Places to Swim
With the lure of warmer weather ahead and light glimmering at the end of lockdown tunnels, our thoughts turn to long, lazy days spent at favourite swimming spots around the country. Our local here in Bondi is a beauty but there are divine spots all around Australia. Explore the BONDI WASH team's guide to the best beaches, ocean pools, rivers and waterfalls around the country.
Casuarina Sands, located just 20 minutes from the city, is on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River. Boasting several beaches and picturesque spots for lunch, it’s an easily-accessible getaway for a dip.
Just upstream from Woods Reserve about 45 minutes out of Canberra, Gibraltar Falls is a little harder to access but the natural infinity pool nestled amongst the forest is worth the extra effort. A secluded spot with amazing views, this is one beautiful place to visit.
Spoilt for choice, NSW has endless idyllic swimming spots, locations often tightly guarded by locals wanting to preserve their natural beauty. Famous for the ocean pools peppered along the coastline, Sydney punches above its weight for special spots to visit.
Mahon Pool in Maroubra is a favourite place for a swim. Not unlike a natural rock pool, its sandy, rocky base and uneven walls make this a relaxed place to enjoy the great outdoors.
A swim at the irregular-shaped Bronte Bogey Hole is a little more relaxed than at its structured cousin, the Bronte Rock Pool where lanes are marked and swimmers count laps. With its crystal clear, turquoise waters the Bogey Hole is a place for kids and adults alike to bask in the sunshine, enjoying one of life’s free and simple pleasures.
Halfway between Sydney and Brisbane is Bellingen and the Gleniffer Valley, locally known as the Promised Lands. Comprising a series of swimming holes, The Angel Gabriel Caparoro Reserve has some of the most breathtaking scenery imaginable, with quiet, unspoilt pools of clear water nestled in amongst tall trees and trails worth exploring.
Further up the coast is the ocean pool in Yamba built into the surrounding rockface.
At the Blue and Green Pools of Angourie courageous souls jump from the cliffs of this repurposed quarry into the freshwater spring.
Northern New South Wales is home to Little Wategos Beach in Byron Bay, the most easterly beach in Australia located near the lighthouse. This protected beach is ideal for swimmers and surfers alike with rock fishing a popular pastime with locals.
Nearby at Brunswick Heads, Christmas Beach is on the north heads of the Brunswick River, famed for its topaz, clear waters usually found at more tropical destinations further up north. This gentle stretch of coastline rarely gets waves making it ideal for children or less-confident swimmers.
The World Heritage-Listed Kakadu National Park is home to Maguk – crystal clear pandanus-lined pools at the base of towering escarpments. Accessible only by four-wheel-drive, this destination is one of the lesser-known secrets of the top end, offering a peaceful getaway with fewer crowds.
One of the most popular swimming spots in the Northern Territory is the Ellery Creek Big Hole located in the Tjoritja/West McDonnell National Park. The gorge, which was carved out by years of floods, is now permanently filled with cool water, just what’s needed after a long day in the blazing heat.
With beaches just 11km from the CBD, Adelaide has its pick of metropolitan spots. Catch a tram from the city right to the water’s edge at Glenelg. Follow a quick dip with a meal at one of the many restaurants and cafés located within walking distance. Then stay until dusk and watch spectacular sunsets across the ocean.
The southern beaches along the Fleurieu Peninsula are a sight to behold, miles long with views that stretch for eternity. Normanville is a jewel in the crown – a little country town just over an hour's drive from the city. Unpretentious and family-friendly, this is a place to bring an umbrella, an esky and settle in with the kids for a full day of fun.
On the north-east coast of Tasmania is the Bay of Fires, named in 1773 by Captain Furneaux after witnessing the many fires Aborigines burned on its shore. With clean, white beaches, crystal clear water and an abundance of sea life, this is an ideal destination for swimming, snorkelling and diving.
Just minutes from Launceston, Cataract Gorge is a large, natural water hole in the South Esk River. People plunge from the boulders into icy cold water, surrounded by picture-perfect landscapes, home to an abundance of native wildlife.
Calm waters are found at Tallebudgera Creek or waves can be found at nearby Tallebudgera Beach. The protected creek is suitable for all kinds of water sports including paddle boarding and kayaking making it a beacon for locals and tourists alike.
Nobby’s Beach, a long stretch of sandy coast located at the foot of North Nobby, is manned by the Surf Life Saving Club making it a favourite spot for holiday makers staying nearby. With nearby shops and an eponymous fish and chippy, it’s the place to spend a day relaxing with family and friends.
Ladies Bath Falls in the Mount Buffalo National Park features waterfalls and rock pools, a reward for the short walk taken to reach them. Visitors can lounge on the large boulders after dipping into the pristine, cool waters of Crystal Brook.
Source: australiangeographic.com.au / Laurie Wasson
An hour and a half’s drive from Melbourne, Sorrento’s Front Beach is a popular tourist destination. Bordered with Norfolk Island Pines and bright white sands, the sheltered beach has few waves making it a good spot for a relaxing dip. Pretty native grasses line the foreshore, ideal for beautifying holiday snaps.
With an expansive 12,000kms of coastline, it’s little wonder there is so much to explore in WA.
At the edge of William Bay National Park in the Denmark Region, Greens Pool is famous for its bright green waters and white sandy beach. Large granite boulders offer protection from the Southern Ocean creating the perfect spot to swim or snorkel admiring the many sea creatures that call this place home.
Accessible only by four-wheel-drive, Manning Gorge on Manning Creek is regarded as one of the best inland swimming spots in the state’s Kimberley area. Swimmers can revel in the water at the base of the falls or in nearby rock pools then explore for examples of Bradshaw and Wandjina rock art.
If there’s one place to visit, it’s Little Parakeet Bay on Rottnest Island. Protected by the surrounding reef and rocky outcrops it’s perfect for a quick dip or a longer snorkel to admire the local sea life. The waters are shallow, clear and calm making it ideal for little ones and given its remoteness, there are often few other visitors making it feel even more special.