Wild swimming holes in the Red Centre
Swimming in the wild is more than just an expression. It’s an experience that´s has to be ticked off the bucket list. Read on as we’ve rounded up our favourite wild swimming holes in the Red Centre, for experienced and beginner wild swimmers.
Hidden within the Tjoritja West MacDonnell National Park, Ellery Creek was once referred to as Udepata by Australia’s first peoples. Legend has it that the Creek was a special place of gathering for the Arrernte people. The Creek´s imposing red escarpment offers plenty of nooks and crevices to spend a day wandering about after an afternoon of chilling at its waterhole. A camping ground can be found in this area as well. It’s also recommended that swimmers don’t attempt to swim right to the bottom as it goes down a little over 1 metre. To get here, set off from the west of Alice Springs and get on to Namatjira Drive.
Glen Helen Gorge
From Alice Springs, Glen Helen Gorge is just 130km towards the western edge of the West MacDonnell Ranges. The Gorge is a well-known stop among groups looking to spend the night before heading out to the Red Centre. A colossal sandstone wall greets visitors on arrival into its midst of spectacular views of Mount Sonder, which changes shades at different times of the day. Australia’s first people of the Arrernte community referred to the gorge as ´Yapalpe.´ It’s a beautiful setting to take a dip in while you take in the scenery around you.
For those looking to put in some hours on a hike as well as a swim, then Ormiston Gorge has just the thing with its 4-hour Ormiston trek. The pathway takes a loop from the car park and back. The rock pool at Ormiston Gorge is permanently filled all year round and to get there you´ll need to travel towards the west of Alice Springs.
The Mataranka Hot Springs
Mataranka Hot Springs are a set of natural thermal pools in the Elsey National Park, about 420 kilometers South East of Darwin, Australia. In the main thermal pool, Rainbow Springs, water flows at a constant 34ºC and is beautiful and clear.
The Roper River starts near Mataranka and flows all the way to the Gulf of Carpentaria. In the wet season (November to April) the river floods and the usually calm flow becomes a raging current. The best season to enjoy the Elsey National Park and Mataranka springs is from May to September.
Discover the Mataranka Hot Springs on our 3 Day Uluru Tour