Looking to luxuriate in some water play this summer? Here are the places to swim and play around Melbourne when the temperature rises.
Pound Bend Reserve
Inside the Warrandyte State Park is Pound Bend Reserve, popular for picnics, walking, swimming and canoeing. Known as a ‘natural’ swim-spa, the swimming area is connected to a man-made 19th century mining tunnel. The result has been the creation of rapids that emerge from the tunnel’s exit – refreshing and fun!
A shady picnic area means that you can avoid the midday harsh UV rays and there are toilets available. Another highlight of this spot is the Wurundjeri Stories Interpretive Trail which is signed and gives you the history of the land and the Australian First People who cared for this section of the Yarra River for thousands of years.
Turpin Falls in Langley, about 15 mins drive from the picturesque country town of Kyneton. Although it’s more of a small gorge than a cascading waterfall, the water is clear and cool. There’s a series of falls to swim under if there’s been sufficient summer rain. The remoteness of this location is apparent as there are no facilities, but its natural beauty is striking and civilisation is a close drive away. Mid-week you may have the water all to yourself! Turpin Falls is about as natural and as unspoiled of a swimming hole you will find in under 90 mins from central Melbourne. You may want to combine your swim with a visit in Kyneton for lunch, or spa town, Daylesford, which is a 40 minute drive away.
In terms of water parks in Melbourne, the best and newest is inside Gumbuya World, 50 minutes drive from the CBD. This fully refurbished theme park features a wave pool, 4-lane race slide, heated rock pool, surf area, lazy river donut float, and three large water rides –including an anti-gravity slide and a 180 metre beast, The ‘Taipan.’ There’s also a large 5-level high water play area with mini-slides, buckets, water guns and spray nozzles – perfect for kids of all ages. You can book cabanas and day bedsto get an afternoon snooze or sunbake in, or relax as you keep an eye on the family. In addition,Gumbuya World hosts a Wildlife Trail and theme park rides alongside café facilities and ample, free parking right out the front.
If you want to remain in the city centre, Aqua Donut is the place to be. It’s technically not a swimming activity, but you can captain your own motorised donut around the Melbourne City Marina. Onboard you’ll have your own esky, bbq, bluetooth speaker and ability to BYO all your favourite snacks and drinks to enjoy while floating on the water. The breezes off the ocean and around Docklands will keep you cool and there's a sunshade on your donut. Yay to a sunburn-free floating donut experience! A great way to start an afternoon or evening in the city.