Less than one hour outside of Darwin, the capital city of Australia’s Northern Territory, the Berry Springs Waterhole is a popular place to spend the day swimming, picnicking, and bushwalking. Located in the Berry Springs Nature Park, this waterhole is surrounded by thick woodlands and a monsoon forest.
Consisting of the main pool and lower pool, visitors can enjoy the waterhole’s small waterfall and rope swing as they cool off on a hot day. In addition to the Berry Springs Waterhole, visitors can spend time exploring the nature park.
With a few easy hiking trails and local wildlife, Berry Springs Nature Park is a popular place for walkers and bird watchers. History buffs may also be interested in the nature park’s World War II history when more than 100,000 military personnel were based in Berry Springs.
The waterhole is well-known amongst locals from Berry Springs and Darwin, but for tourists who find themselves in Australia’s Northern Territory, a visit to the nature park is a must-do activity.
The Waterhole fed by an Underground Spring
Naturally formed, the Berry Springs Waterhole has two deep pools that are fed by an underground spring. Forcing its way to the surface, the water is partially mineralized by the soil.
To most people, the water fluctuates from ambient temperature to warm. Depending on how the water is flowing up from the springs, swimmers might encounter patches of warmer water as they swim through Berry Springs.
During certain years, the water temperature may rise too much. When this occurs, swimming in the springs is not recommended because of bacteria that begin to grow in the waterhole. The bacteria can cause stomach and ear infections.
Both the Main Pool and Lower Pool at the waterhole can get quite deep. Along the banks, there are shallower areas that are suitable for wading children and adults. The waterhole has been kept as natural as possible, but there are a few man-made additions including a poolside platform with a ladder entry.
Additionally, there are a few entry points with large steps. The Berry Springs Waterhole is wheelchair accessible, but wheelchair users may still need help to get in and out of the water. Visitors should note that beyond the main entry platform, the banks of the waterhole are covered by forest vegetation.
Close to the waterhole, there are picnic and barbeque facilities with fire pits. Visitors will also have access to public toilets, trash cans, a kiosk, and information signs. A short walking path will take visitors from the parking lot to the picnic areas and the waterhole.
One important caution that visitors need to take when visiting the waterhole is crocodiles. Both fresh and saltwater crocodiles have been previously found at the Berry Springs Waterhole.
Park rangers have set up permanent traps, but it is always good to keep an eye out for the local wildlife. Usually, the waterhole will be closed when a crocodile is sighted and will only be reopened by rangers when the animal has been safely relocated.
To avoid confrontations with wildlife, poor water quality, and other unsafe swimming conditions, the Berry Springs Waterhole is closed during the wet season (October to April). When the waterhole is closed, park rangers set up a temporary fence around the pool to ensure that no one enters the water.
Nearby Lodging and Camping
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The Berry Springs Waterhole does not have overnight accommodation and camping in the nature park is not permitted. All facilities at the waterhole are for daytime use only. Visitors who would like to stay in the area around the waterhole are encouraged to book their accommodations in the nearby towns of Berry Springs, Noonamah, or Humpty Doo.
The closest accommodation to the Berry Springs Waterhole is the AAOK Lakes Resort & Caravan Park in the small town of Berry Springs. Guests staying at the resort will have the option of using their own caravan or renting a room, cabin, or the property’s 2-bedroom house. The resort is 2.85 miles (4.6km) away from the waterhole.
Further down the road from the waterhole is the Noonamah Tourist Park, which is 9.3 miles (15.1km) away from the nature park. Units that are available to guests at the tourist park include family rooms, rooms with disability access, studios, and villas.
For guests who need more space, they can rent out an entire home in the town of Humpty Doo. The Tropical Oasis property has 5 bedrooms and plenty of space for travelers who are in large groups or with their families. Located 18.6 miles (30km) from the Berry Springs Waterhole, this home is a popular rental because of its location between both the nature park and Darwin.
Many tourists also visit the waterhole from Darwin because the city is less than 1 hour away from the nature park. For tourists staying in Darwin, it’s easy to complete an excursion to the waterhole in a single day. However, some tourists may prefer to stay in a smaller town as opposed to a big city.
The Berry Springs Waterhole is located in the rural municipality of Berry Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. Darwin is the closest major city to the waterhole and it is 31 miles (49.5km) away. Driving from Darwin to the waterhole takes about 45 minutes.
To get to the Berry Springs Waterhole from Darwin:
- Take National Highway 1 out of Darwin.
- Continue on National Highway 1 until you reach Cox Peninsula Road/B34.
- Turn right onto Cox Peninsula Road/B34.
- Cox Peninsula Road/B34 will take you to Berry Springs Nature Park.
- Turn right to enter the nature park.
- The road will wind through the nature park and end at the parking lot.
- Visitors can take a short walk from the parking lot to the waterhole.
Address: Berry Springs Nature Reserve, Berry Springs NT 0837, Australia
Coordinates: 12.7024°S, 130.9976°E
Phone: (+61) 08 8988 6310 – Ranger Station
Season: Nature Park is open year-round, but Waterhole closed for the wet season (October to April)
Age Restrictions: None
Pets: Not permitted