Yarangobilly Thermal Pool is a naturally heated outdoor pool near the Yarangobilly Caves in the Kosciuszko National Park. There
are two pools on the site: the larger pool is 20 metres in length and according to the managing authority,
is heated to 27 degrees Celsius by a natural spring. The water from this pool spills into a smaller wading pool that is around
10 metres long. When the spring is flowing well, the water from the larger pool rushes down a small chute into the wading pool,
which is quite fun for kids.
To put this water temperature in context, based on my review of
indoor swimming pool water temperatures in Canberra
and other cities around Australia, this is still at least one degree
cooler than the coldest indoor pool in Canberra, and fairly typical of heated outdoor pools for lap swimming.
Don't expect a hot spring experience (typically 33 degrees Celsius and above), but if you want a swim in the bush within reach of
Canberra and you don't like cold water, this is a good option. You can also swim here in the colder months of the year, with the
experience in winter (especially when it snows!) being much more comforting due to the greater temperature differential with the air, and
the steam that rises from the pool surface, provided you have warm dry clothes on hand as soon as you get out.
The pool is situated within a gully in a bush setting, with a small lawn beside the pool where you can have a picnic. The
700 metre walk from the thermal pool car park is quite steep, so try not to carry too much. The pool is connected to other areas
of the park through a series of other walking trails. To the south along the Yarrangobilly River you can follow the Glory Farm Walk,
and to the north is the River Walk, which leads to several other trails and a longer loop back to the caves.
Other Information Before You Go:
Yarrangobilly Caves Entry Road, Kosciuszko National Park, Yarrangobilly, New South Wales,
180 km (approx. 3 hr drive) south-west of Canberra.
As the crow flies, it's only 75 km from Canberra, but there is no direct route across the mountains.
So, from Canberra you can either head south to Cooma along the Monaro Hwy (B23) and then north-west along the
Snowy Mountains Hwy (B72), or head west back out to the Hume Hwy (M31) at Yass and follow it west and south to the
Snowy Mountains Hwy (B72) turnoff south of Gundagai. The Yarrangobilly Caves Entry Road near Yarrangobilly is signposted.
Both routes take about the same time. The caves entrance road is unsealed, but regularly used by 2WD vehicles, except
in very wet weather. Park at the Thermal Pool car park and follow the track 500 metres down a steep decline
to the pool.
Car park, lawn, picnic tables, rubbish bins, life buoy, low tables for your towels, change rooms,
toilets (at the top of the steps).
Entry to the pool is free. The Yarrangobilly Caves park entry fee is $4 per vehicle, or free
if you have already purchased a park pass for the broader Kosciuszko National Park.
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
No pets, no smoking
No shade available in or out of the water in the middle of the day. Limited shade available
both in and out of the water early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
The pool and park are always open. The Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre is open 9am to 5pm except
for Christmas Day, when it is closed. According to managing authority, the
Yarangobilly Caves Entry Road can become boggy when it rains, and may close in extreme weather.
None to the pool
There is no camping at Yarrangobilly Caves, with the nearest readily accessible camping back at Yarrangobilly Village on the
Snowy Mountains Hwy. If you want to stay near this swimming spot, you can try the following options.
All distances below to the thermal pool car park are by road or by foot, not as the crow flies.
NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
The Yarrangobilly Caves
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 managing authority recommends that you
carry snow chains from the June to October long weekends.
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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