The Four Best Natural Hot Springs to Visit in NSW
Take a dip in one of these naturally occurring bush beauties.
April 05, 2023
One of the best ways to disconnect from the city and connect with nature is a leisurely soak in one of NSW's incredible hot springs. Scattered across the state, most of these natural pools are sourced from the Great Artesian Basin — a massive underground supply of freshwater — and are renowned for their many health benefits, like melting away that muscle tension.
Found tucked into the Blue Mountains or out in the vast expanse of central NSW, these hidden gems provide an opportunity for ultimate rest and relaxation. So grab your swimmers and get your body into one of these natural delights.
YARRANGOBILLY CAVES THERMAL POOL
It's not hard to see why this thermal pool in the Kosciuszko National Park is a local favourite. Quiet and secluded, with heaps to explore in the surroundings, it's the perfect destination for an early autumn adventure or a crisp winter's day. Filled with water from a natural hot spring, the 20-metre pool remains at a perfect 27 degrees all year round. Get there via a short (but steep) 700-metre walk from the nearby car park, or wind your way along the three-kilometre River Walk. If the temps aren't too frosty, have a post-swim feed in the adjacent picnic area before exploring the surrounding caves.
Where: Snowy Mountains Highway, Kosciuszko National Park, Tumut.
LIGHTNING RIDGE HOT BORE BATHS
Located just outside the opal mining town of Lightning Ridge, these delightful baths are surrounded by remote bushland and are gloriously removed from all signs of civilisation — plus they're open 24 hours a day. You can soak in the hot waters at sunrise, sunset, or any other time your little heart desires throughout winter. Night swims are particularly recommended as you can float in the 40-degree water while taking in the stunning expanse of the starry sky. A popular meeting place for Lightning Ridge residents, the baths are also a great place to get a feel for local life. Best of all? Entry is totally free.
Where: Pandora Street, Lightning Ridge.
BURREN JUNCTION BORE BATHS
Want to extend your hot spring adventure into a relaxing weekend (or week) away? Pack a tent and head for the Burren Junction bore baths and campground. Camping is $6 per vehicle, and there are barbecue facilities, filtered water and electricity. Open 24-hours between April and November, the baths offer the opportunity to spend your days and nights soaking in the circular pool's 38-degree waters. Once you've melted away the week's tensions, head into town for a beer and a meal at the bustling Junction City Hotel for a taste of country town life just 2 kilometres away.
While you're in the area, you may as well visit another natural bore bath in Pilliga. It's a half-hour drive from Burren Junction, and you can pitch your tent in the camping ground for $5 a night and, although the facilities are very basic, it's well worth it for proximity to the lovely baths. Recent upgrades have added a roof over the pool area, lighting for night bathing and a barbecue and picnic area. If you'd rather rest your newly rejuvenated bod in a proper bed, book into the Pilliga Pub, three kilometres away from the baths.
Where: Kamilaroi Highway, Burren Junction
JAPANESE BATH HOUSE
When relaxation is the name of the game, these peaceful baths on the outskirts of Lithgow are the perfect escape for anyone in need of a little R&R. Taking its cues from centuries-old Japanese culture, this picturesque bath house boasts indoor and outdoor onsen, as well as massage services, traditional gardens, public baths and accommodation all surrounded by the breathtaking scenery of the Blue Mountains.
The natural mineral water here flows from 300 metres under the surface into the serine baths above ground. Book for a casual visit or a full day, or make the most of your relaxation with an overnight stay in one of the Japanese-inspired rooms celebrating the simple, unobtrusive beauty of the shibusa aesthetic. And don't bother bringing a phone charger, by the way — there's no wifi on the property and reception in the area is patchy at best, so you can unwind without any external distractions.
Where: 259 Sir Thomas Mitchell Drive, South Bowenfels
Top image: Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool by Murray Vanderveer.
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