Dip into the festive season at Afloat

Sean Car

There are few better places to spend your summer days than along the Yarra-Birrarung River in the heart of Melbourne, but there’s only one spot you can enjoy the stunning atmosphere while taking a dip.

No, we’re not talking about cooling off in the river itself (as tempting as that may be on those scorching hot days), but instead of the sparkling waters and vibrant surrounds of the newly-opened Afloat Pool Club, at Melbourne’s favourite floating restaurant and bar, Afloat.


Locals needn’t look any further for summer outings than this brand-new pool area, complete with an eight-metre-long, Italian-tiled swimming pool, two four-metre palm trees, a Tulum-inspired agave bar, and a standalone taco hut.


This latest edition of the popular Afloat venue, brought to you by the team behind its iconic neighbours Arbory Bar & Eatery, is themed “Viva Mexico” (hence, the taco hut) and has relocated its pool from east to west to allow for infinity edge afternoon sunsets.

Afloat’s Georgie Larkins said the return of the swimming pool officially marked the start of the venue’s summer season.



“With the arrival of warm weather, we’re so excited to welcome guests back for another summer of fun by the pool. This year is particularly exciting as the area is more spacious and comes with a handful of fun new features,” she said.

The taco hut, equipped with a grill and hot top, will offer a rotating selection of special tacos, with a hanging chalkboard menu changing from week to week.

You might find corn tortillas loaded with grilled, locally grown cactus and tender beef, crunchy crickets with avocado and tomatillo salsa, or a classic Al Pastor, packed with slices of pork shoulder, pineapple, chilli, onion, and coriander.



Over at the agave bar, you’ll find a selection of 60-odd agave products, ranging from tequila, mezcal, sotol and raicilla. The list will evolve throughout the summer, with rotating special pours and limited-edition cocktails from Don Julio, Patron and El Christiano.

Just like all good beach clubs, the Afloat Pool Club has been completed with textured furnishings, poolside lounges and double day beds, making it the ideal spot to kick back with a sundowner in hand and enjoy an inner-city summer of escape and relaxation.

Afloat Pool Club opening times may vary from week to week. Follow @afloat_melbourne on Instagram to keep up to date on opening hours.

Coinciding with the arrival of the pool is an exciting schedule of ticketed events, including Afloat’s famous New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day poolside parties. Expect the drinks to be flowing, the tunes to be blaring and the entertainment to be some of Melbourne’s best.

Perhaps most exciting, on New Year’s Eve, Afloat and Arbory Bar & Eatery will join forces, saying goodbye to the year that was with a “Tulum Jungle Party” across the two venues.

Inspired by the electric parties held in tropical jungles on Mexico’s Yucatán coast, expect an exotic night of eating, drinking, dancing, and music. There’ll be uninterrupted views of the fireworks, along with new performances from The Huxleys and Discordia, and tunes from some of Melbourne’s best DJs, including Mafia, Mu-Gen and Anyo.

Tickets to Afloat and Arbory Bar & Eatery’s NYE party can be purchased online. •

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