Melbourne’s favourite floating bar, Arbory Afloat, received a tropical refresh this year with a ’70s-Miami-inspired makeover – that means bright-white furniture and pastel-hued umbrellas set against a backdrop of glossy green banana trees and palms.
An eight-metre-long swimming pool, painted aqua and pastel pink, was also installed. It’s located on the new upper deck a few steps away from the bar – and it’s now officially open.
The pool is surrounded by day beds with shades that can be positioned depending on whether you want to hide from or be mates with the sun. There are also cabanas that can be transformed from lounging day beds for about eight people into a dining area, thanks to a pop-out middle section. The cabanas are fully enclosed with lights and fans, and awnings can be opened or shut.
Post-swim, refuel with dishes from Arbory’s food menu, which draws inspiration from Latin America, South America and the Caribbean. Start with ceviche and croquetas, or order the Cuban midnight sandwich, which has both pulled pork and sliced ham, and is topped with Swiss cheese and served with waffle fries. Larger dishes include shareable, DIY tacos – one variety comes with a whole southern rock lobster (served in its bright-orange, spiny-legged glory) with avocado chimichurri, a stack of warm tortillas, house-made pineapple hot sauce and truffle aioli on the side.
For something boozy post-dip, there’s a rotating rum-plus-mixer menu, with interesting local and international varieties such as Plantation Pineapple and Beach House (a spiced rum from Mauritius). Nine cocktails are on tap, including a Mojito and a Vodka Collins, and there are six magnums to choose from, if you feel like splurging.
A lifeguard will patrol the pool area, and there are towels, bottles of sunscreen and hats available to buy.