Towards a Swimmable River

Yarra Pools

Our new design

About Yarra Pools

Yarra Pools acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the Yarra River Birrarung, the Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung and Bunurong / Boon Wurrung peoples of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to their Elders, past and present. We acknowledge their connections to land, waters and communities, and pay our deep respect and thanks for their continuing custodianship of Country.

Inspired by successful urban river swimming projects globally and here at home, Yarra Pools is a community-led proposal to re-introduce recreation and water-play to the lower Yarra and, in doing so, to transform an under used section of the iconic river’s northern bank into a thriving community facility.

Yarra Pools aims to bring people back to the river by advocating a swimmable and therefore healthy waterway all while celebrating a unique site’s cultural history by incorporating community involvement through design and ongoing operation.

Yarra Pools is seeking support to advance the project through a community-led, multi-staged design and construction process. This will ensure we deliver a facility by Melbourne for Melbourne.



In 2018, we joined forces with the team at WOWOWA Architecture, to produce a stunning new design concept based on your feedback!

Tell us what you think on social media!



“What I like about this [design] is the wetlands, the soft connection with our waterway. It turns an under-loved part of the river into a magnet for people (and wildlife) and celebrates our connection with water!”

Andrew Kelly, Yarra Riverkeeper


Our Supporters


Yarra Pools on Instagram



Sunday 26th September, 2021

Your chance to support a Yarra Pool!

The City of Melbourne is exploring the feasibility of a Yarra Pool as part of the Greenline project, a $300m plan to transform the North Bank of the Yarra Birrarung into a series of connected parklands. 

But we’re not quite there yet. We need you, our supporters, to tell the City of Melbourne how much you want the vision of a swimmable Yarra River to become a reality for Melbourne. This is your moment to tell the City of Melbourne that you want a Yarra Pool to be part of the Greenline project.

Have your say before Sunday 3 October by completing the online survey, which will take no more than 5 minutes. 

The final question will give you an opportunity to provide feedback on the draft Greenline implementation plan. Tell the City of Melbourne why you want a Yarra Pool, or feel free to use the suggested text below:

I support the vision of Yarra Pools, and call on the City of Melbourne to reintroduce swimming and water play to Yarra Birrarung through the inclusion of a Yarra Pool in the Greenline project. A Yarra Pool will attract visitors back to the CBD as we recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, and provide immeasurable benefits for the physical and mental health of our community. 

Tuesday 4th May, 2021

City of Melbourne commits to exploring feasibility of Yarra Pool

Melbourne City Council has unanimously voted to explore the feasibility of a Yarra Pool as part of the Greeline project, championed by Lord Mayor Sally Capp, which proposes the transformation of the North Bank of the Yarra River Birrarung. We look forward to working with Council over the coming months as planning for Greenline begins.

Friday, November 7th, 2019

Yarra Pools welcomes new President Felicity Watson

We’re excited to announce the election of Felicity Watson as President of Yarra Swim Co, with co-founder Mitra Anderson-Oliver stepping into the role of Vice President.

After three years, co-founder Michael O’Neil has stepped down as President, having overseen the development of a business case and user needs analysis, as well as the launch of the Yarra Pools proposal at Enterprize Park, developed in partnership with WOWOWA. 

Felicity brings a wealth of experience in planning and heritage advocacy to the Yarra Pools team, having recently led the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)’s successful campaign to fight inappropriate development in Federation Square. 

A childhood spent swimming and kayaking in the Clarence and Nymboida rivers, in the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales, has given Felicity a lifelong passion for the cultural and ecological role of rivers in healthy and connected communities. She looks forward to working with Traditional Owners and the Melbourne community to achieve a swimmable Yarra River Birrarung.

Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Yarra Pools teams up with WOWOWA to realise community vision for Melbourne’s river front 

Download the Media Release:

Key Points:

WOWOWA Architects have created a stunning new render bringing to life a collaborative design concept for the Yarra Pool.

The design is the culmination of 2 years of public engagement.

The proposal is backed up by business modelling which shows there is a definite need.

Yarra Pools is looking for feedback, and support from the community and decision makers.


This project builds on decades of work to return the Yarra back to the people. We dine, ride, run and row along the Yarra. Now it’s time to get back in.

Michael O’Neill,  Co-founder of Yarra Pools