Top 10 Swimming Spots in The Northern Territory

Posted: 9 March 2023

The Northern Territory often conjures up images of ochre sands, blazing sunsets, and night skies filled with celestial wonders, but unbeknownst to many, the Northern Territory is home to some of Australia’s most idyllic and tranquil swimming spots.

Therapeutic thermal springs, crystal clear waterholes, waterfall oases …the Northern Territory has some of the best places to swim in Australia. And after you’ve spent a few hours on one of the incredible hikes the NT has to offer, you’re going to be in the mood for a dip.

Swimming in Australia doesn’t get better than this. Here are the top 10 must-visit swimming spots in the Northern Territory:

1. Florence Falls

Florence Falls/Karrimurra is made up of two cascading waterfalls that flow into a refreshingly cool plunge pool. Just looking at the beautiful, fresh water crashing into the pristine pool is enough to make you feel invigorated.

With plenty of shade from the surrounding Monsoon Forest, it makes for the perfect reprieve from the heat of summer. It also has a lookout that provides a breathtaking view of Leitchfield National Park, a great place to get a one -of-a-kind photo of the vast, rugged landscape.

Dip into the cooling waters of Florence Falls on the Top End Highlights 6-day AAT Kings tour.


florence falls blog image 1

Tourism NT and Carmen Hunter

2. Mataranka thermal pools

Soak in the emerald Mataranka Thermal pools located in Elsey National Park. These natural thermal pools are deeply relaxing and restorative, with the warm spring water relieving muscle aches and pains that can come from a fulfilling day of exploring.

This is truly a place of Zen. You will feel all thoughts of life’s stresses drift away as you soak, the healing waters cleansing your mind, body, and soul.

Lay in these rejuvenating waters on the Northern Territory Explorer 11-day AAT Kings tour.


mataranka thermal pools blog image 2

Tourism NT and Natalie Sum

 3. Wangi Falls

Litchfield National Park is the perfect stop on a trip through the Top End. The land here has been sculpted by water and the local wildlife over thousands of years. Surging waterfalls, swimming holes and magnetic termite mounds all feature in this park, coming together to create a truly unique, other worldly landscape.

Wangi Falls is one of these picturesque falls and popular swimming spots. Take a dip in its energizing and cooling waters or view these magnificent falls from the viewing platform.

Swim in the scenic Wangi Falls on the Litchfield National Park Waterfalls 1-day AAT Kings tour



wangi falls blog image 3Tourism NT and Jackson Groves

 4. Edith Falls

Within the untouched Nitmiluk National Park you’ll find Edith/Leilyn Falls and its series of crystal-clear pools fringed with paperbark and pandanus plants. The falls make for a great rest stop where you can cool off with a refreshing soak, before continuing to explore the surrounding bushwalking trails. Edith Falls connects to Nitmiluk Gorge via the Jatbula trail which passes through open forest, sandstone hills and riverine landscapes. Perfect for those looking for a variety of scenery.

Visit Edith Falls on the Kakadu & Nitmiluk (Katherine) Gorge 3-day AAT Kings tour



edith falls blog image 4Tourism NT and Katie Goldie

5. Redbank Gorge

Nestled beneath Mount Sonder/Rutjupma in the West MacDonnell National Park you’ll find Redbank Gorge/Yarretyeke and its permanent waterhole. Dip into these invigorating waters and marvel at the height of the surrounding brilliant contrasting red chasm walls. The quiet will calm your soul as fish swim gracefully around you, the occasional bird call echoing out from beyond the cliffs.

This is a place where you can truly feel your connection with nature.

Visit the West MacDonnell Ranges on our Best of Alice 1-day AAT Kings Day tour.

edith falls blog image 4Tourism NT and Jess Caldwell & Luke Riddle

6. Buley Rock Hole

If you’re looking for somewhere to relax on a hot day, you need look no further than the Buley Rockhole located in Litchfield National Park. Set among several small, rapid flowing streams, the Buley Rockhole allows you to lounge around and let the naturally flowing waters cascade over you, cooling and refreshing you. Offering several rock pools, some of which can run as deep as 2 metres, you’re sure to find a pool that suits you perfectly.

Explore Litchfield National Park on the Top End Highlights 6-day AAT Kings tour.

bluey rockholes blog image 6Tourism NT and Jason Charles Hill

7. Ellery Creek Big Hole

Cutting through a gorge in the West MacDonnell Ranges runs the powerful Ellery Creek. It is along this creek that you will find the Ellery Creek Big Hole/Udepata, a spectacular waterhole surrounded by tall red cliffs. The Ellery Creek Big Hole is not only ideal for swimming, but it is also conveniently located close to walking trails and a camp site, so it is a great place to spend with family, friends, or just by yourself. No wonder this Northern Territory swimming hole is so popular with both locals and visitors alike.

Pass through the beautiful West McDonnell Ranges on the Outback Discovery 5-day AAT Kings tour.

ellery creek blog image 7Tourism NT and Daniel Tran

8. Katherine Hot Springs

These natural thermal springs are located just outside of Katherine township. The naturally heated waters offer temperatures of between 25 – 30 degrees Celsius and are a great place to soothe tired muscles. Feel the stresses of the day simply melt away as you are caressed by the restorative waters. There’s plenty to do after your swim with stunning scenic walking trails and a picnic area for those that enjoy packing their own lunch.

Get to know Katherine on the Tropic Top End 4-day AAT Kings tour.

katherine hot springs blog image 8Tourism NT and Kylie Hunter & Hayley Anderson

9. Ormiston Gorge

Surrounded by unique flora and fauna and magnificent geological formations, Ormiston Gorge is the ideal spot in the West MacDonnell National Park to stop and take a cool dip. Its year-round waterhole is encircled by river gums and towering red sandstone. Like to unwind after swimming? Feel free to relax on the sandy banks and take pictures of the glorious scenery this gorge has to offer. The calming green of the gum leaves contrasts with the vibrant red of the cliffs, making for a photo opportunity that can’t be missed!

View the spectacular West MacDonnell Ranges on the West MacDonnell Ranges 1-day AAT Kings tour.

ormiston gorge blog image 9Tourism NT and Jackson Groves

10. Darwin Waterfront

Located in Darwin CBD, Darwin Waterfront provides a number of swimming options to satisfy all manner of beachgoers.

There are two wave-pools to choose from.

The Wave Lagoon boasts 4,000 square metres of swimming area, including a shallow play area for young children. There are 10 different wave patterns in all, from gentle swells to waves that are high enough for boogie boarding.

The Recreation Lagoon offers a more natural swimming experience. The lagoon is continuously replenished with natural sea water, however a fine mesh protects the beach from potentially harmful wildlife, so you can swim with peace of mind.

Discover Darwin on the Darwin City Sites half-day AAT Kings tour.

darwin waterfront blog image 10Tourism NT

By AAT Kings


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Top 10 Swimming Spots in The Northern Territory



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