Sign up for 10% off your first order.

travel

Places We Swim Author Caroline Clements Shares Her Favourite Secret Swimming Spots

01/12/22

Author: Lucy Jones

DOCUMENTED BY: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

SHARE

image
image

Zinc covered noses. Hot chips with extra salt. Panel vans stacked with surfboards.

These are vignettes of a typical Australian summer. It’s a world depicted in shows like Puberty Blues and Home and Away, where your place in the social hierarchy is determined by the strength of your tan lines and shoes are always optional.

Surf culture and sandy white beaches are the first things that come to mind when we think of spending time by the water in Australia, but there is so much more on offer for swimmers with a taste for adventure. A quick flick through the pages of Places We Swim provides ample proof, and motivation. Written by Caroline Clements and documented by Dillon Seitchik-Reardon, the swimming guide catalogues some of Australia’s best wet and wild places.  

Covering beaches, pools, waterfalls, lakes, hot springs and gorges, the tome (and its follow-up Places We Swim, Sydney) makes a beautiful addition to any coffee table book collection. Filled with photogenic landscapes that you’ll want to dive straight into, it will also convince you to get off the couch and explore the country’s lesser-known swimming spots.  

With warmer weather on our doorstep (and la niña currently in hibernation), we asked Places We Swim author Caroline Clements to share her favourite destinations for a dip. From a freshwater gorge in regional Victoria to a perfectly formed natural pool in South Australia, these are her under-the-radar picks to add to the itinerary for your next road trip.   

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Beechworth Gorge, Victoria

“Granite slabs and waterfalls run down into the Gorge in Beechworth. This historic, goldrush town has plenty of charm to get you into the high country of Victoria. But the 7-kilometre gorge hike is our pick for the outdoors. Start in town and head out over Gorge Road to find water pouring into pools. Dip into fresh mountain pools with views looking out over the ranges. It’s very special.”

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Cataract Gorge, Tasmania

“Arriving at Cataract Gorge in Launceston may have you feeling like you have stumbled across an alpine holiday village in the summer. There’s a lido-style pool, natural water basin and weir with rocks to bask on and jump off, plus a chairlift sailing overhead. The 50-metre pool is shallow and very kid-friendly, with a backdrop of the South Esk River running between rocky gorge walks, hiking trails and landscaped gardens.”

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Little Blue Lake, South Australia

“Little Blue Lakesits in an unassuming paddock about 15 minutes south of Mt Gambier, almost a little out of place. The lake is actually a sinkhole formed by the gradual collapse of an underground cave system, and it’s deep – we’re talking 35 metres – so jumping from the sides is a lot of fun (though not condoned). The drop is sheer and about 10 metres high, but if you’d rather a friendlier entry, take the steps down from the side to the pontoon. The whole experience is kind of otherworldly.”

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

The Pillars, Victoria

“On a cracking day, The Pillars can feel more like a rocky outcrop in Greece than the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. Access by boat or on foot, but if you come by land take care of how you get there. There has long been controversy at this spot due to overcrowding which can spoil the landscape. It’s a reminder that we always need to be aware of our surrounds and its people when visiting any natural place.” 

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Ningaloo Reef, Western Australia

“This hard-to-reach paradise is 260 kilometres of coral coast that runs down the east side of the peninsula from Exmouth to Coral Bay in WA. It’s Australia’s largest fringing reef, and the only one positioned close to land, making it accessible without a boat. This is truly the best place to snorkel in the country – dive down to swim around the sea cabbages and big bommies that create impressive underwater forests. It’s magic.”

left
right arrow

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

Wylie’s Baths, New South Wales

“One of our favourite swims closer to home in Sydney is Wylie’s Baths in Coogee, a natural bottomed 50-metre ocean pool, and one of the oldest in the country. Opened in 1907, it has somehow withstood the test of time and erosion. There is an element of theatre here – the deck hugs the cliff like a grandstand, with a sweet kiosk for morning coffees. Down below, bathers rest among the wooden stilts, claiming the most prized positions on the sunny concrete slab.”

SHARE THIS STORY

Documented By: Dillon Seitchik-Reardon

SHOP SWIMMING ESSENTIALS

View All (16)

Organic Mineral Sunscreen

MOTHER SPF

SHOP →

Hydrating Reef Safe SPF50

Sun Juju

SHOP →

Tune Sunglasses

Childe Eyewear

SHOP →

Roman Pool & Beach Towel

Baina

SHOP →

Roman Pool & Beach Towel

Baina

SHOP →

Ivy Sunglasses

RAIE.

SHOP →

Ivy Sunglasses

RAIE.

SHOP →

Lucia Sunglasses

RAIE.

SHOP →

Snare Sunglasses

Childe Eyewear

SHOP →

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

SHOP →

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

SHOP →

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

SHOP →

The One Shoulder One Piece

Innes Lauren

SHOP →

Check Straw Bag Large

Brie Leon

SHOP →

Uma Hat

Arnsdorf

SHOP →

Organic Mineral Sunscreen

MOTHER SPF

Hydrating Reef Safe SPF50

Sun Juju

Tune Sunglasses

Childe Eyewear

Roman Pool & Beach Towel

Baina

Roman Pool & Beach Towel

Baina

Roman Pool & Beach Towel

Baina

Ivy Sunglasses

RAIE.

Ivy Sunglasses

RAIE.

Lucia Sunglasses

RAIE.

Snare Sunglasses

Childe Eyewear

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

The Scoop One Piece

Innes Lauren

The One Shoulder One Piece

Innes Lauren

Check Straw Bag Large

Brie Leon

Uma Hat

Arnsdorf

Join RIISE’s mailing
list for 10% off your first order.

This website uses cookies. They improve your navigation and the quality of our site. By navigating, you accept the placement and use of cookies as described in RIISE’s privacy policy.