Berry Springs; the ultimate swimming hole near Darwin
In terms of natural places to swim not far from Darwin, Berry Springs tops the list for most well known, and popular. It’s a beautiful ‘river’ with a couple of pools, some rope swings and lots of places to enter and exit the water.
We called in on our way from Dundee Beach to Darwin for a quick peak, and quickly fell in love.
Where is Berry Springs
This magic place is just 40 minutes from Darwin, and its on the way in when you are coming from Katherine (they also have their own hot springs, which you can read about here – Katherine Hot Springs). It’s one of the most popular swimming holes for Darwin locals, with a trip for the day easily doable.
Swimming at Berry Springs
I was a little surprised to read the various signs scattered about Berry Springs. Asides from the crocodiles, which I’ll mention below, there is a sign that suggests that you don’t swim due to potentially harmful bacteria that grows in the water when its a certain temperature.
Now, I don’t know how often the water gets to this temperature and whether it is monitored, but I did find it ironic that the whole park is setup for swimming in and yet a sign tells you not to.
Beyond that, the swimming is amazing. The pandanus palms and crystal clear water make it one of the most attractive places we visited in the Northern Territory.
Crocodiles at Berry Springs
Every year, a few crocodiles are captured in places in Northern Australia that are very highly frequented. When the wet season hits, water levels rise and crocodiles move areas substantially. One of the more common places to capture salt water crocodiles is at Berry Springs, and when you walk in it is pretty obvious; its a really big water hole that would easily make a croc or two happy.
The signs mention both fresh and salt water crocodiles, and I believe they keep permanent crocodile traps in action there, but its certainly something to think about.
Generally at the start of the dry season the water ways are monitored, crocodiles are trapped and when the authorities are happy it is opened to the public. That said, there’s nothing stopping a crocodile from jumping in any time over the dry season!
If you are unsure about crocodiles, have a read of this – Crocodile Safety.
What’s the water temperature like?
The word spring often brings to mind hot water, but that’s not always the case. There are plenty of springs that are normal temperature, and Berry is the latter. The water to be fair though, was warmer than I expected, with patches of warmer water floating around.
Facilities at Berry Springs
There are toilets, BBQ’s, great parking options and lots of green grass to sit around. There’s normally a kiosk open too, in the busy period
There’s so much to do in the Northern Territory, and with decent speed limits (up to 130km/h) its quick, and safe to get from place to place
Territory Wildlife Park
In terms of Wildlife parks that we’ve been to, we were mighty impressed with the Territory Wildlife Park, and would highly recommend a day there. This is just 4 minutes away!
Litchfield National Park
We had seriously high expectations when visiting Litchfield, and it blew them out of the water. Litchfield National Park is so easy to access, with so many amazing water holes, hikes, 4WD tracks and waterfalls to experience within a short distance that you’ll struggle to leave! Litchfield is 45 minutes away.
Kakadu National Park
The other extremely well known attraction in the Northern Territory is Kakadu National Park, which also didn’t disappoint. The entrance to this massive national park is an hour and a half away, and you need several days to even scratch the surface of this place.
If you want some off the beaten track adventures, book a few nights at Koolpin Gorge.
If you want a tropical, coastal feel, Dundee Beach, Crab Claw Resort and a heap of other places are West of Berry Springs. Its only an hour away from Berry Springs, and is a pristine place, albeit with limited things to do unless you have a boat.
If you want amazing scenery that’s easy to access, very popular for a swim and splash, you can’t go past Berry Springs!