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Cool Off In 10 Of The Most Beautiful Natural Swimming Holes The NT Has To Offer

The Northern Territory is back open for business, or should I say, for vacays that let us forget all about business.

The NT is our wildest state or territory, prove me wrong. Which means exploration, animal spotting, and taking a break from the heat with a dip in a natural water hole.

There are seemingly endless options, but here’s a round up of the top 10 spots the Northern Territory themselves reckon you should seek out.

#1 Florence Falls, Litchfield

 

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Florence Falls is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Top End. Set in the heart of Litchfield National Park and surrounded by viewing platforms so you can soak in the panoramic views of the valley and cascading waterfall from up high, the real action is diving in.

#2 Wangi Falls, Litchfield

 

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Stay in Litchfield for Wangi Falls, one of the most popular places in the park. It’s a better one for those less equipped for big hikes or off-roading, and has its own picnic area, a treetop viewing platform, and a three-kilometre walk through the rainforest — so you can work up a sweat for the plunge pool.

#3 Bitter Springs, Katherine

 

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Weird name, stunning location. Located in Elsey National Park, two kilometres from Mataranka, Katherine, enjoy the palm trees and tropical woodland as you swim in these natural spring-fed thermal pools. Tell me this doesn’t look like a tropical oasis.

#4 Edith Falls, Katherine

 

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Take a drive 60-kilometre drive north of Katherine to Nitmiluk National Park. Here you’ll find Edith Falls, but only those with a bit of adventure in them will get there. The 2.6 kilometre walk is short, but challenging. Totally worth it for a refreshing dip in the series waterfalls along the Edith River, though.

#5 Maguk Gorge, Kakudu

 

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You may have heard of Kakadu National Park, and it’s got plenty of places to explore and pools to swim in. Maguk is one of the best, but you’ll need a 4WD to make it along the 14-kilometre track off Kakadu Highway to get there. When you arrive, you’ll get natural beauty, wild birds and peace.

#6 Motor Car Falls, Kakadu

 

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You’ll have to commit to a 3.8 kilometre walk to reach Motor Car Falls, but the end results are worth it. These smaller falls are one of Kakadu’s best kept secrets. Swim in the plunge pool or get a waterfall massage. You can even take refuge in a a shady cave nearby.

#7 Gunlom Plunge Pool, Kakadu

 

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How about a natural infinity pool? Gunlom plunge pool is just that, and it’s pretty easy to access too. Leave the carpark and take a steep but short walk to this pool and views of stone country, woodland and riverine. There’s a series of series of rock pools and waterfalls up top for a dip.

#8 Jim Jim Falls, Kakadu

 

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Jim Jim Falls are the largest waterfalls in Kakadu, dropping down from a height of 200 metres. Down the bottom you’ll find a deep plunge pool with a beach beside it, all under the shade of dramatic cliff face. When you google Kakadu, this is the image that’ll probably pop up first.

#9 Glen Helen Gorge, MacDonnell Ranges

 

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Located 132 kilometres from Alice Springs in the West MacDonnell National Park, Glen Helen Gorge is something else. Surrounded by towering sandstone walls, this gorge meets Finke River for perfect swimming and amazing views of the West MacDonnell Ranges and Mount Sonder — one of the highest points in Central Australia.

#10 Ormiston Gorge, MacDonnell Ranges

 

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Still in the MacDonnell Ranges, Ormiston is like the poster pool for the Red Centre, and with good reason. The gorge never dries up, making it the perfect year-round swimming spot, and there are plenty of native plants and animals to view. Not to mention that dramatic red dirt.

(Lead Image: Tourism NT / Carmen Huter)