As the sun heats up over summer, we find ourselves looking for places to cool off. As popular swimming holes fill up, we all crave a little solitude and peace as we head into the outdoors to seek the fresh natural pools.
Back in 2012, I was routinely heading off track to search for interesting places by following creeks. I spent a bit of time at Mt Mee (D’Aguilar National Park) in particular, which would also be a place I had many adventures including finding some mysterious tracks and my first canyoning waterfall abseiling experience (Bulls Falls).
The thing I love about exploring is the thrill of finding what's around the next bend, or over the hill. A lot of the time you find nothing, but sometimes you find something pretty cool that’s hard to keep to yourself!
It was back in 2012 that I found this beautiful spot, and it’s not too difficult to get to like many of the others I found later on! As they are not marked on any map, nor have any formal name, let's just call the waterfall ‘Mill Rain forest Secret Falls’, as the closest walk nearby is called the Mill rain forest walk.
And I promise, it’s well worth checking this spot out, especially if you like a little adventure to go with it!
MILL RAIN FOREST SWIMMING HOLE
On my first trip there, I was following a creek seeking to make it to its source. Rock hopping and wading on the rainy day, I came around a bend to be faced with a narrow section that required a full swim to get through. It was a little cold that day, and I wasn’t particularly looking forward to getting completely wet with no spare clothes. But the lure of what could be through the narrows compelled me on, and I braved the fresh water. Shortly after, another swim was required through yet another narrow section. As I stood up out of the water, I was surprised to find an amazing little waterfall in front of me. Scrambling up the side, I found a deep pool of turquoise. Despite the cold, I spent nearly an hour there. Reluctantly leaving as the rain increased, I vowed to be back on a hot, sunny day.
Revealing the location only to a few friends, I had kept the location a secret. It was my summer getaway I could have all to myself. In the years following, I found many more of these little spots in various national parks. But the Mill rain forest swimming hole was always a special place for me as it was the first one I found on my outdoor adventures.
The first narrows- when I first found the swimming hole, I knew something awesome had to be through here. And I wasn't wrong!
HOW TO GET THERE
Take Sellin Road off Mt Mee road and head to the Gantry. Keep driving past it and head right at the first intersection, approximately 2.3Km from the gantry. It turns to dirt road soon. You can do this in a 2WD car so don't panic. Head past the Falls lookout (well worth a spot before or after you swim) and you should see the rain forest walk sign with a road leading down on your right (before the big open quarry section). Take this and drive to the car park at the end.
From the car park, start the walk passing the boardwalk on your left and then another long wooden bridge. As you come to an intersection like in the photo below, GO RIGHT and follow this track.
Go right here!
As you come to another wooden bridge, don't cross it but rather skirt the outside of it on the left and down into the creek.
Don't cross the bridge! Head left to the side and drop into the creek then head upstream!
From here, head UPSTREAM and keeping following the main creek until you come to the narrows (and swim) as described above. The rest is easy, just leave your dry clothes here or hold the bags above your head as you swim through. The falls and pool are after the second narrows and it is impossible to get lost as long as you stay in the creek.
Mill rainforest car park to bridge at creek turnoff- 10-15 mins
Creek wading to first narrows- 10-20 mins
Total time from car to swimming hole- approximately 20-45 mins
Mill rainforest walk car park- HERE
Mt Mee trail and drive map download- HERE
Easy to moderate based on experience. Some ‘off track’ walking in the form of taking the correct turnoff and creek walking is included.
◘ Spare clothes
◘ Water and snacks/lunch
◘ Torch (always good to have if you start late in the day)
A 2WD vehicle drive is OK for this trip, take it slow and drive carefully. Make sure to avoid this place in heavy rain. On the other hand, a month of no rain can make the water gross. Take care scrambling up the waterfall itself. Basic bush walking experience and skills is useful. Always let someone know where you are going and please, LEAVE NO TRACE and TAKE ALL RUBBISH WITH YOU.
Head to the QLD national parks page for latest park updates HERE.
Mt Mee is a great place to have a weekend adventure. There is camping, nature walks and plenty more tracks to explore if you have a 4WD. Rocky hole is another popular swimming hole, though it does attract some crowds on busy days.
So when summer goes into full swing and you are looking for a new place to explore (with no crowds), why not head to Brisbane’s best secret swimming hole for some fun!
Please note: My experience level may not be reflected in trip reports or guides, and you should use your own judgement when undertaking activities or following advice. Please be aware that what may seem easy or hard to me, may not be easy or hard for you. It is your responsibility to seek appropriate training or advice before undertaking any outdoor activity.