A huge lawn leads down to the water's edge at this swimming hole in the Gold Coast hinterland. The chalky, turquoise
coloured water swirls around beside the rocks in a deep hole on the opposite bank, before flattening out at a low
wall of pebbles at the downstream end. The whole pool is around 30 metres long, with a swift current running through
that you can readily swim against, but also drift downstream with.
Above: The swirling eddies running through the deep channel beside the giant rock at Harley Smith Reserve Swimming Hole
(Order this image)
Entry into the water is best at the downstream end, near the submerged wall of pebbles. The water here is only ankle deep across the length
of the river, so you can easily step into the water. Avoid entering the water on the upstream bend, where river weed spreads out a couple of metres
from the bank, but fortunately the rest of the pool was free of this weed. There is a little sandy beach in the upstream corner of the pool,
but it's hard to reach by foot because of a little
boggy depression in between. I also suspect that it may be on private land.
Above: The shady river bank at Harley Smith Reserve Swimming Hole
(Order this image)
Once in the water, you can wade a few metres before the bed drops away for
some deep water swimming. Just before you approach the rock, there are some submerged
boulders that you can perch yourself on for a rest mid-stream. Even if you don't get into the water,
this is a really pleasant picnic spot with heaps of room to run around.
Here is a video of swimming at this spot. There had been a bit of rain on and off over the previous days, so the river was running well.
Other Information Before You Go:
Harley Smith Reserve, corner of Araluen Road and Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera Valley.
From the Pacific Motorway (M1) at West Burleigh, follow Tallebudgera Creek Road for 20 km until you reach Araluen Road. There
is roadside parking in Araluen Road.
Public toilets, lawn area, rubbish bin
Cloudy (chalky due to suspended limestone from upstream, particularly after rain)
Rock, pebbles and coarse sand
Maximum water depth:
Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required:
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog:
Shade available out of the water due to overhanging trees, with partial shade over the water
There is no camping available at Harley Smith Reserve. If you are visiting the Gold Coast, for accommodation
close to this swimming hole, you can try
accommodation in the Tallebudgera Valley
Gold Coast City Council
Nearby attractions: Currumbin Rock Pool
swimming hole in the adjacent Currumbin Valley, 25 km
by road to the south.
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information
and check with the managing authority for any current change of conditions.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the swimming hole.
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.
All fields are required if you would like to see your comments appear on this website.
If you enjoyed reading this content for free, and found it entertaining or useful, a small contribution to help me maintain and improve
this website would be much appreciated. Here is where you can make a contribution to Swimming Hole Heaven
which can be as inexpensive as a cup of coffee. If you are not ready to make a financial contribution, spreading the word
about this website on social media can also help to maintain it.
© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.