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Tallebudgera Creek at Harley Smith Reserve
Gold Coast Hinterland in Queensland, Australia

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. Swimming at Harley Smith Reserve in the Gold Coast Hinterland 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. The river bank at Harley Smith Reserve swimming hole in the Gold Coast Hinterland 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:
Location:Harley Smith Reserve, corner of Araluen Road and Tallebudgera Creek Road, Tallebudgera Valley.
Latitude:-28.185947 Longitude:153.352314
Getting there: 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.
Facilities: Public toilets, lawn area, rubbish bin
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Mild
Water clarity: Cloudy (chalky due to suspended limestone from upstream, particularly after rain)
Under foot: Rock, pebbles and coarse sand
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Experienced
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: Dogs permitted
Sun shade: Shade available out of the water due to overhanging trees, with partial shade over the water
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Accommodation Options: There is no camping available at Harley Smith Reserve. If you want to stay overnight in the area near this swim, you can try the following options downstream at Burleigh Heads. All distances below are by road, not as the crow flies.
Nearby accommodation:Distance from swim:
Timbertop For Life 16 km
The Village 17 km
Further options… More than 17 km
Managing authority: 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.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the swimming hole.
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