The Best Summer Hikes For Hidden Pools, Beaches And Waterfalls In Australia
It’s time to load your day pack with sunscreen, a towel, and of course, your swimmers. When the heat rolls in, big surf beaches which draw crowds from miles away can lose their usual charm. So what do you do when the sun is shining and you’ve got a craving for adventure? You loop your backpack over your shoulder and seek out the best summer hikes dotted with the most pristine swimming spots to cool off in. Get ready for coastal lagoons, natural plunge pools and double waterfalls.
Rocky Hole Track
If you’re looking for a rewarding summer hike near Brisbane dotted with rock pools and a cool breeze, start packing your day pack for D’Aguilar National Park. Here, you’ll want to hit up the Rocky Hole track which gives you a short but fun adventure towards a series of natural pools. This scenic summer hike winds down to the main swimming hole (Rocky Hole) which is surrounded by eucalypt forest and even has the odd rope swing here and there.
Kondalilla Falls Circuit
For a little more action and a pummelling waterfall at the end of your summer hike, Kondalilla Falls Circuit is for you. Located inside Kondalilla National Park (about a 90-minute drive from Brisbane), this circuit is the best place to be when the mercury starts to rise. The circuit traverses through the cooling rainforest and opens up onto a breezy rock pool just above the magical Kondalilla Falls. Continue on and you’ll be able to ditch your hiking gear and take an actual dip at the base of the waterfall. There’s also plenty of picnic tables around to whip out your favourite summer salad and keep out of the sun.
The Lower Portals track is just one of many trails you can take at the base of Mount Barney National Park. This hike near Brisbane should no doubt be part of your regular secret swimming spot repertoire as it sports one of the most beautiful swimming holes in Queensland. The eucalypt-lined trail crosses a number of shallow streams and though the hike itself isn’t that long, the ground changes from rocky to muddy paths from time to time and the final part of the hike calls for some casual bouldering (so make sure you’re wearing a solid pair of shoes). At the very end of this perfect-summer hike, you’ll have the icy waters of the Lower Portals swimming hole to cool you off.
Twin Falls Circuit
You’ll find the Twin Falls hike inside Queensland’s aquatic playground—Springbrook National Park. Famous for its mountain streams, creeks, big waterfalls and smaller cascades, it’s a no brainer to hit the road and drive out this way during the warmer months. Packed with wet and dry forest, mini caves, a little bridge and of course, the piece de resistance, the Twin Falls themselves. The easiest way to access this hike, which is perfect to escape the heat, is from Tallanbana Picnic Area. You have a couple of options path-wise and can head straight to the base of the waterfall or head behind the waterfall instead. If you’re still hungry for some epic swimming spots, there’s a suite of deeper pools further down too.
Jellybean Pool Track
Nestled inside Blue Mountains National Park, the Jellybean Pool track is your one-way ticket to magical summer dips without the big crowds. Pack a towel and bring a lilo because this epic swimming spot will bring you all the relaxation on the hottest days. This summer hike near Sydney also has a number of sandy beaches from Glenbrook Gorge which you can definitely set yourself upon for the day. Alternatively, take some recluse from the sun in the surrounding bush and whip out your favourite summer book.
Wattamolla To Big Marley Beach Walking Track
Coastal waterfalls, rugged beaches and crystal lagoons. There’s no question as to why this route takes it as one of the best hikes to get into this summer. You can kick this hike off from the Royal National Park’s little paradise of Wattamolla Beach. Here you’ll be able to jump into a lagoon or dive into waves at the adjacent beach. The track will then lead you to Wattamolla Dam, Deer Pool a small picturesque set of falls you can take a dip in), Big Marley Beach and its sister shoreline, Little Marley Beach.
Bouddi Coastal Walk
As one of the absolute best coastal walks in Australia, you better believe that this hike has all the makings of an epic summer adventure. Winding along the rocky cliffs of Bouddi National Park, there are so many opportunities to jump, dive or dip in a body of water, that you’ll barely have time to dry off between swims. Start this hike at Putty Beach, your first swimming pitstop for the day. Then, within a couple of kilometres, you’ll come across the uncrowded sands of Maitland Bay. From here, your next dip can be had at Little Beach, before you finally take your last sea frolic of the day at MacMasters Beach. Yep, there’s no shortage of sun, salt or sand on this coastal summer hike.