Wicked Whitsunday Waterholes

swimming waterholes in mackay and whitsundays
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Most visitors to the Whitsunday region are firmly focused on islands and beaches but during the wet season (December to April) the locals like to head inland to swim in natural waterholes.

One of the best things to do in North Queensland during the intense tropical heat of summer is to cool off in the regions natural swimming holes. The water is much more refreshing that the ocean and you don’t need to worry about stingers or crocs!

While there are less waterholes around the Mackay and Whitsunday region compared to Townsville and Cairns, there are two areas that are very popular for swimming. Go there prepared to walk through rainforest so take reasonable walking shoes, insect repellent, a picnic and drinking water.

cedar creek falls

waterhole at cedar creek falls near proserpineThe rainforest environment around Cedar Creek Falls is beautiful and it is definitely a fantastic place for a picnic.

The best time to visit is during the wet season. Sometimes it turns into a trickle during the dry season but it’s still worth a visit for the views and the walk.

For those who are a little more adventurous you can walk up to the top of the falls for some great views.

We would advise against jumping from the top, even though we were gung-ho enough to do it in our youth. The turquoise waterhole below looks very tempting after a climb to the top but it’s a 12 metre drop and there are always accidents being reported in the local newspapers. One year there was even a death so don’t risk it!

Cedar Creek Falls is located near Proserpine just off Conway Beach Road.

finch hatton gorge

araluen falls one of the waterholes in eungella national parkFinch Hatton Gorge is part of the Eungella National Park, about 90 kilometres west of Mackay. The gorgeous natural environment makes it a favourite daytrip with Mackay locals.

Aside from the waterholes, there are many spectacular walking trails and an abundance of wildlife in the area. You can even spot the elusive platypus.

In fact, if you’re on a road trip travelling the east coast of Australia, it is definitely worth driving along the Pioneer Valley road to Broken River because this is one of the best places to spot platypus in Australia.

As far as the waterholes are concerned there are two waterfall areas to head for where you can swim – Araluen Falls and Wheel of Fire Falls. There are walking trails leading up to both.

travel nq fast facts:

  • Take care walking around and swimming in rockpools, especially after heavy rains in the wet season

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