Australia is a swim fan’s dream. This country is loaded with beaches, natural pools and bays. I mean, water is basically built into our nation’s DNA.
While classic swim spots like your Bondi beaches serve their purpose, one of the greatest joys a water-loving Australian can experience is the pleasure of landing on a secret swim site. One that feels like a hidden treasure.
If you’d like to check out a few more of those gems, you’re in luck. Because I’ve gone and chatted with tourism boards across Australia and with their guidance, have complied a list of the best (kind of) secret swim spots around the country.
Here we go.
Where to swim in NSW:
Destination NSW shared a long and stunning list of swim spots worth visiting. Here are three of the best from that collection.
1 hour, 15 minute drive from Sydney
With dramatic coastal views, this picturesque swimming spot is Wollongong’s northern-most saltwater rock pool and includes a pool and toddlers’ pool. Explore the rocks for ocean life from this quiet secluded beach.
A 37 minute drive from Sydney, before becoming only accessible by water.
A hidden jewel on North Head, Shore Beach is a sheltered beach is only accessible by water. Hire a kayak from Manly Kayak Centre, or go all out with a romantic rendezvous package and be tendered by private boat to your ‘secret’ destination where a luxury picnic on the beach awaits, including tables, chairs and an esky with seafood and cheese platters.
25-minute drive from Sydney.
This ‘secret’ beach is accessed via a steep timber staircase and well protected from large coastal swells, making it perfect for swimming and snorkelling.
All descriptions have been shared by Destination NSW.
Where to swim in Victoria:
Again, there were loads to choose from in Victoria. So consider these three swim spots your jumping off point.
These are a series of pools separated by miniature rapids on the Yarra River at Eltham. While the native bushland may give the illusion of isolation, this spot is only 30 minutes from central Melbourne.
A High-Country favourite, the stunningly serene Ladies Bath Falls is a popular rest stop for hikes up the hill. The water flows downs from the mountain creek and has been known to be as cold as it is beautiful.
A fantastic, deep swimming hole in a gorge on Freestone Creek, in Brigalong State Forest, East Gippsland. A stunning, natural, deep, clear swimming hole carved into Freestone Creek with rocky outcrops rising on all sides. There are shallows suitable for small children, as well as deeper spots for good swimmers. After a swim, there is a walk a couple of hundred metres to a lookout over the creek, or short stroll through a cheery fern gully.
All descriptions have been shared by Visit Victoria.
Where to swim in SA:
A secluded beach in the lower Eyre Peninsula, Little Douglass offers sheltered, safe ocean swims with views of a working oyster lease in the background.
A tidal secret pool of water from the beach. Wander through a maze of caves and rocks until it opens up at a protected cove.
A natural spa at the campground at Coward Springs.
All descriptions have been shared by SA tourism board.
Where to swim in Tasmania:
Corra Linn Swimming Hole, Launceston
Just 15 minutes’ drive from the city of Launceston. It has a collection of big and small rock jumps and rapids and sometimes a makeshift rope swing set up off the bridge by the local kids. The clean, fresh water runs down from the nearby mountains, making it the best spot to cool off on a hot day.
One of nature’s playgrounds with incredible walking tracks and surrounded by magnificent stone formations, this gorge is perfect for summer days in Launceston.
A 90-minute drive south from Hobart. Relax in the swimming pool, which is fed by mineral-rich thermal springs. Experience warm thermal pool water that remains 28 degrees year-round.
All descriptions have been shared by Tasmania tourism board.
Where to swim in NT:
150 kilometres south of Darwin, Wangi Falls are found within the Litchfield National Park. As Northern Territory tourism writes, the large plunge pool is “surrounded by lush monsoon rainforest”. Set up a picnic and enjoy your afternoon in the water.
Before planning a visit here, however, be sure to check for seasonal opening hours. It is often closed during the topical Summer months.
90 minutes out of Darwin, you’ll find Tjaynera Falls (Sandy Creek) in Litchfield National Park. Relax by the waterhole as you take in the views of the open valley.
Not so much a secret, but lovely nonetheless, Berry Springs Nature Park is a lovely day trip out of Darwin with loads of picnic areas and beautiful shady pools.
Where to swim in the ACT:
Check out Tharwa Sandwash in Gigerline Nature Reserve and explore the beauty of the Murrumbidgee River.
Also set on the Murrumbidgee River, Kambah Pool offers a number of swim spots, including a nude bathing section – if you’re so inclined.
Where to swim in Queensland:
Found in the Sunshine Coast, Gardners Falls sits at the end of Obi Obi Creek Road, beyond a path that’ll take you from the caravan park to the swimming area, Queensland tourism writes.
Grab hold of the Tarzan swing and dive on in.
This “geological wonder” as Queensland tourism puts it is just 2.5 hours south of Cairns.
“Thanks to the chemistry of the rocks and water, the colour can vary from a bright, baby blue to a more milky-blue colour depending on the time of day and available sunlight,” the website reads.
Visit between May and September for the best experience of the pools.
Grab a 4WD and make your way to these striking falls surrounded by forest. Stay the night in the campground and take a dip in the cool water first thing in the morning.
Where to swim in WA:
Beyond waterfalls, Western Australia serves up more water holes than you could count. Take a two-day road trip from Perth to Karijini National Park, set in the heart of the state’s Pilbara region, to find Fern Pool – a picturesque swimming spot atop Fortescue Falls. Nearby, you can picnic overlooking the falls, or head to Circular Pool for a second swim.
Description shared by Tourism Australia.
Located about 5km from Collie, WA, Black Diamond Lake is an incredible, serene site perfect for day trips. As Perth Is Ok writes, the lake was once a mining site – but once decommissioned it filled up with water and has been transformed into a tranquil escape.
Want more travel ideas? Here’s a write up of the best Aussie weekend destinations that won’t have you driving for days.
This article has been updated since its original publish date.