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Nellies Glen Swimming Hole

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by Caroline Lindsay (subscribe)
I'm a 43 year old Family Day Carer with a beautiful teenage girl and a balance bike obsessed three year old boy.
Published January 23rd 2016
Swimming Hole Secreted in National Park
What is it: Nellies Glen is a natural rock pool with water fall where you can swim, about 50 minutes South West of Wollongong.

Why you should go: If, like me, you're crazy for swimming in water holes then Nellie's Glen is the place for you.

From a small car park the path among the trees curves, so that the pool itself is only revealed as you come upon it adding to the feeling of having stumbled upon a secret place. The small water-fall at the far side prettily sprinkles a shower of drops in to the water and the trees lean in around the sides of the pool. The sun sends down shafts of sunlight which light up the clear water revealing the smooth rocks below. Little black water beetles group and skate together on the surface here and there while small groups of families and teens arrive and depart, enjoying the cool water.

Clamber over the roots and little stream to the right of the path and enter the pool from a rock ledge there or go to your left and walk in from the slab of rock which dips in to the water. Watch out for drop offs. The pool is deep in the middle but around the edges, including under the water fall, there are submerged rocks to stand on. Swim across to stand behind the water fall, float on your back with eyes closed soaking up the sun and bird calls or paddle about and enjoy the cool middle waters then the pleasure of finding sun warmed spots near the edge.

From the main path you can clamber up the steep slope to the right hand side of the pool. This very narrow path takes you to the top of the falls. At the top there are shallow pools only centimetres deep where the creek runs over the bedrock. From here there is a path through the bush running along the right hand side which takes you to the Blue Pool about three minutes away. The clamber up from the pool at Nellies is steep and a slip would cause serious injury.

Who should go: Although the walk in from the car park is level and takes only a minute there is limited space around the side of the pool to sit or stand and the slabs of rock which are available are sloped. I wouldn't take anyone unsteady on their feet. For this reason I'd also say it's a great day out for swimmers but unsuitable for children who want to play around the edge of the water. Try the Blue Pool instead.

When to go: I went in January on a hot day and the water was wonderfully refreshing, not too cold and I could have stayed in all day. I have been on colder days and still enjoyed it but it can be a bit bracing and it's a brave plunge in and out again rather than a long swim.

Where is it: Take the M1 South from Wollongong. At the big roundabout as you enter Albion Park turn right on to the A48. Follow the road up and up winding around hair pins on the Macquarie Pass. At the top keep going until you approach the Famous Robertson Pie Shop. Don't go past it. Turn off to your left just before it on to Jamberoo Mountain Road. Take a right when you see the sign for Carrington Falls and follow the track through the forest passing the sign for The Blue Pool on your right. Keep going until you see the sign for Nellies Glen on your right. Take this turning and pass the toilets, park in the small car park just beyond.

What to bring: Food, drinks, sunscreen, swimmers and towel, hats, insect repellent is a must.

Facilities: Picnic bench and drop toilets.
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Why? Sumptuous surrounds for swimming
When: Any hot day
Where: Nellies Glen, Budderoo National Park
Cost: Free
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