This spot was recommended to me based on a snippet that a relative saw in a local paper, and I was pleasantly surprised by the variety of
swimming experiences on offer. The swimming hole itself is just under two metres deep on a bend in the river (known
as Lawlers Creek) that connects the ocean to the lake. Depending on the tides, after launching yourself off the steps
that lead down into the water, you float upstream to the lake, downstream to the river mouth, or swim straight across to a large
sandbar. You can even mix your swim with a surf at nearby Dalmeny Beach, which is only 300 metres away, adjacent to the river mouth.
Above: The steps down to the swimming hole at Dalmeny Beach/Mummuga Lake inlet
(Order this image)
The currents at the swimming hole can be swift, and there is a noticeable change in temperature, with the outgoing tide
several degrees warmer, after being heated up in the lake, than the tide coming in from the ocean. You can swim on either tide,
but there will be more opportunities for shallow water play on the sandbars and the water is warmer just
before low tide. On the flip side, the water is deeper for swimming at high tide. If the tides are running fast, stay out of the deeper water
if you are not an experienced swimmer, and consider swimming in one direction only, by starting or finishing your swim on the sandbar
on the other side of the bridge. If you want to do some training, the current is strong enough at times to swim against it in the pool
without going anywhere.
Above: A sandbar in the Dalmeny Beach/Mummuga Lake estuary
(Order this image)
The clarity of the water was very good for snorkelling, with many fingerlings in the warmer shallows, as well as a school of larger
fish (they looked a bit like Tailor-fish to me) lining up under the bridge. This swim has a high fun factor, particularly if you remember
your snorkelling gear and inflatables as well.
Here is a video that I took over several visits, including when the mouth was both open and closed, and at both relatively high and low
Other Information Before You Go:
Morte Avenue, opposite Tatiara St, Dalmeny, New South Wales, 350 km (approx. 4.5 hr drive) south of the Sydney CBD and
210 km (approx 2hr 45 min drive) south-east of the Canberra city centre.
From the Princes Hwy (A1) between Bodalla and Narooma, turn east along Mort Ave for 1.7 km towards Dalmeny
until you see an open grassy area with a dirt track that heads towards the river, opposite Tatiara St. You can park anywhere
on the grass.
Public toilets and outdoor shower (about 30 metres east of the steps), car parking area. There are shops
a few hundred metre walk away to the east.
Concrete steps and then sand. The life guard service indicated that there can be sharp rocks and stingrays
under foot in some parts, with the rocks evident along the bank near the deeper water.
Maximum water depth:
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Experienced in the swimming hole, beginners further upstream at the sandbar on
the other side of the bridge.
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No camping, no fires, no horses, no vehicles on the beach. Also
note that on the opposite bank of the inlet, which includes the surf beach, is the Eurobodalla National Park, where no pets
and no smoking are allowed.
Shade available out of the water at the swimming hole. No shade on the sandbars.
There is no camping on the lake foreshore near the swimming hole, however there are powered and
unpowered sites at the nearby Dalmeny campground
, which also has a set
of steps down to the lake inlet, close to the river mouth. If you don't want to camp, or if the campground is full (it's pretty popular in summer),
you can try
accommodation in Dalmeny
Eurobodalla Shire Council
The drive along the foreshore (along Dalmeny Drive) from Dalmeny to Narooma has some fantastic ocean views.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions. Specific to this site, the life guard service on-site indicated that there
can be sharp rocks and stingrays under foot. I didn't see any stingrays on my visit, and the sharp rocks were clearly visible in the
water at the time. If you are worried about either, wear a pair of sandals or swimming shoes.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the pool.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming spot, please fill in the comment box below.
I am particularly interested in your experiences after visiting, and any changes in conditions, etc.
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© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.