You may be accustomed to swimming at popular locations like Byron Bay’s Main Beach or Bondi Beach, but you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to natural swimming holes.

10 of the best swimming holes in Australia

Time to escape the crowds take a refreshing dip at one of these beautiful swimming holes.

1. Emerald Pool, NSW

Located in the Popran National Park on the Central Coast, Emerald Pool features crystal clear emerald green waters you’ll be desperate to dive into.

It may take you a 5km return walk to get there, but you’ll be well rewarded with a display of native vegetation and wildflowers and beautiful views. There’s also a picturesque little waterfall and a great spot to set up your lunch spread when hunger strikes.

2. Mahon Pool, Sydney

If tricking to a swimming hole isn’t your idea of fun, then Mahon Pool at the northern end of Sydney’s Maroubra Beach is well worth the visit. Sandwiched between sandstone and the sea, this exposed rock pool is favoured by the locals.

Simply take the steep steps down from the car park and you’ll find the pool along with toilets and change rooms.

3. Killen Falls, Northern NSW

Image: Larissa Dening Photography via

Looking for breathtaking scenery and a place to cool off on a warm summer day? Killen Falls is the ideal place to escape the Byron Bay crowds and get back in touch with nature.

The large swimming hole with its deep and shallower areas features at 10m waterfall and an impressive cave where you can take in some shade.

4. Fairy Pools, Sunshine Coast

Nestled between basalt rocks at the far eastern end of Granite Bay are the Fairy pools, two natural tidal pools.

You won’t find many swimmers here as the pools are hidden from plain sight behind high surrounding walls. It’s the perfect spot to take your snorkel to explore the coral display and resident fish.

5. Millaa Millaa Falls, Cairns

Image source: @jewelszee via IG

The Millaa Millaa Falls is one of the most photographed natural wonders of Australia and with good reason. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the star of this swimming hole is 18 metre-plunge waterfall.

Only a 90-minute drive from Cairns, Millaa Millaa is a popular spot for locals and tourists but is generous enough to not feel too crowded. Once you’ve enjoyed a swim, be sure to explore the rest of the track with five other waterfalls to see.

6. Sweetwater Pool, Katherine

If you’re up north, natural swimming holes that are safe to swim in are rare! However, Sweetwater Pool is considered a safe swimming spot that’s nestled amounts bushland. Be sure to check any warning signs as there are still crocs in the area.

It’s also great places to camp as it’s relatively quiet with most people visiting during the day.

7. Serpentine Falls, Perth

Just an hour’s drive from Perth and you’ll find Serpentine Falls which is a deep pool surrounded by dense bushland. This is a picturesque setting with the waterfall cascading over a sheer, smooth granite rock face and an array of beautiful plants and local animals.

If visiting on weekends or public holidays, be sure to get there early (by 10 am) because the reserve often reaches capacity by noon.

8. Emma Gorge, Kimberley

The secluded spot of Emma Gorge is the perfect oasis to cool off around your hour-long walk over the rocky terrain. Part of the iconic El Questro Wilderness Park and surrounded by high cliffs draped with greenery, this swimming hole is tranquil and intimate. The 65-metre droplet waterfall is impressive and the small thermal spring warms up the water to a pleasant temperature.

9. Blairgowrie Jump Rock, Blairgowrie

Image source:

Take the leisurely drive out of Melbourne down to the Mornington Peninsula to cool off in the saltwater swimming hole of Blairgowrie Jump Rock. It’s a popular spot for swimmers to take the leap of faith and up from the sandstone rocks that tower above. Just remember to check the depths before you do so!

10. Lerderderg Gorge, Victoria

Pitch your tent and take the circuit walk to Lergerderg Gorge, only one hour from Melbourne. Made of sandstone and slate the 300-metre gorge is filled with cool fresh water and surrounded by untouched natural bushland.

There’s also a picturesque grassy spot and plenty of shade to kick back and enjoy the beautiful scenery.