Summer’s here and Perth is already feeling the waves of heat sweeping over the Indian Ocean. While barricading yourself in a dark room with the fan on might seem like the safest bet to keep cool throughout the hotter months, we have a better solution for you.
If you’re looking to get your feet wet and cool off the old fashioned way, skip the crowds over at Cottesloe Beach and opt for something a little less populated, but equally as refreshing. These water holes around Perth will delight anyone keen for a dip.
#1 Lane Poole Reserve
Just over an hour south of Perth lies this hidden wonderland that’s ripe for the swimming. Lane Poole Reserve sits in the Northern Jarrah forest and has the Murray River (different from the VIC/NSW one) running through it, making it a perfect spot for canoeing, kayaking and swimming. Cool off beside this ample bush and try your luck at spotting some cute quokkas and quolls.
#2 Serpentine Falls
If a hike’s on the cards, head on over to the town of Jarrahdale, about an hour southwest of the CBD, and talk a walk on the Kitty Gorge Trail. Winding its way through the Jarrah forest for about 14 kilometres, the walk’s highlight are the picturesque Serpentine Falls. Here you can cool off in the deep, fresh water that cascades from the sloping granite rock face beside it. If it’s a little too hot for a hike, however, there’s easier access from the Serpentine Falls carpark which is just a short 400 metre walk from the swimming hole.
#3 Lake Leschenaultia
Not a swimming hole exactly but a great spot for a soak, nonetheless. Swim out to the floating pontoon for some middle-of-the-lake action, whether it’s sunbaking, doing a bunch of cannonballs or just taking in the chill views. You’ll be able to spend your 50 minute car ride to get there trying to remember how to spell Lake Leschenaultia correctly – necessary for when you want to locate yourself on Instagram. All together now… L-E-S-C-H-E-N-A-U-L-T-I-A. Not so hard, right?
#4 Lesmurdie Falls
Just 30 minutes from the city, Lesmurdie Falls has it all – a 50 metre waterfall, views over the Swan Coastal Plain and a few killer hiking tracks. The level of water in the rock pools really depends on the time of year you’re headed there, so keep an eye (and ear) out for whether there was a particularly fruitful rain over winter because Lesmurdie Falls can dry up if it’s a hot summer. Try heading out in spring when the falls will be still flush with winter rainfall – saying that, even if you can’t get a full body soak when you visit, popping your feet in the shallows for a few relaxing minutes will be a nice break from walking along the boardwalks.
#5 Mettams Pools
Snorkellers delight! While Mettams can be a little popular with the crowds, word is that heading out early before the arvo cool breeze is bestto avoid other snorkelers. The rock pools house crystal clear water which is ripe for sea life and coral. Luckily, the Marmion Marine Park extends further than the Mettams Pools, so if you’re seeking solitude and bigger fish, head a little further north or south and you’ll be rewarded.
#6 Barrabup Pool
Solitude is bliss at this “workers pool” hidden in St John Brook Conservation Park, about three hours south of Perth. There’s plenty of bush campsites in the reserve so it’s perfect for a weekend getaway. The pool really does take precedent here and it has the two prerequisites for any good bush swimming hole – it’s big and it’s deep. There’s a great platform that’s perfect for jumping off of and if you plan things right, you might have this deserted pool all to yourself. Splash away!
And for something a little further north…
Make the pilgrimage up to Karijini National Park and soak it up in their plethora of natural swimming holes. Possibly the most popular spot is Dales Gorge and Fortescue Falls and its gushing turquoise waters. If you take a little detour behind the falls you’ll stumble upon Fern Pool. One of the most Instagram-worthy pools on the list, this stunner is surrounded by lush greens, dusty red rocks and a few waterfalls to boot. It’s only a few chirping birds and a soothing soundtrack away from being a shampoo commercial.[related_articles]4540[/related_articles]
Further north towards the coast is Karratha and the picturesque Python Pool. If you’ve got a few days and some camping gear, you’d be crazy not to make the trip there for some serious bush solitude.
(Lead image: biteyourbum / Flickr)
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