Marvellous swimming spots within cooee of Melbourne
How good is it to feel childlike joy when plunging into the water on a sunny day? Such a simple pleasure brings deep happiness – a rare treat for those of us wrangling life’s daily chores. Add a few waves and a friend or two, and we can feel something close to bliss.
In a bid to shake ourselves out of a rut of responsibility, we hereby present Melbourne’s coolest swimming spots!
Each summer, from December 1 to March 12, the Environment Protection Authority’s website publishes a twice-daily water quality check of 36 Port Phillip Bay’s beaches. You can also set up a twitter alert to let you know when the water quality is unacceptable for swimming. Ugh. Let’s move on.
It’s hard to look beyond St Kilda Beach if you’re into watching beautiful people, chomping on fish and chips and licking ice creams on the beach. Listen to the screams from Luna Park as you lie back and marvel at glorious Melbourne. There’s a dog-friendly section and a lovely old pier for a walk at dusk. Look out for the little penguins! The water might be flat but your mood will soar.
Black Rock’s Half Moon Bay is also a fascinating urban beach – with more sensational fish and chips as well as the remains of the sunken HMVS Ceburus. Snorkelers explore an underwater world full of lush seagrasses, rocky reefs, spotty and spiky fish and sea stars.
Let’s face it. There are two types of sea swimmers -those who like calm bay waters and those who prefer surf. In honour of those who seek the power and thrill of a wave, we recommend Point Lonsdale beach an hour and a half from Melbourne. Here you’ll find rock pools, a light house, a playground and the option of surf or calm water. Great coffee is close-by and lifesavers abound. Watch the ships pass through the Heads and stroll along the pier.
Leaving behind salty water, let’s not forget the Yarra River and its languid, winding path across Melbourne’s north. Did you know you can swim at Chandler Highway in Kew when the weather is fine? One proviso, though: it’s illegal to swim downstream of Gipps Street, Abbotsford. Check for water quality at Launching Place, Healesville and Warrandyte on the Environment Protection Authority’s dedicated website and via twitter.
Pound Bend in the Warrandyte National Park is only 30 minutes from the city centre and is a gorgeous swimming spot created during the gold rush. You might even find a speck of gold in the river bed… Locals know to paddle their canoes down the gentle rapids and along the river for a possible sighting of a wombat, platypus or powerful owl.
If the thought of a spiky sea creature or an eel in the Yarra gives you the spooks, look no further than Richmond pool. This sanctuary from traffic snarls, shopping expeditions and hospital visits offers a 50 metre pool for splashing and lapping. A separate toddler pool, a spa, sauna and steam room complete the picture. One more thing. Over the road on a Saturday is the Richmond fresh food market. Pop over for a snack, some veggies and maybe a fresh orange juice.
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