The sun is a resource that we are blessed with in Australia, which makes it easy for us to enjoy swimming pools all year round. Daydreaming of that leisurely swim in the balmy summer sun is what got me motivated to write this article. With information on how to heat a swimming pool for those hot summer days when you just can’t be bothered with an extra layer, you’ll be able to get yourself a much-needed swim and still save some energy for when the Sun decides to actually shine down on you. Let’s dive in!
The Importance Of Swimming Pools
For those of you who might not know, Australia is a continent that is often described as “the ultimate summer destination”, due to its glorious beaches and its perfect climate. What might not be so well-known is that Australia is actually a lot more than just beaches and weather – the country is home to iconic cities such as Melbourne and Sydney, as well as countless nature-based attractions. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Sydney is the swimming pool, with around a million visitors a year swimming in the area. It would seem that the Aussies really do love their pools, as the country is home to some of the most beautiful and popular swimming pools in the world. Naturally, I was quite literally smitten by the idea of swimming in such a beautiful place, and being able to do it year-round appealed to me as a potential home owner. If I was going to buy a home in the country, it would have to have a pool and spa, otherwise, I wouldn’t fit in with the crowd!
While we can’t control the weather completely, we can control the temperature of our pools to a large degree. The general rule of thumb is that cold pools cause injuries to the human body, while warm pools are considered restorative. For me, it’s about being able to swim when the sun is shining, and being able to take a dip when the weather is warm, which is why I prefer a large outdoor pool that remains heated all year round
If you really want to swim in the Australian wilderness, you can head to a glacier and doggy-paddle your way to a stunning panorama of snow-capped mountains and crystal-clear lakes, with a few koalas hanging around to give you a cuddle. That’s what separates us from the penguins – at least, I think it is!
With outdoor pools, the weather doesn’t matter as much as you might think. Sure, it probably rains a bit more than it does in more temperate climates, but that’s just a minor quibble. In Sydney, there is actually a type of pool that is specifically designed for swimming in the rain – the “Pennywort Pool”, which is colloquially known as the “Sydney Swimming Pool”. It’s not actually a pennywort pool, but the locals have dubbed it that for some unknown reason. What is a pennywort pool, you might ask? Well, it’s a type of outdoor pool that is filled with plants, such as pennywort and butter lettuce. The idea behind having vegetation around the pool is to replicate the look and feel of an indoor pool, without all the chemicals and the need for temperature control. In addition to looking fabulous, the plant life also protects the water from any dangerous debris that might contaminate it.
There is also the option of just going for a swim in the open ocean. Yes, we are surrounded by water on all sides, but the point is that not all of it is safe to drink. Swimming with the tide is generally safe, but if you want to visit one of the smaller islands or head to the coast on the mainland, you might end up with some seaweed in your teeth. As with any other part of Australia, the water can get quite chilly if you aren’t used to it. Pack some thermals and you’ll be fine, but it’s still best to be mindful of the locals’ feelings and not swim if you’re not feeling particularly playful.
Tide pools are an excellent alternative for swimmers who are unable to swim at low tide, as they provide a safe and warm alternative. The water level remains relatively constant, so the temperature doesn’t vary as much as it might otherwise. The combination of the warm temperature and the lack of fluctuation causes a reduction in any nippy surprises for those experiencing sudden drops in temperature. The main downside to tide pools is that they can become quite dirty over time, so it’s important to remember to clean them regularly, using a brush or bucket and some soap and water. In addition, if you want to swim in one, you will need to find a way to get across the mouth of the pool when the tide is in. Depending on the size of the pool, this could be quite challenging.
Stadium pools are, in many ways, the ideal solution for those who want a pool, but don’t want to commit to an outdoor pool or tide pool. They provide the security of an indoor atmosphere, combined with the aesthetics of an outdoor pool. Stadium pools are also built with a certain amount of safety in mind, meaning that there is less chance of being injured by another swimmer or falling rocks or debris.
The downside to stadium pools is that the atmosphere can be a little daunting for some people. Indoor pools provide the psychological safety and ease of access that many people find more appealing. In addition, they are usually located in places where there is already a lot of footfall, so they can attract people who want to use the pool, even if they are not interested in sport. The good thing about this is that it provides you with a ready-made social group, if you want a change of scene other than your own company.
So, which type of pool do I prefer? Obviously, I prefer ones that I can swim in year-round, but the main thing is that I want to be able to enjoy my time in the water without having to worry about my body clock. If you’re in the same situation, it might be worth considering an outdoor pool that remains heated all year round, even if it does rain a bit. In the meantime, the more adventurous of you can always head to a glacier for that authentic Australian experience.