When you think of Australia’s Outback, a dusty plain and a few kangaroos may come to mind. But if you look a little closer, you’ll find a handful of crystal clear, wild swimming holes sprinkled throughout these arid lands.

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands, waters, and their inhabitants for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.


Dive under the surface of 8 of Australia’s top remote swimming holes as we share everything you need to know – from where to find them, how to get there, and what to expect when you visit. 

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

When exploring the Outback, it’s important to be prepared for the harsh Australian sun. With We Are Feel Good Inc. Wild Rosella SPF50+ sunscreen, which harnesses UV-fighting properties from the wild Aussie Rosella flower, you can be protected while you soak it all in. 

1. Fern Pool, WA

Location: Karijini National Park, Banyjima, Innawonga, and Kurrama Country
Time from Perth: 15 hours

Set in the dramatic Karijini National Park and nestled amongst the ancient red rocks of Dales Gorge, is the picturesque Fern Pool. To reach this tranquil Outback swimming hole, start a short walk at Fortescue Falls car park and descend the stairs to Fortescue Falls. The idyllic pool can be found just 300m along the gorge past Fortescue Falls. 

Once you’ve arrived, take your time to enjoy the beauty of this swimming hole by braving the cool water or enjoy the sounds of the trickling waterfall under the shade of the eucalypts. This is a sacred site for the Banjima people, so make sure to respect this by not diving into the pool or making loud noises.


2. Katherine Hot Springs, NT

Location: Katherine, Jawoyn Country
Time from Darwin: 3.5 hours

When visiting the regional town of Katherine, perched along the Stuart Highway in the Northern Territory’s radiating Outback, you may be surprised to find one of Australia’s most pristine natural hot springs right at the township’s doorstep. 

To find Katherine Hot Springs, make your way to the car park at the end of Riverbank Drive, just five minutes from the centre of Katherine. Grab your bathers, towel and We Are Feel Good Inc. Rosella sunscreen and follow the paved path down the ramp to the glittering blue springs. 

From here you can jump right in or if you wander a little further along the boardwalk, you may just find a pool all to yourself. The water in Katherine Hot Springs sits at 25 to 30 degrees, making it the perfect place to spend a day soaking in the restorative, mineral-enriched spring waters.

3. Python Pool, WA

 Location: Millstream Chichester National Park, Ngarluma, and Yindjibarndi Country
Time from Perth: 17 hours

 Perched amongst the rolling hills of Millstream Chichester National Park in WA’s Pilbara region is one of Australia’s most striking wild swimming holes, Python Pool. This Outback oasis is found just off the Roeburn-Wittenoom Road. 

With your swimming gear, sunscreen, and floatie in hand, enjoy the walk along the 100m Python Pool trail which is shaded by a stunning array of native flora. A small beach awaits you on one side of the swimming hole, while the surrounding edges of the pool are formed by soaring red cliffs. 

Once you’ve picked your jaw up off the floor, take time to cool off in the (very refreshing!) water or simply sit back and soak in the sight of this epic slice of the Outback.


4. Mossman Gorge, QLD

Location: Daintree National Park, Eastern Kuku Yalanji Country
Time from Cairns: 1.5 hours

In the southern edge of Daintree National Park, nestled amongst the rainforest, is one of Australia’s most stunning wild swimming destinations, Mossman Gorge



To experience this swimming hole, make your way to the Mossman Gorge Centre and hop onto one of the daily shuttle buses to the heart of the gorge, where a gentle stroll through the rainforest-fringed boardwalk will lead you to its sandy banks. Smooth granite boulders, crystal clear water and lush vegetation awaits. 

Between soaking in the tranquil waters of this swimming hole and experiencing one of the surrounding rainforest walks, a relaxing day here is one well spent. 

5. Manning Gorge, WA

Location: Mount Barnett Station, Ngarinyin/Wilinggin Country
Time from Broome: 7 hours

The Gibb River Road, the infamous 4WD track that connects Derby to Kununurra in Western Australia’s Kimberely region, is home to this next Outback swimming hole. Found 306km along the Gibb from Derby in the grounds of Mount Barnett Station is Manning Gorge, one of the Kimberley’s most beautiful swimming spots. 



Pitch your tent and stock up your daypack with your adventure essentials before embarking on the 3km hike that’ll lead you to the gorge. The first part of the hike will require you to take your shoes off to cross Manning Creek, with tubs provided to ferry your belongings across with you, so be prepared! Your efforts will be rewarded once you glimpse the pool and the spectacular waterfalls that cascade into it. You won’t need any convincing to dive right in and cool off in the pristine waters. 

Please note! Although there are no Saltwater crocodiles in Manning Gorge, there are potentially Freshwater crocs around. It’s still safe to swim, but important to be aware!

Read more: How To Stay Safe in Croc Country

6. Ormiston Gorge, NT

Location: Tjoritja/West Macdonnell National Park, Arrente Country
Time from Alice Springs: 1.5 hours 

On the Namatjira Drive in the Northern Territory’s Red Centre is the serene Outback swimming hole, Ormiston Gorge. A 500m walk from the Gorge’s visitor centre will lead you to towering red cliffs that provide the backdrop for this almost-permanent waterhole. 

Ormiston Gorge is the ultimate place to cool off on a warm NT summer’s day with its white sand ‘beach’ and refreshing water. 

There are no crocodiles this far inland, so you don’t need to worry about any unwanted guests. Pitch your umbrella, roll out your towels and blow up your floatie to make a day of absorbing this majestic beauty of the Outback.

7. Dalhousie Springs, SA

Location: Witjira National Park, Low­er South­ern Arrernte and Wangkan­gur­ru Country
Time from Adelaide: 15 hours 

The western edge of the Simpson Desert in South Australia is home to the Outback swimming oasis that is Dalhousie Springs. To reach these desert springs a 4WD is recommended as tracks can become pretty corrugated. 

Once you arrive the hardest decision you’ll have to make is where to swim, as part of a larger chain of mound springs, there are over 100 mineralised hot springs in the area to choose from. You can take your pick depending on which temperature you prefer, with temperatures ranging anywhere from 38 to 43 degrees. Then all that’s left to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy the natural beauty of this wild swimming hole.

8. Lawn Hill Gorge, QLD

Location: Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Waanyi Country
Time from Cairns: 15 hours 

 Driving along the Savannah Way that stretches seemingly endlessly across the desert in Outback Queensland you’ll find respite at one of Australia’s most idyllic swimming holes. Situated in Boodjamulla (Lawn Hill) National Park, Lawn Hill Gorge is accessed by unsealed roads and a 4WD is recommended. 

We highly recommend hiring a kayak from Adels Grove and paddling the 3km return along the gorge to reach Indarri Falls, a series of cascading waterfalls fringed by delicate tufa and native flora. It’s hard to fathom that this oasis, akin to a scene from The Jungle Book, is found in one of the most remote areas of Australia’s Outback. Be sure to take your time swimming, exploring, and paddling in these pristine waters. 

From the crystal-clear waters of lush Queensland gorges to the dramatic red cliffs of Western Australia’s natural pools, there’s no doubt that Australia’s diverse outback swimming holes deserve a spot on every Explorer’s bucket list. When packing your bags to get out and experience these places for yourself, add We Are Feel Good Inc. Wild Rosella SPF50+ sunscreen along with your bathers and floatie. Happy exploring and we’ll see you in the water!

Leave No Trace

As with all visits to our natural spaces, adhere to the Leave No Trace principles so that the next visitors can enjoy these incredible natural places just as much as you.