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Splash Down at North Melbourne Pool, North Melbourne

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.

North Melbourne Pool px

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.

North Melbourne Pool px

The two shallowest pools are great for babies and toddlers and are mostly covered by shade sails.

North Melbourne Recreation Centre pool, 1 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne

The next pool is 75cm deep. Three-year-old Baby 2.0 is still able to comfortably touch the bottom.

North Melbourne Recreation Centre pool, 1 Macaulay Rd, North Melbourne

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.

North Melbourne Pool

From this pool you can walk all the way to the 25m pool, which has an Aqua Play section for playing and general swimming and 4 lanes set aside for serious lap swimmers.

North Melbourne Pool px

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.



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North Melbourne Pool px

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 are 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 Pool px

North Melbourne Recreation Centre pool provides cheap thrills for only $6.20 per adult and $3.80 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!


Click here for all the free water play areas in Melbourne.

Click here for more places to go in a Melbourne heatwave

Click here for more places to go with babies and toddlers


HOT Tips:

  • 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.
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Joyce Watts is a former intellectual property, IT and media lawyer turned serial entrepreneur.

As well as being the founder of TOT: HOT OR NOT she helps businesses with their SEO, email marketing & social media as BrightSmart.com.au; she owns an online bike store CycleStyle.com.au and develops and produces creative experiences for families via WheelieGoodFun.com. She used to publish another popular lifestyle and food blog called MEL: HOT OR NOT The decisive guide to Melbourne.

She lives in inner-city Melbourne with her husband, two children and seven bikes.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. i found this review slightly naive and misleading -i have a young child and have been to many different pools in melbourne, NMP rates at the very bottom after todays visit… there was shade on ALL the grassed area and NOT in the toddlers pool (maybe this review was written in winter?). there was a distinct lack of anything interesting for kids and the layout of the pool was insignificant…. all in all, if you live around the corner, by all means go there. but if you’re looking for somewhere the kids will enjoy more than a run-of-the-mill pool like this one -look elsewhere, the trip will be worth it. unfortunately our 30 min trip was way too far considering the other options within the same distance.

    1. Hi Simon

      Thanks for your comment. It is certainly never my intention to mislead readers and I’m sorry you were disappointed by your experience.

      I have not visited recently but the photos show there are shade sails over the baby/toddler pool. Have they been removed?

      The water features are not standard equipment in public pools so it is a distinctive feature of NMRC. The play equipment is not as extensive as somewhere like Aquapulse (Hoppers Crossing) or GESAC (Glen Eira) but it does have the advantage of being cheap and one of the few outdoor pools in Melbourne with some play features.

      I’d love to hear your recommendations for other pools in Melbourne where you like to take kids. I’ll try to visit them for the blog to provide more options for parents.

      Thanks Joyce

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