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Swimming & Waterholes

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Surprisingly, in the desert landscape of Central Australia, there are a number of spectacular natural waterholes to cool off after a day of exploring and activity.

When it comes to swimming go to the West MacDonnell Ranges. Take a dip at Glen Helen Gorge, Ormiston Gorge or Redbank Gorge. Ellery Creek Big Hole is only an hours drive from Alice Springs and is popular for its deep waters and impressive rocky escarpmenents. Each offers excellent picnic facilities, picturesque camping and a variety of walking options from challenging full day hikes over rugged terrain to leisurely beach side strolls. These permanent waterholes hold special significance for the local Arrernte people. The beautiful pool entrance to Serpentine Gorge is still protected today and does not allow swimming, for its cultural significance and environmental conservation.

On the 223 kilometre Larapinta Trail, Birthday Waterhole is home to a diverse range of water birds but is only accessible to 4WDs. A descent from the Rim Walk at Kings Canyon will lead you to the shaded Garden of Eden, a heavenly, permanent waterhole, surrounded by the magnificent red walls of the canyon. The Garden of Eden Waterhole is home to many rare species of flora and fauna and does not allow for swimming, due to the sensitive nature of this delicate environment. Just a little further down the road and the shady walk at Kathleen Springs will also reward you with a beautiful spring-fed waterhole, home to an array of bird life and fascinating botany.

 

Tingkkarli (Lake Mary Ann)

Parks and Reserves
Tennant Creek Barkly Region NT
Tingkkarli/Lake Mary Ann is a cool oasis, located five kilometres north of Tennant Creek. This man-made lake was created to provide a water supply for the local town of T... show more

Redbank Gorge

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Redbank Gorge (Rwetyepme, pronounced 'roo-chip-ma') is a stunning gorge and chasm that is a refuge for many threatened plant and animal species.Located 156km west of Alic... show more

Outback Elite Tours

Tours
Alice Springs NT
OUTBACK ELITE TOURS organise VIP, Private, Classic and fully personalised tours of half-day, one day or multi-day in Central Australia. We also offer tours in Italian a... show more

Wayoutback Australian Safaris

Tours
Kakadu National Park NT
From the culturally rich, red sand landscapes of Uluru and the sheer beauty of the Red Centre, to the wildlife and river systems of the Top End, Wayoutback Australian Saf... show more

Watarrka National Park (Kings Canyon)

National Parks
Kings Canyon NT
Watarrka National Park encloses Kings Canyon, with its 300-metre-high sandstone walls, walking trails, lush forests and permanent waterholes. The most impressive of these... show more

Wayoutback Australian Safaris (Book Now)

Tours
Kakadu National Park NT
From the culturally rich, red sand landscapes of Uluru and the sheer beauty of the Red Centre, to the wildlife and river systems of the Top End, Wayoutback Australian Saf... show more

Simpsons Gap

National Parks
Alice Springs and Surrounds NT
Simpsons Gap is one of the most prominent gaps in the West MacDonnell Ranges. Located just 18 kilometres from Alice Springs the towering cliffs are awe inspiring. It feat... show more

Emu Run Experience

Tours
Alice Springs NT
Awarded the TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for the past 6 years, Emu Run Experience is based in Alice Springs and specialises in Uluru & Central Australian touring... show more

Serpentine Gorge

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Serpentine Gorge is a narrow gap in the West MacDonnell Ranges, 100 kilometres west of Alice Springs. Follow a well marked path and easy path to the gap and peaceful wate... show more

Ellery Creek Big Hole

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Ellery Creek Big Hole is one of the most popular and picturesque camping, walking, swimming and picnic spots in the West MacDonnell Ranges National Park. show more

Alice Springs Expeditions

Tours
Alice Springs NT
Alice Springs Expeditions offers personalised bespoke tours (up to 6 passengers) to the most spectacular natural attractions around Central Australia. Meet John, the o... show more

Ormiston Gorge and Pound

National Parks
West MacDonnell Ranges NT
Ormiston Gorge is a great place for a cool dip, to see the towering red walls of the gorge and pound, and local plants and wildlife. Located 135 kilometres west of Alice ... show more

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