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Best Artesian Hot Springs in New South Wales

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by Carolyn Hopping (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer based in Perth, Western Australia, who enjoys writing about the things I love: travel, nature-based activities, the arts, spirituality and creative, fun activities for children.
Published August 2nd 2022
Relax and unwind the natural way
The nurturing, therapeutic qualities of natural mineral springs have been recognised throughout the world since ancient times. Even today, during the twenty-first century, human beings still savour the feelings of relaxation and wellbeing that these healing waters evoke. After a long tiring day – or weeks - of unrelenting busyness, there is nothing quite as relaxing as unwinding in the comfort of a heated spa and allowing your cares to simply float away. Unfortunately for many of us, the exorbitant price of a home spa or regular visits to a wellness centre means that these are guilty pleasures we can only indulge in occasionally. However, road trip enthusiasts seeking their next big adventure may like to know that there is a very special region of New South Wales, renowned for the exquisite hot springs that can be experienced in many of its towns and villages.

Image courtesy of NSW Tourism website
Image courtesy of NSW Tourism website


The Great Artesian Basin is a vast underground reservoir of water that lies beneath approximately one-fifth of the Australian continent – primarily Queensland, South Australia, and the Northern Territory, as well as parts of north-western New South Wales. Rich in life-sustaining natural minerals that are absorbed through the skin during bathing, water from this natural aquifer is considered immensely beneficial for conditions such as rheumatic complaints, neurological disorders, respiratory problems, and insomnia. 'Taking to the waters', as such bathing is traditionally known, is also considered to be of immeasurable benefit to general health and wellbeing.

Image courtesy of the Great Artesian Drive website
Image courtesy of the Great Artesian Drive website


In response to the wellness revolution of the last decade or so, several towns in the northwest region of New South Wales have been actively promoting this valuable natural asset, bringing it to the attention of the wider community. Travellers who are particularly keen to experience all the region has to offer can even journey along The Great Artesian Drive, enjoying stunning outback vistas, friendly local hospitality, and of course, the soothing Artesian waters at local pools and aquatic centres. The following paragraphs provide you with an introduction to the best heated Artesian mineral pools in New South Wales.

MOREE
Located approximately six-hundred-and-thirty kilometres northwest of Sydney, Moree makes the big claim of being New South Wales's spa capital. Although this could be energetically disputed amongst Australian spa connoisseurs, Moree is without a doubt a strong contender for the coveted title. One of Australia's most elite wellness destinations, it is not. It lacks the slick sophistication of Palm Cove and the eclectic New Age vibe of Byron Bay. However, what makes Moree shine is its down-to-earth lack of pretension, affordability – and of course, the unparalleled potency of the healing artesian waters that arise from deep within the earth.

Image courtesy of the Visit NSW website
Image courtesy of the Visit NSW website


The hub of Moree's spa culture is the Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, situated just over a kilometre south of the town's main shopping and commercial precinct. As well as two outdoor artesian spas and a standard fifty metre Olympic pool, visitors can also enjoy treatments at the centre's in-house wellness centre. These include an Artesian Soak and Sauna Retreat, massages, facials, and a range of other body treatments. Additional attractions include a gym, group fitness classes, waterslide, children's water park and café. Many of these pools and facilities are accessible to people with mobility issues.

Image courtesy of the Visit NSW website
Image courtesy of the Visit NSW website


Moree also boasts several other wonderful spa destinations. If you're planning on staying in the area for a few days, several accommodation providers boast their own in-house Artesian spas. Dragon Phoenix Resort, and Hot Springs Pools and Units both offer their guests this luxurious therapeutic experience. The Gwydir Pools Motel and Caravan Park also features four Artesian thermal pools, with temperatures ranging from 34 degrees to 39 degrees Celsius. In addition, there is a 25-metre lap pool that is heated to a comfortable 28 degrees, making it very agreeable to exercise, even during cold weather. Also popular, Moree Tourist Park is another top accommodation option that boasts heated thermal plunge pools.

GURLEY HOT SPRINGS
Also known as Millie Bore, Gurley Hot Springs are small, relatively undeveloped, and well off the beaten track. However, for artesian spa enthusiasts, they're well worth the journey. The town of Gurley is a blink-and-you'll-miss-it hamlet situated on the Newell Highway between Moree and Narrabri, with just a few buildings to its name – and the springs are situated about 15 kilometres away, surrounded by a wide expanse of farm paddocks.

Image courtesy of Millie Bore Facebook page
Image courtesy of Millie Bore Facebook page


The springs consist of one small pool, with a waterspout in the middle. Bathing in these warm, restorative waters is one of the best back-to-nature experiences you can enjoy – especially in the very early morning, or when the sun is setting in the late afternoon. If you're keen you can even enjoy an evening bath, under a canopy of stars, as the pool is open 24 hours a day.

To reach Gurley Hot Springs, drive westward along Glenroy Road. After about 10.5 kilometres, turn right into Glendello Lane and continue for another few kilometres, turning left at the track after Tyrone Road. The springs are just a couple of hundred metres from this intersection, on the lefthand side. For more detailed instructions, refer to Google Maps or ask some locals at the Royal Hotel in Gurley.

PILLIGA ARTESIAN BORE BATH

Situated just three kilometres east of the small town of Pilliga, Pilliga Artesian Bore Bath is another awesome Artesian pool to put on your list. With a water temperature of approximately 37 degrees, it's popular with visitors throughout the year, due to its therapeutic qualities. The pool area is covered, making it a pleasant spot - even during the scorching-hot summer – and there is also lighting, so visitors can enjoy an evening dip. There are basic amenities at the site, such as toilets, sheltered picnic tables and electric barbecues.

Image courtesy of Narrabri Tourism website
Image courtesy of Narrabri Tourism website


Day visits to Pilliga Artesian Bore Bath are free of charge. However, if you want to camp overnight, an unpowered site requires a small fee. More information can be found on the Narrabri Tourism website. An online booking is required for overnight stays, which you can also do there.

BURREN JUNCTION BORE BATHS
Artesian bathing on a budget is also possible at the Burren Junction Bore Baths. This well-maintained mineral pool has a constant temperature of around 41.5 degrees, and is open 24 hours a day, making moonlight bathing a definite possibility. However, it's closed during the summer months.

Image courtesy of Walgett Shire Council website
Image courtesy of Walgett Shire Council website


Burren Junction Bore Baths are located just 100 meters off the Kamilaroi Highway, approximately three kilometres east of Burren Junction township and 88 kilometres west of Narrabri. A simple campground is adjacent to the pool, with a powered amenity block, filtered water, barbecue facilities and a dump point. There is also flood lighting for additional security. Although entry to the pool is free, a small fee is charged for camping.

For more information, visit the Walgett Shire Council website.

WALGETT BORE BATHS
Situated in the town's Apex Park, Walgett Bore Bath is another great spot where you can relax for hours, allowing the potent, potassium-rich mineral waters to work their magic on tired, aching muscles. The water in these compact but well-maintained bore baths is a steady 38 to 40 degrees.

Image courtesy of the NSW Tourism website
Image courtesy of the NSW Tourism website


You can find Walgett Bore Bath at the corner of Fox and Montkeilor Streets. It's open seasonally, from March until October – Monday to Friday, 8.00am - 4.00pm. Entry is free.

LIGHTNING RIDGE ARTESIAN BORE BATHS
Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Baths is one of the better-known Artesian pool sites in northwest New South Wales. With a water temperature of around 41.5 degrees, there is plenty of room to stretch out and enjoy a lovely long soak in the healing waters of its two pools. An amenity block with toilets and showers is located nearby, as well as several picnic tables.

Image courtesy of Walgett Shire Council website
Image courtesy of Walgett Shire Council website


Like many Artesian pools in the area, Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Baths are open all day (and night), every day of the week – apart from a few hours each week, when they're closed for cleaning. What better way to wind down after a busy day on the road? Entry is also free of charge, making your visit affordable as well as nurturing.

Lightning Ridge Artesian Bore Baths are located on Pandora Street, just over two kilometres from Lightning Ridge township. Refer to this website for more information.

GOODOOGA GREAT ARTESIAN BATH
Just 70 kilometres northwest of Lightning Ridge, Goodooga Great Artesian Bath is one of the best-kept secrets of outback New South Wales. While many people may not be familiar with the small hamlet of Goodooga, after a few hours spent in the therapeutic waters of this naturally heated pool, it definitely won't be forgotten.

Image courtesy of the NSW Tourism website
Image courtesy of the NSW Tourism website


This rectangular pool is quite spacious and protected by sunshades – essential during the warmer months of the year. To enjoy a complete wellness experience, be sure to check out the outdoor gym equipment that is located nearby as well. Other facilities include toilets, hot showers, electric barbecue, picnic tables and dump point. Best of all, free camping is available right on the site, so you can enjoy the healing waters all day and night, if you desire.

Goodooga Great Artesian Bath is located on Goodooga Road, on the outskirts of Goodooga. Find out more on this website.

MUNGINDI HOT POOL
Small in size but big in healing potency, Mungindi Hot Pool is another Artesian haven where you can pamper yourself for a few celestial hours. Mungindi is a small town that straddles the border of New South Wales and Queensland, and this hot pool is part of its swimming pool complex. A small fee is charged to access these facilities.

Image courtesy of Moree Tourism's website
Image courtesy of Moree Tourism's website


Mungindi Hot Pool is situated on Bucknell Street. Opening hours are seasonal, so it's best to refer to the Moree Tourism website for the latest information.

BOOMI ARTESIAN SPA POOL
Also in the Moree Plains region, Boomi is a small town located 94 kilometres north of Moree, just south of the Queensland border. It is here that yet another of New South Wales's wonderful mineral-rich hot springs is situated.

Image courtesy of Boomi Artesian Baths Facebook page
Image courtesy of Boomi Artesian Baths Facebook page


Boomi Artesian Spa Pool is part of the town's swimming pool complex, which also includes a 25 metre cold swimming pool (although a little warm water is also added to this to reduce the chill), and children's wading pool. The spa pool is covered and has several water spouts that helps to relieve tired, aching bodies. There are also poolside lounges so you can really embrace the health retreat vibe when you visit. Other amenities are toilets, showers, kiosk, barbecues, and tennis court. There is also an adjacent camping ground.

Opening hours vary at different times throughout the year. Call the pool the Pool Superintendent on 02 6753 5336 for up-to-date information. Boomi Artesian Spa Pool is located on Boomi Street, Boomi. For more information, visit this website.
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Why? To experience unparalleled relaxation in beautiful outback NSW
When: Throughout the year
Where: Throughout northwest New South Wales
Cost: It varies
Your Comment
Fantastic article - deserves a Gold Award. Thank you Carolyn - I aim to work my way through them! My best hot springs experience was at Mataranka in the NT.
by Susan Jackson (score: 2|864) 129 days ago
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