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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.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]cedar creek falls[/headline]

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.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]platypus beach[/headline]

This popular swim hole is located under a bridge in Mirani on the road to Eungella.

It has a large area for parking and a sandy beach with easy access into the river.

It gets very busy at the weekends.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]finch hatton gorge[/headline]

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.

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.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]broken river[/headline]

At the top of the Pioneer Valley past Eungella, you come to the Broken River where there are some nice rainforest walks and swim holes. The water is pretty cold so prepare for a ‘refreshing’ swim!

This is also one of the best places to spot platypus in Australia.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]camerons pocket[/headline]

North of Mackay on the road to Proserpine, Camerons Pocket is a popular freshwater swimming hole near the strawberry farm.

[headline size=”small” align=”left”]travel nq fast facts:[/headline]

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