11 of Australia's Best Swimming Spots

Posted: 31 August 2019 | Updated: 31 August 2019


As the fresh blooms and glaring Australian sun of Spring start to come out at last, we start to migrate back to the spots that make an Australian summer so iconic. Not only are we blessed with unbelievable stretches of pristine coastline, there is an abundance of flowing waterfalls, towering gorges, private pools and turquoise lakes hidden away that all Australians need to know about this summer. So here is our ultimate Australian swimming bucket list for you to start ticking off...

New South Wales

Bondi Beach, Sydney

It wouldn’t be a trip to Sydney in Summer without a visit to one of the world’s greatest beaches, and undoubtably Australia’s most popular, Bondi Beach. Just watch an episode of iconic Australian reality show Bondi Rescue to understand just how busy it gets, and to get a feel for the Aussie laidback beachside lifestyle that is characteristic of the area.

If you’re an early riser, be sure to embark on the extraordinarily scenic Bondi to Coogee 6km coastal walk, that takes just over an hour each way and takes you past a number of breathtakingly beautiful bays and beaches such as Bronte Beach, Gordon’s Bay, Clovelly Beach and Tamarama Beach.

Discover Bondi Beach on the Half Day Tour – Bondi Beach & Sydney Sights.


Western Australia

Emma Gorge, El Questro Wilderness Park

If you are on the hunt for the list of Australia’s most stunning waterfalls, we think Emma Gorge is a strong contender for first place. A picturesque and peaceful walk over rocky terrain will lead you to an oasis that heroes a crystal-clear swimming hole framed by the rugged, foliage covered cliff face.

Set in the million-acre wilderness of El-Questro Wilderness Park in the Kimberley region of Western Australia, Emma Gorge would have to be the definition of serenity.

Swim in the tranquil waters of Emma Gorge on the 11 Day Wonders of the Kimberley Guided Holiday.


Cable Beach, Broome

While Bondi might be Australia’s most famous beach, we believe that Cable Beach in Broome surpasses it in beauty and tranquillity. The 22km stretch of pristine white sand and the turquoise gentle clear waters of the Indian Ocean make Cable Beach the perfect spot for a relaxing day appreciating the beauty of Australia’s West Coast. But wait until you witness the spectacular Indian Ocean sunset…


Cable Beach shutterstock 424848085

Sunset at Cable Beach


And for when want to discover more, head over to Gantheaume Point to discover the dramatic contrasting beauty of the deep red rock cliff face against the stunning turquoise waters of Cable Beach. Preserved in the reef rock are said to be the footprints of long-extinct dinosaurs and plant fossils, which in fact makes it one of the best paleontological sites in the world! This section of Cable Beach is an absolute dream and is certainly what we would call life imitating art.

Witness a breathtaking sunset over Cable Beach on the 11 Day Untamed Kimberley Guided Holiday.



Whitehaven Beach, Whitsunday Islands

The distinctive white sand and vivid turquoise waters of Whitehaven Beach are dreamlike and set the scene for the ideal beach holiday that is bound to appeal to any traveller. Take the cruise aboard a catamaran to this slice of paradise, where you can simply relax on the beach, take a swim, or get involved in some fun beach activities.

As the largest of the 74 islands in the dreamy Whitsundays, Whitehaven Beach was voted #1 beach in the South Pacific in the TripAdvisor Travellers’ Choice Awards, and is untouched by development, meaning it truly is the ideal location for an island escape.

Experience an island getaway on the 6 Day Queensland Islands & Rainforest Guided Holiday.


Millaa Millaa Falls, Atherton Tablelands

Located in the aptly named Waterfall Circuit in Queensland’s Tablelands region is the otherworldly Millaa Millaa Falls. Surrounded by lush rainforest, the perfect flowing falls cascade into a pristine waterhole that we think resembles the setting for a fairy tale. While you’re swimming in the cool, refreshing waters of Millaa Millaa, keep an eye out for the stunning Ulysses butterflies that call the area home. If you’re very quiet, you might be lucky enough to spot a platypus!

Discover the fantasy land of Millaa Millaa Falls on the 10 Day Tropical Islands & Rainforest Guided Holiday.


Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island

Not only would it have to be up there on the list of Australia’s most beautiful lakes, but Lake McKenzie is also a spectacular natural phenomenon. It is what is known as a perched lake, meaning it contains only pure rainwater. The purity of the rainwater also means it cannot sustain natural life, and only as little as three species of fish are lucky enough to call the beautiful waters of Lake McKenzie home. The pristine white sand and organic matter at its base form a protective layer that prevents any rainwater from draining away.

Swimmers be advised though, refrain from applying sunscreens, oils and lotions before jumping into the crystal-clear waters.

Swim in the pristine waters of Lake McKenzie on the 10 Day Tropical Islands & Rainforest Guided Holiday.



Wineglass Bay, Freycinet National Park

Surrounded by an amphitheatre of lush green mountains and carpeted by pristine white sand lies the waters of Wineglass Bay. Located in Tasmania’s spectacular Freycinet National Park, the bay is famous for the aerial shot you can capture from the lookout, and it’s easy to see why…


Wineglass Bay

Wineglass Bay


If you view it from a certain angle, the name starts to make sense. The spectacular curve of the coast line and the pristine white of the sand resembles a wine glass! So why not take some wine glasses and a bottle of your favourite Tassie drop to enjoy when you reach your destination.

Enjoy the solitude of the stunning Wineglass Bay on the 6 Day Tassie Getaway Guided Holiday.


Northern Territory

Ellery Creek Big Hole, West MacDonnell Ranges

You may be surprised if you were to stumble upon a waterhole oasis in the heart of the Red Centre, but we are sure you would be over the moon! The Ellery Creek Big Hole, 90km west of Alice Springs, is where the Ellery Creek cuts through the West MacDonnell Ranges, leaving an incredible gorge that has been carved out by thousands of years of massive floods. The breathtaking rock formations of the ranges against the colours of the picturesque waterhole make this the ultimate outback swimming spot.

Discover an outback oasis on the West MacDonnell Ranges Day Tour.


Top End

Things are a little different for our Top End destinations. Given the tropical climate, seasons are not defined by summer, winter, spring and autumn, but rather a Dry Season and a Wet Season. The Dry Season, which runs from May to October, provides the ideal conditions for visiting these amazing destinations (32 degrees, sunny, and no crocodiles!).

Gunlom Falls, Kakadu National Park

How can a series of natural infinity pools that overlooks Australia’s largest national park not make the list?


Gunlom Falls overlooking Kakadu National Park

Gunlom Falls overlooking Kakadu National Park



One of our absolute favourites, Gunlom Plunge Pool is truly one of Australia’s most spectacular and idyllic swimming spots. The steep and rocky walk to the pools gives you a preview of the view you will experience when you reach the top. Clear your day’s plans when visiting here as we guarantee you will want to stay for hours.

Experience this breathtaking natural wonder on the 3 Day Kakadu & Gunlom Falls Adventure Short Break.


Florence Falls, Litchfield National Park

Choose to take either the 1.2km Shady Creek walk that takes you through the dreamy rainforest setting or the 160-step staircase down to the crystal-clear waters of the Florence Falls plunge pool. Set in a stunning pocket of rainforest, the dramatic segmented falls are the perfect spot to cool off and relax with a picnic. While it is a popular spot for tourists and locals alike, there is plenty of room to get comfortable with a good book after a swim.

Discover the flowing falls on the Litchfield National Park Waterfalls Day Tour.


Edith Falls, Nitmiluk National Park

If you have plans to visit Katherine next time you are in the Top End, it is essential that you add Edith, or Leliyn Falls, to your itinerary. Located just 60km north of Katherine, spending a day soaking up the sun and swimming in the crystal-clear rock pools of the stunning cascading falls is what we would consider experiencing the Territory at its finest.

The water that flows from Edith Falls forms part of the Edith River that connects to the must-see Katherine Gorge. Here you can hike to the top of the escarpment and take in the amazing views over the waterfalls or go for a dip in the plunge pool surrounded by lush paperbark and pandanus trees.

Home to several species of colourful birdlife; make sure you keep a look out for the endangered Gouldian Finch and Hooded Parrot – an absolute treat when spotted!

Swim in the cool waters of Edith Falls on the 3 Day Kakadu & Katherine Gorge Short Break.


Australia is bursting with waterfalls, gorges, beaches and lakes that many of us have never heard of! Be sure to keep exploring and discovering what this amazing country has to offer.

By Laura Vitucci for AAT Kings


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11 of Australia's Best Swimming Spots



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