Got a few days to fill in Canberra in the scorching summer? Check out these gems to cool off in!

1. Gibraltar Falls

This is my favourite hidden treasure in Canberra. Based 50km from the capital and running off Corin Road. From the car-park you will see a forked dirt track; the path to the right will take you 1km through the bush down to Woods Reserve while the short track to the left will take you to a viewing platform overlooking the 50m high falls. I’d highly recommend exploring around the falls; never know what you might find.


Shea-Cara Canberra water

2. Casuarina Sands

Almost every Canberra kid will have grown up going here in the Summer. Based on the banks of the Murrumbidgee River it can be found off Cotter Rd only 30min from the centre of Canberra. There are multiple spots along the river for a picnic and around to the right under the Casuarina trees is the perfect spot to set up a slack line. Further along, there is a narrow track paralleling the river; this will take you down to some rope swings and the mini dam. Make sure you check the water level before jumping in.

3. Kambah Pools

Drive to the end of Kambah Pool Rd, from the top carpark stone steps will take you down to a large sandy beach which is framed by the steep valley cliffs reflecting in the water. If you continue onto the bottom carpark you’ll find some deeper water but more rock scrambling. If you’re feeling a little risqué or want to work on that full body tan, you can continue along a track to the right which will take you to the nude bathing area.


Shea-Cara Canberra water

4. Point Hut Crossing

If you want to feel like you’re on your own desert island this is the spot! At the south end of Canberra off Point Hut Rd. Take the short track hidden amongst the trees down to the river rather than the large fire trail around to the right. From here you will see a sandy beach (aka your island) on the other side of the river. If the river flow is alright you can swim across or my personal fave is floating across on my blow-up flamingo.

5. Pine Island

Another picnic spot along the Murrumbidgee River running off Pine Island Drive. Mini rapids and a large picnic area will be found at the south carpark. Playground and a mini beach are situated at the north carpark.


Shea-Cara Canberra water

Feature photo by Andy Lewis