Natural swimming pools are absolutely the best places to swim in Australia and you can’t convince me otherwise. I might be biased thanks to a childhood filled with Christmases in a small North Queensland town surrounded by the stunning natural beauty that’s uniquely Australian and a buttload of cousins to muck around with. But if you need a better reason then beauty and good company, what about the fact they make killer Instagram shots?
Yeah sure, I’ll admit they’ll take a little more effort to get to. Usually, they involve a decent hike, often over rocky terrain, but even if you’re not a hiker that extra effort just makes the final dip so much more satisfying.
9 Stunning Natural Swimming Pools In Australia
1. Jourama Falls, Ingham QLD
Now that I’ve overshared my nostalgia stories, I’m going to completely indulge with one of the places with a special place in my heart. Welcome to Ingham, tropical north kind of weather and a bunch of beautiful swimming holes that are usually damn near empty because they’re so local.
I’ve gone with Jourama for two reasons, the first being I can’t give away some of the more ‘locals only’ type swimming places because I’ll get disowned, and second because it has rapids and they are incredibly fun.
I know rapids sounds a bit hectic for some of you hoping for a more serene place to float, but Jourama Falls has the quiet end perfect for the chillers, and the rapid end perfect for the adventurers who prepare with inner tyre tubes and boogie boards. Just, you know, be sensible and judge the height and strength of the rapids first because it’s a natural place so rain and flooding obviously affect it.
2. Emma Gorge & Champagne Pools, El Questro Wilderness Park WA
The whole park has just about anything you could want from Australia, from bright red cliff faces to thermal springs and mud flats, to rainforests and waterfalls. Then, of course, there’s Emma Gorge, about an hours’ walk into the park. Swim under and around the waterfall in a deep – you guessed it – gorge, complete with atmospherical green moss. Just be aware of park closures during wet season, because ‘Straya.
Because I couldn’t pick just one for this whole park, you also have to check out the pure outback tranquility of Champagne Pools.
3. Rockpools, Bushrangers Bay VIC
This is no ordinary, dip your toe in / spot a crab and other tiny sea creatures type rock pool. We’re talking dunk your full body in. And it’s completely natural, none of that half pool half rock thing going on. You’ll get the most action once the tide has gone out and left the large rockpools behind. This, this is the stuff of mermaid dreams guys.
4. Babinda Boulders, Cairns QLD
Everybody knows Cairns, but not everybody is aware of the Babina Boulders not far away that offer a sandless alternative swim spot for when you’ve had enough of beaches and snorkeling.
5. Hamersley Gorge, Karijini National Park WA
It’s the colours that really make Hamersley Gorge stand out in a country full of beautiful gorges. From the red rocks to the bright greens and blues of the water, you won’t be able to take a bad photo here. You’ll find waterfalls and plenty of swimming holes of different sizes around the area, so you’re bound to get one to yourself.
6. Bitter Springs, Mataranka NT
I know crystal clear is an annoying cliche but seriously, have a gander at the pics and tell me how else you’d describe Bitter Springs. You Can literally see every rock beneath the surface. You’re also surrounded by palm trees for that real tropical feel.
7. Sweetwater Pool, Nitmiluk National Park NT
View this post on Instagram
We did the Sweetwater Pool Walk this weekend and had the place to ourselves (probably because it's a 9km return walk and the dry season has barely begun). #worthit #waschilly #nitmiluknationalpark #dryseason #howstheserenity #swimminghole #sweetwaterpool #NTaustralia #topend @matt.bochow
How do you go past a view like this? You don’t, this is basically nature’s infinity pool. You might even spot yourself a turtle or two. Again this national park is large enough that you have a few swimming options, so might be time to plan a camping trip?
8. Zillie Falls, Atherton Tablelands QLD
Australia does waterfalls particularly well, at least when there’s enough water to keep them running, so it’s hard to narrow them down but I only have so much space. So keep that in mind when I say Zillie Falls are stunning and peaceful. And yeah it’s also where I’d go with that same family when we wanted a trip away from a trip.
9. Little Blue Lake, Mount Gambier SA
This is a popular spot to visit for good reason. Mainly that it’s a beaut swimming hole you can basically drive right up to. The local council even built a wharf into the middle-ish of the lake so you can experience without getting wet, but also where’s the fun in that?