In most major Australian cities, we’re spoilt for choice when it comes to a quick dip. We have pristine beaches running up and down the coastline, local pools to be enjoyed in the inner cities, and natural watering holes within national parks that offer a private and refreshing swim (and maybe an eel or two).
But each of these cool escapes comes with its own complications and barriers. Getting to the beach, for many Australians, means hopping in a scorching hot car for upwards of 40 minutes, not even taking into account how long it may take to find a parking spot.
Public pools on a particularly hot day mean you’ll end up wading around in what can only be described as warm human soup, and natural bush pools require you to trek through shrubbery in the punching heat, only to trek back (not ideal).
Enter Swimply — the rent-a-pool platform that allows you to commandeer a pool nearby with a bunch of friends for a period of time; they’re calling it the Airbnb of pools, and it’s kind of genius.
Swimply already has significant usership in the United States and Canada, but the platform is gaining traction here in Australia, in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide. It works like so.
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You: hot, bothered and seeking refuge by the way of a dip (cocktails and tunes optional), hop onto the app and seek out a pool to rent by the hour close-by.
You can bring along your mates, and book in a time convenient to you. Some pools come with added extras like deck chairs, charging stations, towels, Insta-worthy inflatables, bathroom access and a barbecue. Some are also pet-friendly and party-friendly.
As far as prices go, the luxury to rent a private pool doesn’t exactly come cheap. While most pools average out at around $40 an hour, others clock in at $20 minimum and $80 maximum (a fee this big will usually include a tennis court, too). But if you’re splitting with friends, then it could definitely be worth it.
And there are benefits involved for the pool-owner, too. By temporarily leasing out their backyard, the pool owner can make some extra coin on the space that would otherwise be unoccupied. It’s a win-win.
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The site launched in 2019 in Australia with only a handful of pools available to rent in each city, but since then, the number of pools is expected to grow as awareness around the platform increases.
The only issue we take with the service (and we can’t believe no one’s talking about this) is the potentially awkward nature of the whole interaction.
Picture this, you’re refreshed after cooling off in a stranger’s pool and decide to chill out on a deck chair only to see a random family hanging out in their lounge room a few metres away? Not sure about that one, but we’re willing to give it a crack.
Summer’s coming, and you bet we’ll be seeking refuge from the heat in any way we know how. We just need a few more pools to sign up to Swimply first.