As the Australian winter settles in, it can sometimes be tricky to pull yourself off the couch, away from the TV, and out into nature. Finding new and exciting things to do in the cooler months can be hard, but we’ve recently uncovered our new favourite activity to replace your normal daily walk… visiting rock pools! These incredible locations are some of the best rock pools in Australia.
In between the crisp 8 degree mornings and the early winter sunsets, the winter/spring days are a beautiful time to visit these rock pools as the quiet tranquillity and serenity of these sites can be drowned out by crowds in the summer months.
But forget the popular Noosa Fairy Pools or Figure Eight Pools in Sydney. We want to take you to the quieter, more secluded ones, which are just as beautiful, but where you can live in the moment and enjoy what Australian nature really has to offer. These stunning rock pools in Australia are an absolute must if you’re looking to spice up your daily activities.
Ormiston Gorge is a great spot for a cool dip, to see the towering walls of the gorge, and view the stunning local plants and wildlife. It is located 135 km west of Alice Springs and is accessed via Larapinta and Namatjira Drives. The Visitor Centre is approximately 8kms from the Ormiston Gorge turn-off on Namatjira Drive, and the gorge is located just 500m from the visitor centre. Pack your swimmers, some Wild Women cookies and your hiking shoes and enjoy!
New South Wales
The moderate walk to Karloo Pools offers swimming, picnicking and stunning waterfall views. One way, it is less than 3km and should take no more than one hour through the Royal National Park. The walk commences only a short drive or train ride from Sydney which leads from Heathcote train station to Uloola Falls in the north-west section of Royal National Park.
This beautiful swimming spot is one of our favourite rock pools in Australia. It is accessed from Robertson or Jamberoo. Drive along the Jamberoo mountain road and as you see the sign for Carrington Falls, turn onto Cloonty Road and then turn right into the Nellie’s Glen Picnic Area. The last part of the journey is on an unsealed road, but is suitable for motor vehicles. From the car park it is a brisk five- minute walk to Nellie’s Glen swimming hole and waterfall.
A perfect, picturesque Blue Mountains day trip with the kids, Jellybean track is a short walk which takes you to Jellybean Pool. Located in the Glenbrook area in the lower Blue Mountains, the walk commences at the Glenbrook entrance where you can leave your car at the Glenbrook Information Centre.
Just a short drive from the town centre of Warrandyte, Pound Bend Reserve provides a beautiful walk alongside the Yarra River, as well as a spacious picnic ground for the family to enjoy a quiet day out in nature. Along the walk you will find pound bend tunnel, which is just under 150 m in length where a beautiful rock pool resides at the tunnels outlet.
Douglas-Apsley National Park is mid-way up the east coast of Tasmania, about 2¼ hours from Launceston and slightly longer from Hobart. If you take the Rosedale Road off the A3 Tasman Highway about 3km north of Bicheno, you will come across the Apsley Waterhole at the southern end of the park. Trust us, this one is not to be missed!
Rocky Pool Walk is a 5km walking trail within the Kalamunda National Park that goes by the Rocky Pool freshwater hole. The walk begins at the end of Spring Road in Kalamunda, and runs in a 5km loop that finishes in Rocky Pool itself before coming back around to Spring Road. The walk is rated difficult, so you might want to leave the little kids at home for this entry to the pool.
However, if you’ve brought the kids along, you can head to the Rocky Pool parking area at the end of Schipp Road instead, and from there it’s a short walk which leads directly to the pool!
If you’d prefer more swimming and less hiking… we’ve got your back! Take the eastern entrance into Karijini National Park where you can leave your car at Fortescue Falls car park. Then, follow the trail to Fortescue Falls where it is then a 300m walk along the gorge floor to the beautiful Fern Pool.
Whalers Way is privately owned land on the tip of the Southern Eyre Peninsula approximately 32 km from Port Lincoln. The location offers some of the most spectacular coastal views in the state. The drive down to Whalers Way is mostly bitumen and dirt which leads down to the entrance gate. From there, once you’re through the locked gates of Whalers Way and onto private property, the road is a lot more rugged but still driveable for most cars. Note: you will need to purchase a permit to enter as it is private land- but oh so worth it for the beautiful swimming spot at the bottom of the cliff edge. It truly is one of the most magnificent rock pools in Australia.
Hidden away in Herberton Range Conservation Park, south-west of Atherton, Halls Falls offers one of the most stunning pools we have seen, nestled between two waterfalls. Take a quick 15 minute stroll from the car park to and find yourself in a beautiful oasis where you can relax in the clear water.
Locating Gardner Falls is quite easy. Simply turn off the Landsborough Maleny Road onto Obi Lane. A short stroll along a section of the Obi Obi Creek will lead you to a selection of small waterfalls and a spectacular swimming hole.
Kambah Pool is located south of Mount Taylor in the Canberra Nature Reserve. This amazing swimming spot resides just off Kambah Pool Road via Sulwood Drive. From either of the car parks it is a short walk to a beautiful section of the Murrumbidgee River. Kambah Pool has multiple options for the family to swim, kick back and relax, and even go fishing! Part of the northern section is set aside for nude bathing and is clearly sign posted.