Outback Swimming Hole


Swimming is one of the most popular activities when camping. Aside from exploring the diverse landscapes in the great outdoors, dipping one’s toes in the water is another way campers can connect with nature.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of campsites are within walking distance of swimming holes. To have an enjoyable outdoor experience, consider these five campsites that are near some of the best swimming holes in Australia.


Booloumba Falls is located in Conondale National Park, Queensland. The cascading waterfalls lead into a stunning swimming hole. The pool has crystal-clear turquoise water, which contrasts beautifully with a multi-coloured pebble bottom. The swimming hole is popular amongst campers, and it’s spacious enough that it won’t feel crowded.

If you want to enjoy this swimming hole, you can stay at Booloumba Creek camping area no. 1. The campground has several amenities including cold showers, drinking water, toilets and a wood fireplace. You’ll have to bring your own firewood, though. There are two other campsites in the area: Booloumba Creek camping area no. 3, which has a secluded rainforest setting, and Booloumba Creek camping area no. 4, which is suitable for caravans and camper trailers.


Emerald Pool is located in Popran National Park, New South Wales. As its name implies, this swimming hole features crystal-clear emerald green water. Campers need to walk about 7 km to reach Emerald Pool, but it’ll be well worth the trek. A small cascading waterfall leads into the swimming hole. Lush vegetation surrounds the area. It’s particularly stunning in the spring when wildflowers surround the swimming hole.

If you want to enjoy this swimming hole, you can stay at one of three nearby campgrounds: Mill Creek and Ten Mile Hollow in Dharug National Park and Gentlemans Halt in Marramarra National Park. These campsites have limited facilities.


Fern Pool is located in Karijini National Park, Western Australia. This is one of the swimming holes in Australia with stunning views of clear and deep turquoise water, deep red rock formations and lush greenery. Fern Pool is very significant to local Aboriginal people, but campers are free to swim in the area. The swimming hole is easy to access. It’s only a 300-metre walk along the gorge floor from the Fortescue Falls Car Park.

If you want to enjoy this swimming hole, you can stay in the Dales Gorge Campground. It’s a large campsite with several amenities, including picnic tables, BBQs and bush toilets. Campers have to bring their own drinking water, though. The swimming hole and campsite are also near Fortescue Falls and Circular Pool — another swimming hole on the other end of Dales Gorge.


Sweetwater Pool is located in Nitmiluk National Park, Northern Territory. This swimming hole is a spectacular sight to behold as the still water reflects the sky. The pool, located along Edith River, is surrounded by bushland and is home to several freshwater turtles. Sweetwater Pool is a 4-km walk from the Leliyn camping area. It’s also the final stop of the Jatbula Trail — a long-distance trek along the edge of the Arnhem Land Escarpment.

If you want to enjoy this swimming hole, you can stay in the Sweetwater Pool camping area. It’s a small campsite with limited facilities. You can also stay in the Leliyn camping area. It’s a larger campsite with several amenities including BBQs, showers, drinking water, picnic areas and toilets.


Lerderderg Gorge is located in Lerderderg State Park, Victoria. This beautiful swimming hole is just a little over an hour away from Melbourne. There are two distinct swimming areas — Mackenzies Flat, which has shallow water, and Grahams Dam, which has deeper water.

Lerderderg State Park has three campsites: O’Briens Crossing, which offers several amenities, as well as Upper Chadwick and a bushwalking area with limited facilities.

I’ve travelled all around Australia but there is nothing like swimming in these stunning pools. Any of these destinations is an excellent choice for camping in the warmer months.



Is there another location that should be on this list? Share your experience below.

Jake Taylor
Jake Taylor

Jake is a global traveller who has recently called Australia his home again. If he's not travelling, he is writing about it and his experience.