swimming outback

BEST SECRET SWIMMING DESTINATIONS IN AUSTRALIA

In the Australian summer time, the city dwellers flock to the beach en mass. It must be one of the great migrations on the planet. Like wildebeest, every summer the humans seep out the city and take over the beaches in a sea of sweaty bodies and garish beach towels.

For this reason, I prefer to turn my attention to freshwater sources. Secluded pools of tranquility, away from the crashing waves and squawking Sydneysiders. Australia is full of secluded natural watering holes, you just need a little bit of adventurous spirit to find them. Here are some of the best swimming spots you’ve almost certainly never heard of.

KILLEN FALLS, BALLINA, NEW SOUTH WALES

Conveniently located twenty minutes south of Byron Bay is Killen Falls, a real jungle paradise. Tucked away in a rainforest gully, the falls feature a striking waterfall which gives way to a cave behind it ready for exploring.

You will need to bring everything you need to the falls. There is nothing there. So, pack a blanket, a picnic and a good book and take the walking track from the carpark until you reach the waterfalls.

FERN POOL, KARIJINI NATIONAL PARK, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

A small clearing opens to reveal the untouched Fern Pool in Karijini National park. The pool gets its name from the lush vegetation surrounding it. It is also a hotspot for local animals, including flying foxes. The turquoise water is incredibly inviting.

Karijini National Park is 60km from Tom Price. If you take the eastern entrance to the park you can follow a trail to fern pool from Fortescue Falls car park. It is quite a remote location and can be a bit of a challenge to access, but is definitely worth the effort.

FLORENCE FALLS, LITCHFIELD NATIONAL PARK, NORTHERN TERRITORY

The mighty double waterfalls at Florence Falls provide an impressive backdrop to this natural swimming spot. After an afternoon taking in the impressive natural scenery of the Northern Territory, Florence Falls is a refreshing site for a dip. There is also a viewing platform at the top of the falls to see the surrounding area in all its glory, but watch out for the steep steps.

Litchfield national park is around 100km outside Darwin and can be reached via Bachelor or from Cox Peninsula Road.

WATTAMOLLA, SYDNEY ROYAL NATIONAL PARK, NEW SOUTH WALES

For a perfect mix of both worlds, Wattamolla is the place to go. The Royal National Park provides a vast freshwater lagoon and a small saltwater beach to enjoy. Wattamolla is the perfect place to do some fishing, go snorkelling or wind down with a barbie and friends and family. For the adrenaline junkies, there are some small cliff faces around the cove suitable for jumping off.

You can reach the park by taking the Grand Pacific Drive out of Sydney. There is an entrance fee of $11 to enter the park.

NETHERCOTE FALLS, PAMBULA, NEW SOUTH WALES

Rock pools, waterfalls and deeper swimming areas, Nethercote falls has something for all the family. The crystal-clear water is a refreshing welcome after the trek from the car park to the falls themselves. Because the Nethercote falls are in a valley, they are protected from the wind on windy days. Those who have discovered the natural beauty of Nethercote falls seem to return year after year.

 


Do you have any secret locations you are willing to share? Spread the word through the comments section below.

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John Steele
johnsteele@dinga.com.au

John loves cooking at home and outdoors, travelling, fishing and discovering a new life. He's got loads of experience he wants to share while he adventures through retirement.