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Six Pools to Cool Off at This Weekend

Molly McLaughlin

With a forecast of 36 degrees today, it’s time to figure out where you’ll be cooling off this summer.

If you enjoy swimming in nature, be sure to check out our list of rivers, swimming holes and lakes, but if you’re after a more chlorinated, lifeguarded experience or want to make a day of it with a BBQ and playground, we have five to choose from right here.

Canberra Olympic Pool

Image: ACT Heritage Library: 008763

Image: ACT Heritage Library: 008763

It’s seen many changes since it opened in 1955, and Canberra Olympic Pool has relaunched just in time for the hottest day of Spring. With the city’s only diving board and pools for swimming, diving and toddlers. With a volleyball court, BBQs and a health club, it’s a great option for a post-work dip.

the essentials
What: Canberra Olympic Pool
When: Open seven days. See website for operating hours.
Where:Corner of Allara Street and Constitution Avenue, Civic
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.00/ Concession $4.40/ Family $17.00
Perfect for: Gathering friends together for a jump off the diving board.
Web: www.canberraolympicpool.com.au

Dickson Aquatic Centre

Image via mindovermatterblog.net

Image via mindovermatterblog.net

Dickson Pool was built in the 1960s and now has a 50-metre heated outdoor lap swimming pool and three more outdoor pools for kids. Dickson is a classic Australian pool complex complete with BBQs, beach volleyball courts, lots of families and a café. There’s also a massage centre and free parking for a more relaxing experience.

the essentials
What: Dickson Aquatic Centre
When: Weekdays 6 am – 7.15 pm and weekends 8 am – 7 pm
Where: 152 Cowper St, Dickson
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.00/ Concession $4.50/ Family $19
Perfect for: Days when it’s too hot to move
Web: dicksonaquaticcentre.com.au

Manuka Pool

Image via b32athletics.com.au

Image via b32athletics.com.au

Canberra’s first public pool opened in 1931 and is still a popular place to cool off in the city with a 30-metre outdoor pool, toddler pool and plenty of grass and shade. Manuka Pool’s distinctive art deco design, café and beautiful outdoor setting make it stand out as the perfect spot for a day of lounging by the pool, as well as providing activities for kids.

the essentials

What: Manuka Pool
When: Open over summer until 20 March 2016
Where: New South Wales Crescent, Manuka
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.00/ Concession $4.50/ Family $20.00
Perfect for: Pretending you’re at a resort in the Mediterranean
Web: manukapool.com.au

Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre

Image via poolsofcanberra.wordpress.com

Image via poolsofcanberra.wordpress.com

Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre opened in 1992 and has three indoor pools: a 50-metre lap pool, a large leisure pool, and a toddler’s pool.

There are a variety of family-oriented events planned over summer with inflatable toys, movie events and picnic days and the brand-new Splash Park official opening on 21st November.

The new play area has 246 square metres of water-spraying activities and entry is free on the opening day. The Lakeside Leisure Centre also has a café and lots of indoor space.

the essentials
What: Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre
When: Weekdays 5.50 am – 9.30 pm and weekends 7 am – 7.30 pm
Where: Corner Anketell Street and Athllon Drive, Greenway
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.00/ Concession $4.40/ Family $17.00
Perfect for: Fun out of the sun
Web: lakesideleisure.com.au

Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre

Image via poolsofcanberra.wordpress.com

Image via poolsofcanberra.wordpress.com

Yes, there is also an ice-skating rink at Phillip but for summer the swimming pool is probably the best option. Phillip is often slightly quieter than other pools in Canberra, with a heated 50-metre lap swimming pool and two children’s pools and a waterslide. Because this pool is outdoors, there are also some small grassy areas and tables and chairs for reading or chatting.

the essentials
What: Phillip Swimming and Ice Skating Centre
When: Weekdays 6am – 6 pm and weekends 7 am – 6 pm
Where: Irving St, Phillip
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $7/ Concession $6
Perfect for: Lazy sunny days
Web: swimskate.com.au 

Big Splash

big splash


Big Splash is Canberra’s very own water park. In 2015, there are two new slides, The Speed Coaster and the Twister, and the Kiddies Pool and Splash Island have been upgraded along with the usual 50-metre pool, inflatables and other slides. If this doesn’t exhaust the kids then nothing will.

the essentials
What: Big Splash
When: Open over summer from 11 am
Where: 1 Catchpole St, Macquarie ACT
How much: Casual Visits: $27/day
Perfect for: Adventurous kids and big kids alike
Web: bigsplashwaterpark.com.au


Molly McLaughlin

Molly McLaughlin is new to Canberra and is attempting to prove to her friends that the capital city can be cool. This mostly involves frequently going out for brunch and then posting about it on social media, along with trekking up hills and around art galleries. She is half way through her uni degree but spends most of her time reading, writing and planning her next adventure. More about the Author

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