Originally rest and recreation camps for Australian and American military personnel during World War II, the Howard Springs Nature Park has been converted into an outdoor recreation area that is open to the public. Visitors to the nature park can enjoy swimming, walking, picnicking, and playing.
Explore and interact with the monsoon forests and woodland environments at Howard Springs. Very family-friendly in its design, the nature park is a popular attraction for families. There are plenty of kid-friendly features and all of the walking trails are easy and short. No matter what age, everyone can enjoy the park’s picnic spots, barbecues, and wildlife areas.
Spring Fed Pools
Water features at this nature park include a spring-fed waterhole and a series of man-made pools. Visitors are only permitted to swim in designated areas. The spring-fed waterhole is no longer open for swimming because of poor water quality. However, there is a viewing platform built on the bank of the waterhole, so visitors can view the pool.
Swimming is permitted in the nature park’s man-made pools. All of the pools are shallow and widely popular with children. The first swimming area is a series of small pools that are fed by a waterfall feature. Kids and adults can enjoy these pools and relax under shaded canopies.
There is also a kiddie pool with a shaded canopy for young children. Children must be supervised at all times when visiting the park and especially around the pool areas. Pools at the park are open all year-round. Adult visitors should take note that all of the pools in the nature park are shallow
Water temperatures of the pools are kept cool during the summer to help guests find relief from the high heat. In winter, the water isn’t too cold to dip your toes and on warm days, kids will still splash around in the pools.
Additional Park Features and Activities
Swimming isn’t the only activity for visitors to enjoy at the Howard Springs Nature Park. Visitors are also welcome to picnic, barbeque, walk, and tour the area. Close to the pools, there are multiple picnic and barbecue areas with limited facilities which include lawns, gardens, toilets, and a parking lot.
Further away from the crowds, walking trails will take visitors into the nature park’s wild habitats where they can learn more about the area’s plants and animals. Some of the animals that can be found in the park include barramundi, turtles, file snakes, and a few freshwater fish species. Many birds also live in the park and the walking trails have become very popular with birdwatchers.
The most popular walking trail is the Creek Walk, which is 1.1 miles (1.8km) long and starts near the small dam on the waterhole. Along the walk, information signs have been placed to educate visitors about the various plants and vegetation they may see along the way.
Visitors can self-guide themselves through the Howard Springs Nature Park, but there are sometimes special events with rangers too. Additionally, tours of the nature park are offered and allow visitors to have unique experiences like hand-feeding the barramundi.
Guests are not permitted to stay overnight at the Howard Springs Nature Park and there are no lodgings on-site. The closest accommodation options are in the town of Howard Springs, which is just a few minutes drive away from the nature park.
Two popular places to stay in the area are the BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park and the Spring Homestead. The BIG4 Howard Springs Holiday Park offers villas and cabins to guests. Ideal for groups of large people, some rooms at the holiday park can fit up to 7 people. Boasting a large property, there is a water park, swimming pool, playground, 3 hot tubs, and barbecues at the holiday park.
For a quieter setting, the Spring Homestead is the perfect place to relax away from the noise of the city. The guest house can fit up to 6 guests and provides access to a full kitchen. Amenities at the homestead include an outdoor swimming pool, free private parking, Wi-Fi, a terrace, and a garden.
Located in a rural area, Howard Springs Nature Park is 3.7 miles (6.1km) outside of the small town of Howard Springs. Many tourists also travel from Darwin, the capital of the Northern Territory, which is 18.7 miles (30.1km) to the west of the nature park.
Address: 465 Howard Springs Road, Howard Springs NT 0835, Australia
Coordinates: 12.4565°S, 131.0516°E
Phone: (+61) 08 8983 1001
Age Restrictions: None
Pets: Not permitted