One of the coolest things to do when travelling in Australia is a waterfall swimming. The Aussie sun and heat can truly be exhausting, and when the beach is far away, water becomes precious. Luckily, the inland areas of the Land Down Under are blessed with waterfalls and waterholes, often found where you would never expect it! All road-trippers, these are the best swimmable falls in the country for you to enjoy.
1.BARRON FALLS (QLD)
The most popular attraction of the tropical Cairns are these steep cascade waterfalls on the Barron River. There are several platforms which visitors can take pictures from, but the best view of the falls is from Skyrail – a 7.5 km cable car above the tropical rainforest.
Another way to see the waterfall is the Kuranda Scenic Railway – one of the major points of interest in Cairns. The tourist railway ascends the Macalister Range before reaching the forest of Kuranda, and there are many spectacular lookouts on the way, including Barron Falls. Although you will probably not be able to dip in the Barron Falls, the nearby Old Weird Falls at Stoney Creek surely do the job!
2.MILLAA MILLAA FALLS (QLD)
Another waterfall in the Cairns Hinterland which certainly is worth a visit is Millaa Millaa. The falls might not be as spectacular as Barron Falls, but you can enjoy the crystal-clear spring water for hours. The idyllic setting and lovely facilities make the falls one of the most attractive around Cairns.
The Atherton Tablelands is a region is well-known for waterfalls, and the best way to explore the highlights is the Waterfalls Circuit – a 17km driving loop that includes Millaa Millaa Falls, where the forested setting is a favourite for all tourists – hence expect mobs of people when travelling in peak season…
3.WALLAMAN FALL (QLD)
One of the most visited falls in Australia is the UNESCO listed Wallaman Fall. It is hidden in a gorgeous granite reserve near Ingham, amidst the forests of the Girringun National Park. The Wallaman Fallis an ideal one-day trip from Townsville (2 hours drive) with many other waterfalls, pretty short walks and viewing platforms.
The Wallaman Fall is a ‘horsetail’ waterfall, and it is notable for its main drop of 268 metres and a 20-feet deep pool at its bottom – Australia`s tallest single-drop waterfall. Swimming? Yes! You can definitely swim in its bottom pool, but it is a steep 2-kilometre long walk down the canyon. No crowds guaranteed, though! Strong swimmers can try to make it to the waterfall but watch out for the current.
4.JIM JIM FALLS (NT)
The most impressive falls in the Northern Territory, and one of the country`s major points of interest is to be found in the UNESCO recognised Kakadu National Park – Jim Jim Falls.
The waterfall descends from an elevation of 259 metres above sea level via one drop into a plunge pool within the creek below. In the wet season (Dec-Feb) when the falls are at their most spectacular, the visitors get the best view best views from the air together with the nearby Twin Falls. Scenic flights can be booked in the local visitor centre.
During the dry season (May-Oct), you can even drive to the falls and enjoy camping, various walking tracks and swimming of course! The Jim Jim Falls track takes you through splendid monsoon forest to a deep plunge pool that provides safe swimming. (NOTE 4WD access only for Jim Jim Falls, high clearance & snorkel recommended for Twin Falls).
5.WANGI FALLS (NT)
Let`s stay in the Northern Territory for a little. Apart from Kakadu, the neighbouring Lichfield National Park has no saltwater crocodiles and teems with waterways and falls. The most famous are the Wangi Falls. The 84 metres waterfall descends via a series of segmented tiers, and with lovely rest areas, nice walking trails and safe swimming, this is an idyllic place to spend a day at.
Other nearby waterfalls are Tjeataba Falls (sacred Aboriginal site, swimming not permitted), Florence Falls (safe swimming and good walking tracks), Tolmer Falls (spectacular cascading waterfall, deep rock pool, colonies of bats) and Surprise Creek Falls (safe swimming). Take a dip and embrace this stunning, yet still freshwater crocodile, land – relax the freshies are harmless, though.
6.HORIZONTAL FALLS (WA)
David Attenborough would call it “Australia`s most unusual natural wonder”. Indeed, every visitor would agree. The phenomenon of Kimberley`s iconic Horizontal Falls surely stands out, and it is not surprising that the falls are the most photographed waterfalls in Australia.
The special feature of the Horizontal Falls is that these falls are coastal. What happens is that the huge tidal waves rush through two narrow channels and create falls up to 5 m high. Located in Talbot Bay, the falls are formed from a break in-between the McLarty Ranges reaching up to 25m in width. Within each change of the tide, the direction of the falls reverses, creating vast tidal whirlpools.
To get closer, tourists can take a cruise where a speed-boat will take them to the epicentre of the spectacle. Otherwise, there are scenic flights available from Broome.
7.MITCHELL FALLS (WA)
Another highlight of the Kimberley coast is the famed Mitchell Falls, accessible by both aeroplane or 4WD, along the Mitchell Plateau.
These waterfalls are some of the most photographed in Western Australia, with the chain of 4 cascading waterfalls, powering down a series of huge pools – the image resembles an oasis in the middle of the desert. Swimming is allowed in the pool above, but don`t go any lower – crocodiles reside in reserve.
8.MONTEZUMA FALLS (TASMANIA)
The Montezuma Falls is a horsetail waterfall on the Pieman River in Tasmania. The falls commence at an elevation of 449 m, making the falls one of the highest in Tasmania.
From Williamsford, there is a 3-hour walking track to the falls which is partially a former tramway. The walk goes through beautiful landscapes of sassafras, Leatherwood, myrtle and giant tree forest and the chance of spotting wildlife is pretty good as well. The falls area features a picnic area, toilets and even a shop. Happy Tramping & Happy (and very cold) Swimming!
9.EBOR FALLS (NSW)
Ebor Falls is a cascade waterfall on the Guy Fawkes River, about 150 km away from Coffs Harbour, in New South Wales. The first lookout is easily accessible from the sealed road, just off the Waterfall Way. This viewing platform offers a view over the upper falls tumbling 11 over four layers of columned basalt rocking two falls – Upper Ebor Falls.
The Lower Ebor Falls, plunge over Permian sedimentary rocks into a steep forested gorge below. There are many walking tracks and rest areas with barbecues, an information display, picnic tables and toilet.
Swimming is possible at the bottom of Ebor Falls, but it is not the best. For a safer dip and cleaner water camp at the Chaelundi and swim, canoe and fish on Boyd River. Camping is also permitted at Cathedral Rock National Park.
10.STEAVENSON FALLS (VIC)
Steavenson Falls, a waterfall on the Steavenson River, is located amidst the Yarra Ranges. The falls are one of the tallest in Victoria, with five cascades, a total descent of 122 m.
There are several walks in reserve varying from easy to the more difficult. The Steavenson Falls Reserve that is defined by Mountain Ash and dense forest, including Eucalyptus, Mountain Grey Gum, Messmate, Narrow-leafed Peppermint, Myrtle Beech, Ginat Ferns and Silver Wattle.
The Steavensons are some of the most visited waterfalls in Victoria – so If you are visiting Melbourne, make sure you stop by; the Yarra Ranges is just about 2 hours drive from the city.
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