Just because it’s summer doesn’t mean you have to be loyal to the beach. There are a bunch of spots around NSW where you can swim, even in the middle of the outback. Check out these NSW hot springs for a unique place to take a dip.
1. Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool
Location: Kosciuszko National Park
Time from Sydney: 5.5 hours
Cost: Entry fee to KNP
Yarrangobilly is the most well known natural hot spring in NSW and let me tell you, this place is breathtaking, and not just because the air’s thinner in the mountains.
Descending down the road to the valley where the Yarrangobilly thermal pool is tucked away, right by the Yarrangobilly River feels like stepping into a magical fairy land.
There’s a larger pool, and a smaller paddle pool for younger kids to enjoy too, plus a picnic area, change rooms, and toilets close by.
Take a walk along the river while you’re here and explore the Yarrangobilly Caves close by. If you miss the permanently 27 degree, spring fed pool in summer, you might be lucky enough to catch it on a snow day come winter.
The Great Artesian Basin
All the other natural hot springs on this list are fed by the Great Artesian Basin that runs through northern NSW, into QLD, and even touches parts of SA and NT.
The Great Artesian Basin is the main source of water for much of inland Australia and is a critical resource. The water temperature across the basin ranges from 30 – 100℃ making it perfect for taking a dip in when the air temperature has dropped – hint: nighttime hot spring swims!
The water from the basin ranges from several thousand years old up to 2 million years old, phwooaaar! You’re pretty much swimming in history!
2. Lightning Ridge Bore Bath
Location: Lightning Ridge
Time from Sydney: 8.5 hours
The most well known of these hot springs is the Lightning Ridge bore bath. One of the northernmost towns in NSW, Lightning Ridge is famous for opal mining and is worth a trip, whether you swim or not!
But why would you pass up the chance to soak your aching bones in the rejuvenating waters of this NSW hot spring?
Open all hours of the day (except 10am-12pm on weekdays) and totally free, the Lightning Ridge bore bath has a permanent temperature of 40-50 degrees, so a night time swim while taking in the starry sky above is a must!
3. Pilliga Bore Bath
Time from Sydney: 6 hours 50 mins
Cost: Free! Camping $5 a night
Pilliga bore bath is also fed by the Great Artesian Basin, and although it’s not as large as the Lightning Ridge pool, it sits right next to a campground so you can pitch up for the night!
There are also BBQs there for you to cook up a storm, and the water is 37℃ all throughout the year.
The tiny town of Pilliga is just an hour from the stunning Pilliga Forest, a truly unique landscape and woodland forest with bright red dirt underfoot, that’ll have you feeling like you’re deep in the outback.
Combine a visit to Pilliga Forest with a night camping by the Pilliga hot spring and you’re in for one helluva country road trip.
4. Burren Junction Bore Bath
Location: Burren Junction
Time from Sydney: 7 hours
Cost: Free! Camping $6 a night
The bore bath at Burren Junction is just a short drive from Pilliga and the larger town of Narrabri.
With constant water temps of 41.5 degrees, another bath side campground and BBQ facilities, this cute little bath is totally worth a stop off if you’re in the area!
5. Walgett Bore Bath
Time from Sydney: 7 hours 40 mins
If you’re heading way out west, a stop at Walgett for a mid-day bath is a must! Located right in town, the Walgett hot spring water temp sits between 38 and 40 degrees year round.
Luckily this hot spring is right next to the town pool, so you can hop between the cooler warming of the pool before soothing your aching muscles in the thermal waters.
There are a few other bore baths close to the NSW and QLD border, including Boomi, Mungindi, and Goodooga! Why not make a road trip of it and go NSW hot springs hopping?