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Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool
Yarrangobilly, New South Wales


 
Yarangobilly Thermal Pool is a naturally heated outdoor pool near the Yarangobilly Caves in the Kosciuszko National Park. There are two pools on the site: the larger pool is 20 metres in length and according to the managing authority, is heated to 27 degrees Celsius by a natural spring. The water from this pool spills into a smaller wading pool that is around 10 metres long. When the spring is flowing well, the water from the larger pool rushes down a small chute into the wading pool, which is quite fun for kids.

To put this water temperature in context, based on my review of indoor swimming pool water temperatures in Canberra and other cities around Australia, this is still at least one degree cooler than the coldest indoor pool in Canberra, and fairly typical of heated outdoor pools for lap swimming.
Don't expect a hot spring experience (typically 33 degrees Celsius and above), but if you want a swim in the bush within reach of Canberra and you don't like cold water, this is a good option. You can also swim here in the colder months of the year, with the experience in winter (especially when it snows!) being much more comforting due to the greater temperature differential with the air, and the steam that rises from the pool surface, provided you have warm dry clothes on hand as soon as you get out.

The pool is situated within a gully in a bush setting, with a small lawn beside the pool where you can have a picnic. The 700 metre walk from the thermal pool car park is quite steep, so try not to carry too much. The pool is connected to other areas of the park through a series of other walking trails. To the south along the Yarrangobilly River you can follow the Glory Farm Walk, and to the north is the River Walk, which leads to several other trails and a longer loop back to the caves.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Location: Yarrangobilly Caves Entry Road, Kosciuszko National Park, Yarrangobilly, New South Wales, 180 km (approx. 3 hr drive) south-west of Canberra.
Latitude:-35.731124 Longitude:148.485953
Getting there: As the crow flies, it's only 75 km from Canberra, but there is no direct route across the mountains. So, from Canberra you can either head south to Cooma along the Monaro Hwy (B23) and then north-west along the Snowy Mountains Hwy (B72), or head west back out to the Hume Hwy (M31) at Yass and follow it west and south to the Snowy Mountains Hwy (B72) turnoff south of Gundagai. The Yarrangobilly Caves Entry Road near Yarrangobilly is signposted. Both routes take about the same time. The caves entrance road is unsealed, but regularly used by 2WD vehicles, except in very wet weather. Park at the Thermal Pool car park and follow the track 700 metres down a steep decline to the pool.
Facilities: Car park, lawn, picnic tables, rubbish bins, life buoy, low tables for your towels, change rooms, toilets (at the top of the steps).
Entrance fee: Entry to the pool is free. The Yarrangobilly Caves park entry fee is $4 per vehicle, or free if you have already purchased a park pass for the broader Kosciuszko National Park.
Water temperature: Warm
Water clarity: Clear
Under foot: Concrete
Maximum water depth: Greater than 2 metres
Minimum swimming proficiency required: Beginners
Prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: No pets, no smoking
Sun shade: No shade available in or out of the water in the middle of the day. Limited shade available both in and out of the water early in the morning and late in the afternoon.
Opening times: The pool and park are always open. The Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre is open 9am to 5pm except for Christmas Day, when it is closed. According to managing authority, the Yarangobilly Caves Entry Road can become boggy when it rains, and may close in extreme weather.
Wheelchair access: None to the pool
Accommodation Options: At the caves, you can stay overnight at the Caves House, in which you can book a room through the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service. The nearest camping is at Yarrangobilly Village, back on the Snowy Mountains Hwy. If the Caves House is full or too expensive, and you don't want to camp, you can also try accommodation in Tumut, an hour's drive to the north, where there are a broader range of accommodation options available.
Managing authority: NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service
Nearby attractions: The Yarrangobilly Caves
Before you head out, make sure to read the swimming safety information. Specific to this site, the managing authority recommends that you carry snow chains from the June to October long weekends.
Locality Map:
The marker indicates the approximate location of the pool.
Change of Conditions:
I am not currently aware of any change of conditions reported at this site by the managing authority, or by swimmers on this website. If you are visiting this swimming spot and have any further updates on any change of conditions, let me know via the comment form below.
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