Everything You Need To Know About Swimming Near The Warrumbungles

The outback isn’t usually known for it swimming, but sometimes you need it after a hot day in the sun or a long hike! We recently visited the Warrumbungle National Park and swimming was on our to-do list! After asking around and doing some exploring we found some pretty great spots! Below we’ve outlined some of the best swimming near the Warrumbungles.

In Coonababran you’ll find public pools, but let’s be honest. After a big hike on a warm day, there is nothing quite like cooling off somewhere a bit more private and finding a wild swimming spot. The Warrumbungles aren’t known for their swimming. Generally speaking, the area is known for hiking and camping but after visiting and knowing swimming was on the agenda we set out to find swimming in the Warrumbungle National Park and were delighted with what we found!

If you’re planning on staying in the park, here is everything you need to know for you stay!

Be sure you check out the best hikes Warrumbungle National Park has to offer!

Pilliga Bore Baths

The Pilliga Bore Baths are located about 1.5 hours away from the Warrumbungle National Park, only about half an hour from Narrabri. These baths are known for their therapeutic value. We feel like if they’ve been there for over a century they must be doing something right!

The pilliga bore baths
Credits @ Visit Narrabri

These baths are popular with locals and travellers alike and people are known the frequent the bore baths to help relieve sore muscles, arthritis and increase blood flow.

If you’re looking for a nice swim to cool off though, this isn’t for you. The baths sit at a balmy 37 degrees year-round.

The facilities here are basic, however, there are toilets, shelter, BBQ facilities, showers and camping facilities. And to top it all off, it is free to visit the bore baths for a few hours.

Hickey Falls

When we say blink and you’ll miss it, we mean it. Hickey Falls is located right off the Newell Hwy and there is no signage for it at all. We parked our car on the Hickey Falls Rd rest area and walked 5 minutes and there she was, in all her glory.

Hickey Falls is one of the best waterfalls central west NSW has to offer. This hidden gem is known to locals however is generally missed by tourists and visitors to the region. This hidden waterfall is a popular wild swimming location in the summer for locals.

Seeing the falls for the first time is pretty special, there are dramatic rocks and boulders scattered all along the base which you need to climb to reach the falls. After scrambling up the rocks, you come to a clearing where you can see the falls clearly and the pool that you came for.

Warrumbungles swimming
Hickey Falls

We asked around a fair bit about this waterfall before we went and from what we understood, we were lucky. They had had a lot of rain recently so the falls should be flowing. Apparently, it’s very common to visit the falls and for it to be dry, and many people are disappointed when they arrive.

swimming near the warrumbungles
Hickey Falls near Coonabarabran NSW

Snakes are known to frequent the area so staying vigilant is vital out here, however, the view is worth the risk. It is a specular waterfall with a deep pool at the bottom. Just remember, they don’t want anything to do with you either. Leave them alone and they’ll leave you alone.

When we visited, we didn’t see another soul there the entire day. Hopefully, you get the same luck on your visit.

Hickey Falls Coonabarabran
Swimming at Hickey Falls, 40 minutes from the Warrumbungle National Park

You can read more about this spot and free camping here.


Warrumbungle National Park hikes
Drone image of on the creeks you can swim in

In the Warrumbungle National Park, there are plenty of billabongs and creeks which are just begging to be explored. However, as we said earlier, we got lucky with the weather. Not everyone has the opportunity to swim, unfortunately.

The creeks are free-flowing and often come into billabongs which is how we found this gem. We parked at the Canyon Picnic area and followed the creek downstream for about 5-10 minutes and found this secluded billabong. Whilst it wasn’t deep, it was great to cool off on a warm day and help our muscles relax after hiking.

Once again, snakes are bountiful, so use common sense when near the water and near snakes.

warrumbungles swimming
Billabong we found near Canyon Picnic area

We hope you found some swimming spots near the Warrumbungles for your visit. If you’re interested you can check out our trip for some more ideas on what to do when you’re in the area here.


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