Where to swim in the Southern Forests

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Let’s face it, WA summers can be pretty darn HOT! But don’t let that put you off. There is always somewhere to cool off, be it at the beach or in a lake. But down in the beautiful karri forest of the southwest you can find pools guaranteed to refresh you like no other.

Between 2.5 and 5 hours from Perth, and just inland from Margaret River, you will find Bridgetown, Bailingup, Manjimup, Nannup, Pemberton, Northcliffe and Walpole; the area collectively known as the Southern Forests.

We decided to go and check them all out and let you know which we think are the best, plus a few hidden gems. You’re welcome 😉

More posts about natural swimming pools in Western Australia:

Greenbushes Pool

Greenbushes – 2 hours 40mins from Perth

Most people drive straight down the South Western Highway between Bailingup and Bridgetown without making the turn into the little mining town of Greenbushes. This is a huge mistake! Greenbushes is an absolute gem of a little town with a great fun interactive mining and timber mill museum, a massive open pit mine lookout, and the greatest density of nature reserves and walking trails we have stumbled across. And just out of town is a small lake with wonderful ammenities, a playground and BBQ’s. AND you can camp there FOR FREE!! Yes, you read that right. There is a three night limit and you can make a small donation at the local servo if you wish. The shallow end of the lake has been sectioned off making it wonderfully safe for younger children.

Maddie and Daddy standing on the Jetty over the water with a playground and trees in the background
Greenbushes Pool – if you look closely you can see our caravan in the top right. What an incredible place to camp!!

Pemberton Swimming Pool

Pemberton – 3 hours 30mins from Perth

This swimming spot is destined to take your breath away when you first see it for yourself. Nestled down beneath the tall trees of the forest this pool is perfect for a relaxing swim or a morning meditation. The pool itself is deep but between the boardwalks the childrens pool is shallow and safe. There is even a kiosk for refreshments in peak season.

For an added bonus this pool is just a short walk from the neighbouring Pemberton Caravan Park so you can hop across for a swim pretty much any time you like 🙂

A river pool with concrete jetty and silver pool ladder down into he water
Pemberton Pool, Pemberton

Barrabup Pool

Nannup – 3 hours 30 minutes from Perth

And the winner for the most beautiful lakeside shelter goes to Barrabup Pool! From the carpark you can walk out onto the covered picnic area, then down to a generously sized platform out over the water. This is the ideal place to perfect your bommies! If you don’t fancy diving off the deep end you can soak your feet from the two sets of steps on either side.

A wooden platform extending out over the water with forest on the opposite shore

Big Brook Dam

Pemberton – 3 hours 30mins from Perth

The Karri Forest Explorer is a 86 km drive trail around the woodland and attractions of the Pemberton area – and after a day of exploring, a dip in Big Brook Dam will be most welcome. Situated along the Karri Forest Explorer but only a few kilometres out of town, it is a large lake with a wonderful man-made sandy beach to enjoy.

If you’re staying into the evening this beach doubles as a wonderful spot for star gazing and astrophotography.

Big Brook Dam, Pemberton

Drafty’s Campsite, Warren National Park

This gorgeous river swim is hidden in Warren National Park and not very well known. There is a day use area plus a small secluded campsite. Although Pemberton itself is pretty popular with plenty of hiking and bike trails, you may just have this little gem to yourself 😉

River swim in Warren National Park

So where are you going to cool down on your next trip to the Southern Forests? If you find somewhere new please let us know in the comments below.

While you’re in the area why not check out: Everything you need to know about Black Point, D’Entrecastreaux National Park

And why not pin this post for later.

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