The A.E. Lind swimming pool in the Buchan Caves Reserve is a pool forged out of the bed rock that fills from
a natural underground stream. The underground water trickles in through the Dukes Cave outlet in one corner
of the pool, and spills back into a local tributary of the Buchan River. This means that the water in the pool
is always fresh and clean, having been filtered in its journey through the limestone caves. The water is chilled
in this giant rock refrigerator making it excruciatingly cold in the morning and only for the brave hearted at
other times. It is an exhilarating experience that makes your senses come alive, listening to the stream trickle
peacefully into the pool while you watch starlings hurtle in and out of the cave at breakneck speed.
Above: The cave fed pool at the Buchan Caves Reserve
(Order this image, photo gifts or prints)
The pool itself is around 10 metres wide and 15 metres long. There is a lawn area
beside the pool and plenty of seats by the pool side. Buchan Caves Reserve is a great family holiday destination
and I have fond memories of visiting the caves and feeding the numerous kangaroos that come to feed in the
camping ground at dusk. Guided tours of the two main caves are available every day. There are also many walks
from the reserve, ranging from less than an hour to full day walks.
Below is a video that I took of swimming in the pool in January, including a water temperature reading at
the Dukes Cave outlet into the pool to see exactly how cold the water really is. To put the temperature reading
in the video in context, you can compare it with my list of indoor pool water temperatures
which also lists temperatures for Port Phillip Bay and the San Francisco Bay. The good news
is that the Buchan Caves Reserve pool is not as cold as the swim from Alcatraz.
Essential Information Before You Go:
Caves Rd, Buchan Caves Reserve, Buchan, 350 km (approx. 4 hr 20 mins drive) east of the Melbourne CBD
From the Princes Hwy at Bairnsdale take the Lakes Entrance bypass route via Bruthen
(along the Great Alpine Rd) then the Bruthen-Buchan Rd to Buchan. In Buchan turn left up Caves Rd and the pool is
a few hundred metres on the left hand side. Park next to the Cottonwood tree just over the little bridge about
20 metres past the pool.
Public toilets, cold shower, change rooms, pool fence, car parking, camping ground, rubbish bins,
Rock and concrete
Limited to no shade available
Restricted opening times. Order the full guide
Maximum water depth, minimum swimming proficiency required, and prohibitions including whether you can bring your dog: Order the full guide
Generally accessible to wheelchairs. Submerged hand railing around perimeter of the pool.
Camping ground toilets have wheelchair access.
Camping is available at the Buchan Caves Reserve, which is managed by Parks Victoria. Alternatively, you can try
accommodation in Buchan.
I have stayed at both the campground and the Buchan Valley Log Cabins (as a paying customer) and enjoyed both.
Cave tours, including adventure caving run by Parks Victoria if you plan ahead, and
W Tree Falls
20 km to the north of
Before you head out, make sure to read the
swimming safety information.
The marker indicates the approximate location of the pool.
If you would like to leave a comment about this swimming hole, please fill in the comment box below. I'm particularly interested in your
experiences after visiting, and any changes in swimming conditions. All fields are required if you would like your comments published on this website.
© Brad Neal 2019. All rights reserved.