Ladies Well in Barrington Tops is beautiful all year round. It’s a natural waterpark in summer and a wild and tranquil wonderland in winter.


We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Country on which this adventure takes place who have occupied and cared for this land and water for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


  • 3.5 hours from Sydney or 2 hours from Newcastle
  • Ideal for beginner Explorers
  • Swimming hole
  • Lush forest
  • Photographer’s paradise

Ladies Well — Barrington Tops

Ladies Well is a beautiful swimming hole located on the Upper Allyn River at the entrance to the Chichester State Forest, a perfect weekend getaway that’s become an annual trip amongst old school friends. Even though our usual vacation time is summer, we still decided it was worth the trip this year in winter despite the cold snap.

With easy access from Sydney and Newcastle, camping close by and a flat stroll to the swimming hole, Ladies Well is the perfect little jaunt for those new to adventuring.



I told my work colleagues I was off to Barrington Tops this weekend (the coldest weekend of the year thus far) and their response was, ‘Brace yourself, it snows at the Tops.’ Nevertheless, the temptation of adventure, detoxing from technology and reminiscing with school friends was just too great and off we went up into the national park.



Summer, spring, autumn or winter, there’s no season where you can’t get something out of the area. In summer, you can slide down the stunning granite boulders and bask in the lush surrounding forest. An easy walk from the car, Ladies Well is the perfect spot to pack a picnic and take a dip in the crisp river waters.

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

If you’re up for a winter adventure, never fear, it’s still a beautiful spot to visit, relax around a campfire, and stock up on some gorgeous photos! If you’re lucky you’ll wake up to light snowfall overnight.

With campgrounds 400m before you reach the swimming hole and a few others nearby, Ladies Well is also the perfect spot for a weekend getaway. There are a few local hikes nearby if that’s something that you’re into, or continue further on up towards Barrington Tops.

Essential Gear

  • Camera
  • Swimmers (if visiting in summer or keen for a cold water swim)
  • Water and food

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

How To Get There

It’s a 3.5hr drive north-west from Sydney.

The last 15km to get to Ladies Well is a dirt road with four river crossings (the last where the river is highest). Don’t worry though, my trusty little Mazda 2 makes the journey every year. Just remember to check the river levels prior to planning your trip!

Skill Level

Beginner. You can park your car right in front of the walkway down to Ladies Well.

Distance Covered / Elevation Gain

100m / Ladies Well is part of the Upper Allyn River and it’s a flat walk from your car to the swimming hole.