North Melbourne Recreation Centre has one of Melbourne’s best outdoor pools and a small water play area that’s popular with families. It’s also the home of the North Melbourne Football Club, Fencing Australia, a stadium and gymnasium.
The swimming area has four pools of varying depths in an open plan, lagoon layout. This is great as there’s something to suit everyone and it’s easy to move between one pool and another. However, it also means if you have adventurous kids you need to keep a close eye so that they don’t dash for the deep end or the lap lanes. All pools are heated to a balmy 27.5°C.
The two shallowest pools are great for babies and toddlers and are mostly covered by shade sails.
The next pool is 75cm deep. Three year old Baby 2.0 is still able to comfortably touch the bottom. It has the most water play areas, with a big mushroom shower, some spurting water jets from the wall and a miniature waterfall wall closer to the main pool.
From this pool you can walk all the way to the 25m pool, which has a section for playing and general swimming and 4 lanes set aside for serious lap swimmers.
There’s not a lot of grass to put your towel and most of it is in the sun, so most people lay out their patch on concrete and a few of the picnic benches. There’s a small run-of-the-mill cafe and the standard change and shower facilities.
Note parking around the pool can be tricky on busy days as you have to rely on street parking. If you can, go by bike; there’s plenty of bike racks at the entrance. Also the address given for the recreation centre is 200-240 Arden Street but the pool complex is at the corner of Arden Street and Macaulay Road.
North Melbourne Recreation Centre pool provides cheap thrills for only $5.30 per adult and $2.90 per child and you can easily spend a couple of hours there. A short drive or longish walk will get you to Errol Street’s cafes and shops to complete your adventure!
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- None of the pools are fenced so be vigilant with babies and toddlers venturing to the deeper pools;
- two shallowest pools are mostly shaded;
- water play jets in large pool;
- lap swimming lanes in 25m pool;
- limited shaded and grassy areas next to pool;
- parking in nearby streets only, bike racks available; and
- you can book birthday parties at the NMRC or pool.