One of the best ways to immerse yourself in nature is by swimming in natural waters, such as a creek, lake or water hole, and there is nothing quite as refreshing as taking a dip when it’s hot and humid. Thankfully, North Queensland is filled with beautiful swimming spots, and many of us love to spend our free time taking a dip in the water or lounging by the water’s edge. Here are just a few of the stunning spots around the region where you can go swimming. Here are some of the best freshwater swimming spots in North Queensland, from Mossman down to Finch Hatton.
Creeks, Rivers & Water Holes
1. Mossman Gorge, Mossman – Clear water with a beautiful rainforest backdrop.
2. Crystal Cascades, Redlynch Valley – Creek with multiple small waterfalls, ideal for floaties.
3. Stoney Creek, Redlynch – Swim in a creek beneath the rainforest canopy.
4. Behana Gorge, Aloomba – Tucked behind Walsh’s Pyramid with huge boulders and crystal-clear water.
5. Davies Creek, Tablelands – Featuring rocky platforms and shady trees as well as a spacious picnic area.
6. Babinda Boulders, Babinda – Boulders to laze around on in between emerald coloured water.
7. Cardwell Spa Pools, Cardwell – This spa pool turns an amazing milky aqua blue colour under certain conditions.
8. Paradise Waterhole, Paluma – Waterhole with plenty of room and deep pools, surrounded by forest.
9. Crystal Creek, Paluma – Featuring a large swimming hole as well as super fun rock slides.
10. Rollingstone Creek, Rollingstone – A relaxing spot surrounded by trees perfect for a stroll, picnic or swim.
11. Alligator Creek, Townsville (no alligators here) – Keep your eyes peeled for turtles at this creek in the forest.
12. Keelbottom Creek, Hervey Range – A popular bush swimming spot, especially in the wet season.
13. Finch Hatton Gorge, Finch Hatton – Rainforest location featuring two waterfalls and three swimming holes.
14. Lake Eacham, Tablelands – Crater lake ideal for kayaking, with a walking track around the whole lake.
15. Lake Tinaroo, Tablelands – Huge lake with plenty to do for families and ideal for water sports.
16. Lake Paluma, Paluma – Nestled among rainforest, this lake is great for water activities including non-motorised boats.
17. Fairy Falls, Redlynch Valley – A hidden gem with a tumbling waterfall and deep swimming hole.
18. Emerald Creek Falls, Tablelands – A number of crystal clear, small pools running along Emerald Creek.
19. Ellinjaa Falls, Tablelands – Accessible by a rainforest staircase and has a hidden ledge behind the falls.
20. Millaa Millaa Falls, Tablelands – These falls are 18.3m high and truly something out of a dream.
21. Souita Falls, Tablelands – A pair of small waterfalls nestled in the cool Misty Mountains.
22. Halls Falls, Tablelands – Picturesque swimming hole overlooking the Herberton Range National Park.
23. Josephine Falls, Wooroonooran – A natural playground with rock slides.
24. Ponytail Falls, Tully – Gorgeous single-drop waterfall on the Tully River.
25. Jourama Falls, Paluma – Fringed by rainforest, you’ll find multiple swimming spots here.
26. Cedar Creek Falls, Proserpine – Set in a natural rock amphitheatre surrounded by abundant flora.
27. Araluen Falls, Eungella – Large swimming hole living up to its fantasy-like name.
28. Cameron’s Pocket, Eungella – A hidden gem surrounded by rainforest.
Never swim in creeks or rivers during or after heavy rain, especially in the wet season (November-April).
Take care on wet rocks. They can be incredibly slippery, so avoid walking on them unless you must. Obey warning signs alerting shallow water, dangerous currents and slippery rocks.
Never dive into water as it is difficult to determine how deep the water is, and you could seriously injure yourself on hidden rocks.
Can you swim at the beach? You can. Lifeguards are present at many beaches and stinger nets are put in the water between November and May. However, the deadly Irukandji jellyfish is so tiny that it can make its way through the nets, and crocodiles and sharks are sometimes spotted in the water too. While it is possible to swim at the beach, many locals stay away.