Mermaid Pools, just south of Sydney, makes for a great morning adventure. Go explore the creek with the family including the dog! Here’s what you need to know.


  • Explore the mermaid pools
  • Frolick in the shallows of the rivulets.
  • Spot a dragonfly (there are thousands!!)


Take The Whole Family To The Mermaid Pools // Tahmoor (NSW), Leonie Waldron, gum tree, hand made sign, directions

Walking to Mermaid Pools

The walk begins at a small parking area just under the Rockford Road Bridge. Slap on some sunscreen before you set out as it’s fairly open and exposed, especially in the summer months.

The track passes under the bridge and hugs the right-hand bank of the creek.

There are a few quirky trail markers to look out for: a ladder up a tree, an old rusty engine, painted arrows, and metal pennants nailed on a tree. 

The trail veers up to follow a ridgeline for a little way, and soon you’ll start to hear the gush of water spilling 15 metres down into Mermaid Pools.


Exploring Around the Pools

This dark and mysterious pool looks impossibly deep – you’ve got to have a big pair to want to jump in (something which both the Council and Fire & Rescue strongly advise against). 

Instead, kick around on the wide flat rocks that surround the pool, or float leaves down the rushing stream and watch them sail into the pool below.

If you’ve arrived in the middle of the day there won’t be much shade, so cool off your feet in the creek and grab a snack before you head back up the creek, disturbing lots of giant dragonflies as you go.

You can walk along either side of the gorge for a while, then it becomes clear that the way you came in is a little easier (and not so hot).


Take The Whole Family To The Mermaid Pools // Tahmoor (NSW), Leonie Waldron, photo by Jonathan Tan, river, rocks, swim, river crossing

This is a magic spot and is an easy kid-friendly walk and it might just be the perfect adventure for that ‘non-outdoorsy’ friend.

If you’re after something a little less tame, you can continue on past Mermaid Pools and explore Bargo River Canyon, which will take you the best part of a day.


Take The Whole Family To The Mermaid Pools // Tahmoor (NSW), Leonie Waldron, photo by Jonathan Tan, waterfall, rocks, man

Can I Swim in Mermaid Pools?

There have been multiple incidents here in the past due to the pool’s sheer-sided edges that are near impossible to get out of once you’re down in the water. That tattered old rope lying sodden under the waterfall seems like a pretty sketchy exit strategy. 

If you’re really hanging for a swim, check out our top picks of other great wild swimming spots near Sydney.

Essential Gear

  • Sunscreen 
  • Rubbish bag – this isn’t in a national park but deserves the same respect, so hike out your own junk (and other people’s if you can)

How To Get There

Follow the Old Hume Highway towards Tahmoor and take the Rockford Road turnoff. Cross the bridge that marks the beginning of the walk then turn right into Charlie’s Point Road, and take an immediate right into the parking area. It can get busy so plan to go early.


  • Hiking
  • Waterfall chasing
  • Dragonfly spotting
  • Great photo opportunities

Skill Level

Beginner – there’s a pretty clear path and lots of trail markers left by other walkers. Keep an eye on little kids around the sheer edges of the pool. 

Distance Covered / Time Taken

Mermaid Pools walk – 4km return. We spent two hours here, walking at a leisurely pace and playing on the rocks around the pool. 


Feature photo by Jonathan Tan