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Canberra pools to cool off in

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It’s going to be a long hot summer, so it’s time to get familiar with pools around Canberra.

If you enjoy swimming in nature, be sure to bookmark our list of rivers, swimming holes and lakes—just make sure you check closures due to water quality or fire danger—but if you’re after a more chlorinated, lifeguarded experience or want to make a day of it with a BBQ and playground, we’ve got you covered.


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
Perfect for: Gathering friends together for a jump off the diving board.
Web: www.canberraolympicpool.com.au

Big Splash

big splash

Big Splash boasts nine slides, a kiddies pool, large pool inflatables, ‘Splash Island’, a play pool and a 50m pool. This water parks facilities and attractions accommodate for toddlers all the way up to teens and playful adults with pools varying in water depth and slides varying in height requirements.

There’s free parking and grassy areas, which are perfect to set up camp for the day, and the grounds offer shaded and non-shaded picnic areas, barbecues and a café / canteen (yes, they do coffee). The various slides and pools encourage aquatic exploration in a safe environment, supervised by qualified lifeguards.

If this doesn’t exhaust the kids then nothing will.

the essentials

What: Big Splash
When: See website for opening hours.
Where: 1 Catchpole St, Macquarie ACT
How much: Casual Visits: $28 per day, including slide access
Perfect for: Adventurous kids and big kids alike
Web: bigsplashwaterpark.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 pm and weekends 8 am – 7 pm. Open 10 am – 7 pm public holidays. Closed Christmas Day
Where: 152 Cowper St, Dickson
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.50/ Concession $4.50/ Family $19/ Children under three are free.
Perfect for: Days when it’s too hot to move
Web: dicksonaquaticcentre.com.au

Manuka Pool

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, like the ‘SS Red Duck’ pirate playground.

the essentials

What: Manuka Pool
When: Weekdays  6.30 am to 7 pm, weekends 8 am to 7 pm, and public holidays 10 am to 6 pm. See website for holiday opening hours.
Where: New South Wales Crescent, Manuka
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.00/ Concession $4.50/ Family $20.00/ Children under three are free
Perfect for: Pretending you’re at a resort in the Mediterranean
Web: manukapool.com.au

Weston Park water playground


One of Weston Park’s many playgrounds revolves around water play. Featuring a play boat in the middle, the playground also features taps and streams. Putting water as the centre of the play makes this playground the ideal place to explore and cool down in summer.

Parents and carers can enjoy Station Stop café and the park surroundings which feature shaded, relaxing seating areas, barbeque facilities and public toilets.

the essentials

What: Weston Park Water Playground
When: Park opening hours: 7am – 11pm seven days | Café opening hours: 8.30am – 5pm Monday to Friday
Where: Weston Park Road, Yarralumla
How much: Free
Perfect for: A safe, natural outdoor swimming experience
Web: environment.act.gov.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 a great 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. See website for holiday opening hours.
Where: Irving St, Phillip
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $7/ Concession $6
Perfect for: Lazy sunny days
Web: swimskate.com.au 


Club Blue @ CISAC

Image via instagram.com/orhaiza

Image via instagram.com/orhaiza

Club Blue is located on the ground floor of the CISAC Centre. The indoor environment offers covered, supervised swim facilities. Children will especially love the whirlpool designed specifically for children with shallow water depths, the jumping pillow, the indoor waterslide and the AquaCastle. Parents and careers will love the spa and steam room, the café and the ample seating areas.

the essentials

What: CISAC Blue
When: Opening hours: 5.30am – 9pm Monday to Friday,  6.30am – 7pm  Saturday, 7am – 7pm Sunday, 9am to 6pm public holidays
Where: 100 Eastern Valley Way, Bruce
How much: Casual Visits: Adult $6.50/ Concession $5.00/ Child Swim $5.00/ Child Swim with slide $8.00
Perfect for: Those days when you want to splash but can’t stand the sun
Web: clubblue.com.au

Gungahlin Leisure Centre

Gungahlin Leisure Centre. Image: Facebook.

Opened in 2014, this $28.7 million facility, managed by the YMCA, features 50-metre and 25-metre pools and a children’s water park. There’s also a café and creche onsite.

the essentials

What: Gungahlin Leisure Centre
When: Opening hours: Monday to Friday 5.30 am – 9.30 pm, Saturday and Sunday 7.00 am – 7.30 pm. See website for opening hours.
Where:71 The Valley Avenue, Gungahlin
Perfect for: The whole family.
Web: ymcansw.org.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. Managed in partnership with the ACT government and YMCA, the centre facilitates people of all ages.

The play area has 246 square metres of water-spraying activities, and there’s a café and lots of indoor space.

the essentials

What: Tuggeranong Lakeside Leisure Centre
When: Weekdays 5.30 am – 9.30 pm and weekends 7 am – 7.30 pm. See website for holiday opening hours.
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

Want more?

Check out the list of pools around Canberra at sport.act.gov.au.

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