09
Dec-2015

Five stunning swimming holes in the Blue Mountains

Minnehaha-Falls_Katoomba_close

Wade by the waterfall… Minnehaha (or Minni-Ha-Ha) Falls in Katoomba.

Taking a dip in a natural waterhole is a quintessential Blue Mountains summer experience. Here are five of the best places to bathe in the bush.

It’s hot. You’ve just been for a hike. Or maybe you just want to spend a day in the Blue Mountains doing something interesting, fun and insanely pleasurable.

Time to seek out a natural swimming pool.

Below are some of my favourite swimming holes in the Blue Mountains. Most are very popular in summer, so be prepared to share your patch of poolside sand (or rock) with lots of other visitors and locals.

Click on the links for more photos, details on what each waterhole is like and how to get there.

Lastly, while safety warnings are boring I’m obliged to remind readers that swimming in the Blue Mountains can be dangerous – the water is cold and conditions can be unpredictable, especially after rain. So be safe! Wear sunscreen. [UPDATE: Wear sun-protective clothing if planning to swim – sunscreen can damage the water’s delicate ecosystems.] Check the water depth before jumping. Look at the weather report. Make sure you know how to swim. Check out Think Before You Trek if planning a walk. And most of all – enjoy.

Stay the night in style at Luxury Bush Escape, Blue Mountains

[caption id="attachment_702" align="alignnone" width="900"]A sandy bank and shallow areas make Jellybean Pool ideal for children. A sandy bank and shallow areas make Jellybean Pool ideal for children.[/caption]

JELLYBEAN POOL, GLENBROOK

Being so close to Sydney makes this pool as busy as an urban water park in summer, but a large sandbank means there’s usually enough dry real estate to lay down your towel while you take a plunge.

Read more about Jellybean Pool, Glenbrook.

[caption id="attachment_699" align="alignnone" width="900"]Picnic tables make this waterhole a convenient place for lunch. Picturesque paddling… Ingar Campground in Wentworth Falls.[/caption]

INGAR CAMPGROUND, WENTWORTH FALLS

Also very popular in summer, Ingar Campground in Wentworth Falls is adjacent to a very large waterhole that attracts both the camping crowd and day-trippers. The advantage is you can drive straight to the pool – no laborious walk in our out – though it is a 10-minute drive down a bumpy dirt road. Other pluses include shaded picnic tables nearby and a kid-friendly shallow area with a sandy base (no slipping over!).

Read more about Ingar Campground, Wentworth Falls.

[caption id="attachment_703" align="alignnone" width="900"]Minnehaha-Falls_Katoomba_close Double the rewards… Minnehaha (or Minni-Ha-Ha) Falls in Katoomba.[/caption]

MINNEHAHA FALLS, KATOOMBA

I adore this waterfall and swimming hole, not least because of its cute name.

Minnehaha Falls (or Minni-Ha-Ha Falls) in Katoomba provides the double reward of a spectacular lookout over the 20m waterfalls plus the bonus of being able to swim beneath the cascade.

Read more about Minnehaha Falls, Katoomba.

[caption id="attachment_707" align="alignnone" width="900"]Silver-Cascades-horizontal Rocky backdrop… Silver Cascades in Mount Victoria.[/caption]

SILVER CASCADES, MOUNT VICTORIA

Prepare for a steep 400m descent and an even longer (it feels) walk out from this swimming hole at Silver Cascades in Mount Victoria. Keep in mind, though, that the more arduous the walk in, the more private and peaceful your swimming experience will be.

Read more about Silver Cascades, Mount Victoria. 

[caption id="attachment_705" align="alignnone" width="900"]Paradise-Pool Paradise found… Paradise Pool in Linden.[/caption]

PARADISE POOL, LINDEN

This oasis in Linden is my favourite of the bunch. It’s a lesser known swimming hole but one of the most beautiful due to its picture-perfect waterfall, sandy shore and photogenic rock ledges for jumping.

The track to the pool is tricky to find, and a short way in it crosses a rocky outcrop, which is difficult to navigate if you don’t know where you’re going.

And you know what? That’s the way I’d like to keep it.

Some local secrets are best left untold 😉

If that infuriates you, I do offer directions on how to get there to guests of my studio accommodation in the Blue Mountains… Other than that, Paradise will just have to remain a dream!

What’s your favourite natural swimming hole in the Blue Mountains? Please share (or hint at the details) in the comments!

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  1. Heather /

    I’m so glad you decided to keep at least one of these private for us locals. They are very beautiful & a lot of fun for all.

  2. Glen /

    Deep freeze in faulconbridge,its quite a walk from tamara rd.we used to camp down there 30 years ago!!

    • Jodie /

      Sounds great, Greg! Will have to check it out 🙂

  3. Heywood /

    thankyou for keeping paradise a secret !

  4. Rod /

    Please take away any reference to where paradise might be and do not provide any written directions. It is already getting ruined by more and more people going there

    • Jodie /

      Hi Rod, I think I’ve kept it pretty general. People will have to be pretty determined if they want to find it. Cheers, Jodie

  5. ANNABEL /

    LEAVE THE SUNSCREEN AT HOME. IT’S NOT GOOD FOR THE WATER FLORA ANVIL FAUNA.

    • Jodie /

      Hi Annabel, I have updated the blog to warn swimmers about this. Thanks!

  6. Andy /

    Sorry to be the boring one. Great artictle. But You Advise swimmers to wear sunscreen. Can You change this to ‘not wear sunscreen if you plan to swim’ and cover up with long sleeves etc. instead. these are delicate eco syStems and wearing sUnsCreen and bug spray Kills a lot of fauna and flora around the swimming holes and Downstream. There are a few examples around australia where swimming has been baNNed because of too many visitors wearing sunscreen in the water. for example protestors falls in northern nsw wHere it was killing off an endangered frog. Thankyou in advance.

    • Jodie /

      Hi Andy, I wasn’t aware of this issue and thanks for enlightening us! I’ll point people in the direction of your comment. Cheers, Jodie

  7. Andy /

    Thank you so much for the update. It Means alot to us.
    Check out http://www.wildswimmingaustralia.com for more wild swimming hole locations.
    All the best

  8. Tomek /

    I dont understand your motive for Publishing this info. Youre inviting the masses to ruin these places.

    • Jodie /

      Hi Tomek,

      Thanks for your comment. After some consideration I decided to put a block on this article content, making it available to subscribers only. This will hopefully help to filter out ‘the masses’, and encourage only those with the best of intentions to visit. Cheers, Jodie

  9. WarRen hinder /

    Hi Jodie while i admire your desire to share These swimming holes last weekend minni ha ha was inundated with hundreds of visitors. This tiny water hole And environs will not cope wth this level of activity and its uniqueness will Be destroyed.

    • Jodie /

      Hi Warren,

      Thanks for your comment. I understand many people hold these views, and I have treaded with caution on this blog by blocking the content to subscribers only; however I will say that Minnehaha is one place that is actively promoted by the council anyway. Visitors to the Blue Mountains can follow brown signposts right from the Great Western Highway that lead straight to Minnehaha – it’s no secret. All we can do is hope that those who make the effort to track it down do so with the best intentions.

  10. Shelby /

    To all the people complaining about people “ruining” these places; well sorry but people want to explore and adventure these beautiful places! If you have a problem with people destroying these areas complain to your council to put in fences or tracks that people have to stick to so you can conserve some of these areas. I think its selfish that you people want to keep these places secret, if you are locals to these places you should be proud to have sUch beautiful scenery that you can show off to the world!
    Young kids like myself and my friends love camping and finding beautiful places like these to travel Australia before we settle down to our Own families. These places are cherished memories for people/couples these days. Be proud to share them, they’re gorgeous!

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