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Jebbs Pool, Lorne
Swimming Hole Heaven in Victoria


 
For when the surf is flat, head inland to this freshwater pool and natural water slide along the Great Ocean Road, south of Lorne. You could easily spend a whole afternoon here, lazing on the rock ledges and admiring the surrounding bush in between dips to cool down again. Swimming in Jebbs Pool near Lorne Above: The view from the downstream edge of Jebbs Pool (Order this image)

To reach the pool, the walk starts at the visitor parking area outside the Cumberland River Holiday Park, south of Lorne, or even better, from your tent within the caravan park. Follow the variously named "walking track along river" and "tourist river walk", which bypasses most of the caravan park, and head upstream to the rear of the camping area. From there, follow the wide, open track through the bush for 1 km upstream, which includes one river crossing and one (usually dry) creek crossing. The river crossing is relatively straight forward in summer, when the river is shallow, with the stepping stones well spaced at a comfortable distance. The managing authority advises not to head here when water levels are high (e.g. after rainfall), when it would be more difficult to cross the river safely.

The pool is bounded by a rock shelf at the upstream end that has several tiers, which can provide a little bit of separation between you and others likely to be visiting at the same time. Due to its proximity to the caravan park, there is always likely to be someone else sharing the space with you. To enter the pool, you can walk in from the downstream end, noting however that there are many submerged stones at odd angles, just under the surface, that can make it hard to keep your balance. If you are ok with sudden cold water, I found it easiest to just slide in feet first into deep water from the rock ledge at the upstream end. Around half of the visible pool is too shallow to swim in, but there is about a 15 metre stretch of deep water (just over 2 metres deep at its deepest point), close to the rock ledge, to get in a few decent strokes. It is also fun swimming against the current where the cascade enters the pool. Swimming in Jebbs Pool near Lorne Above: Rock ledges near the edge of the water at Jebbs Pool (Order this image)

The rock slide is not actually in the pool, but rather it is the drop from the middle tier to the lower tier of the cascade above the pool. It is a narrow, curved hollow, about two metres long and just wide enough for one person, that drops into a circular hole. The deepest point in the hole was deeper than I could reach before I felt the bunyip who lives in it trying to suck me under. Despite its great depth, the area of the hole is only small, so you need to tuck your knees up just before you hit the water to avoid hitting the rock on the other side with your feet. Whilst I watched several people go safely down the slide, the limited landing space in the water heightens the risk of injury at this particular slide, and it is a 1 km walk back to civilisation if something goes wrong.

Here is a video showing more details about the start of the walk and the river crossing, as well as footage of the pool and the rock slide. It was taken in early December, about a week after heavy rainfall.



For those wanting a more remote swim, you can push on further along this walking track to Cumberland Falls, 2 km upstream from Jebbs Pool.
Other Information Before You Go:
Location: Cumberland River Holiday Park, Great Ocean Road, 7 km south-west of Lorne and 150 km (approx. 2 hr 15 mins) drive south west of the Melbourne CBD. Jebbs Pool is part of the Great Otway National Park.
Latitude:-38.574700 Longitude:143.949000
Getting there: Lorne can be reached from either the Great Ocean Road (B100) or inland via Deans Marsh (C151). From Lorne, head south along the Great Ocean Road until you reach the Cumberland River Holiday Park. Park in the visitor car park and follow the instructions in the text above to reach the pool
Facilities: None at Jebbs Pool. There are picnic tables at the visitor car park, but no public toilets. If you are staying at the holiday park, there are a range of facilities available.
Entrance fee: None
Water temperature: Cool to mild

Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Rock and stones
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Experienced
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No dogs, removal of firewood prohibited
Sun shade: Shade available early and late in the day, but limited to no shade in the middle of the day.
Opening times: Always open
Wheelchair access: None
Accommodation Options: There is no camping at Jebbs Pool, but the Cumberland River Holiday Park is at the start of the walk to the pool and has a range of camping and cabin accommodation.
Managing authority: Parks Victoria
Nearby attractions: Cumberland Falls, 2 km upstream from Jebbs Pool along the same walking track, or Sheoak Falls, 2 km to the east along the Great Ocean Road.
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 advises against trying to walk to the pool when river levels are high. Use particular caution when using the stepping stones to cross the river, as they can be unstable and slippery when wet.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the visitor carpark at the start of the walk to Jebbs Pool.
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