Towards a Swimmable River

Yarra Pools

Our new design


We recently 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


Yarra Pools on Instagram

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About Yarra Pools

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.


Our Supporters


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


Help Us Build the Yarra Pool!

If you’d like to support us, towards a swimmable river and a realised Yarra Pool, there are countless ways you can help.

Here are just a couple:






Saturday March 14th, 2020


The Draft Yarra Strategic Plan is missing something important – the Yarra Pool. We need your help to ensure the Yarra Pool is part of the Government’s 10-year vision for the river. HAVE YOUR SAY by 29 March by visiting the Engage Victoria website

Question 12 in the survey asks for your ideas – we need you to send a message to Melbourne Water that the Yarra Pool must be included in the Strategic Plan, as the ideal catalyst project to create a healthy swimmable Yarra, provide respite for a growing population as the effects of climate change increase, and celebrate the cultural and environmental heritage of our river. This is a once-in-a-decade chance to make the Yarra Pool a reality.  

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.

Download the Yarra Pools – Stage 1 Business Case (Market Drivers and Demand Profile):

Download the Yarra Pools – Stage 1 User Needs Analysis (Insights Report):