 30 minutes since you’ve heard anything other than your skin sizzle… Then bing! A notification for Bikram yoga pops up and the thought of more heat has you nauseated. What’s a girl to do?
Follow the sounds of splashes and giggles to your community pool! Think about it, it is essentially the training ground for the beach. It’s a small, open environment that holds all the goodies of the beach and none of the bad (I promise there will be no ‘surprise sand’ in your next shower).
You can work on your vitamin D intake, work on your body (hello almost 100 calories per 10 minutes freestyle) and be within walking distance of home. It’s a win-win situation and if you’ve got a few friends by your side or even a good book, you’ll be feeling cool, calm and collected in no time.
Couturing did a lap of Melbourne’s local pools to find out the best places to make a splash.
The Fitzroy pool is the notorious hang for the under 30 hipst- sorry, under 30 ‘socially-conscious’ individual. The facilities are top-notch and the lap pool is filled with regulars, wannabe Thorpedos and those who fall into both groups. The pool is heated, 50m in length and has an adjoining spa. Fitzroy also boasts a great amount of greenery for those who like to lounge by the water but not necessarily get wet. I for instance, need to be on the cusp of heatstroke before I enter any large body of water. But that may just be me… and cats.
The Northcote pool is my favourite community pool in Melbourne and that’s not just because I live next door. I say ‘Northcote pool’ but really, it’s an aquatic and recreation centre with both indoor and outdoor pools, spa and sauna, health club and tennis courts. The outdoor pools are surrounded by grassland that sees a much younger crowd sprawled out over towels and picnic blankets alike. Last week the girls behind me sang along to Mariah Carey whilst I tried to tan my so-white-you can see organs- stomach. It’s a good vibe and for the fashionistas amongst us, the ratio of high-waisted vintage suits to your regular speedo onesie is impressive.
Nestled south-of-the-river, Prahran’s gorgeous outdoor pool makes the list with its proximity to parklands and the iconic Chapel Street. It’s perfect for a pre-brunch dip or an afternoon plunge. The outdoor pool is heated and in the summer months, a toddler’s pool is available. Plus if you’re simply there to catch a few rays, the grass is bindi-free (I’ve checked) and there are shade sails if you grow too hot.
So next time you have a hankering for St-Kilda but want to skip the crowds, visit your local pool. A handful of gold buys you beauty-spa-like treatment and the chance to appreciate the seriously handsome lifeguards excellent council grounds.