Brisbane's Best Pools
by Jodi Panayotov
A Depression era tidal pool, a state of the art Commonwealth Games complex and the southern hemisphere's oldest baths are just a few of the great places to cool off this summer. Check out ten of Brisbane's best swimming pools for all ages here:
The wooden changing cubicles, the pre-metric length of 25 yards and signs saying Men Must Not Loiter are part of the heritage listed features of Brisbane's first in-ground pool and the southern hemisphere's oldest surviving public baths. Open all year round and while there are no modern extras it's tops for the novelty factor.
The grand heritage listed brick faÃ§ade of the municipal baths remain but inside there's little left of the original stands and diving platforms. Instead it's a welcome palm-fringed oasis from the gritty urban Valley streets and aside from the 50m heated pool there's an in-house massage therapist and espresso cart.
This mini resort like complex of pools with their signature Miro-esque water play sculptures is a northside fave for all ages although it gets packed on hot days. Still there's plenty of space for the crowd to spread out and picnic on the grass and for children a sizable wading pool with mushroom fountains and slides and another shallow pool with rock sculptures, grotto and slides. There's also an indoor heated pool and, the main pool, a 50m Olympic size affair, has a giant floating slide, inflated play equipment and the odd tyre tube to play with. As a bonus there's also a mini playground on the hill and basic snacks are available at the shop.
What this pool complex lacks in size it makes up for in location, set as it is between Manly's main community park, the sea and the jetty. The 25m pool has a disabled access ramp and at the deep end is a mega tube slide and, nearby a fully fenced toddler's pool with its own slide and water play contraptions along with a small patch of grass and seating for parents to relax.
It may be on the older side and looking a bit careworn but this complex not only boasts a 25m pool with disabled ramp access, a sizable toddler's wading pool with water play features and barbecue facilities in its landscaped grounds, but the piece de resistance is the mini water park that is open on weekends and school holidays for a supplementary cost. Pay the extra and you get access to various tube slides including the 'flume of doom', a special dive-bombing pool and a stepping stone lagoon.
Few but the locals know about this recently built gem, tucked away near the Colmslie Beach Reserve and backing onto a bushy tract. As well as the indoor heated pool the main pool is 50m and surrounded by grass. For those with toddlers, a gated pool sits right next to the main one, with aquativity spouts, a tube or open slide and picnic areas within. And look out for the summer movie nights in the pool.
Wynnum's 1930's tidal pool dates from the Depression era and, although not your standard swimming pool, draws a crowd of all ages who come to bathe on its stairs or frolic in its salty water. The other attraction, besides its stunning waterfront setting, is that it and its adjacent aquativity park featuring the squirting whales is free.
Down what feels like a country road and on the edge of the Tingalpa Reserve, The Plantation, a vast outdoor recreational centre that includes looks like it was beamed in from another time and place, can be found. There are six beach volleyball courts, an indoor heated pool and a 25m pool for adults as well as picnic facilities and plenty of grass to spread out on, while for children there's a toddler wading pool and a shallow pool with rock formations, slides and aquativity squirters.
Another free one, this vast showpiece tropical lagoon on the Redcliffe sea front is ideal for waders and children, being mostly shallow, with a few deep spots towards the centre. Dotted throughout the middle are little treed islands, surrounding it is astro turf and the odd ice-cream or hot dog kiosk and at one end is a little enclosed toddler pool complete with spouting water features.
Brisbane's premier city pool comes complete with sand, lifeguards and city views and is a magnet for city workers taking a pre or post work dip, families, backpackers and tourists. From the main Streets Beach area a chain of shallow lagoons with bridges and tropical picnic islands is pre-schooler heaven. And if the daytime crowds get too much, there's no better place to take a moonlight swim.
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