Washpools waterhole

Towarri National Park

Overview

Only 500m along Middle Brook from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is the shallow, naturally formed Washpools waterhole — great for a dip on a hot day. 

Where
Towarri National Park
Price
Free
Please note

Drinking and cooking water is not available in this area, so it’s a good idea to bring your own.

It doesn’t really matter how hot the weather gets when you’ve got a place to cool off. Washpools waterhole is a natural swimming hole in Middle Brook, only 500m from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform. The shallow brook is about 1m wide and 10m long — good for lying in and letting the water run over you like a spa.

Take a dip following a challenging hike or after a barbecue. You could even spread a picnic blanket out beside Washpools waterhole and enjoy lunch right there. If you’re camping at Washpools campground, then it’s a great location for a daily swim.

The bushland surrounding this tranquil spot is river oak forest and box woodland. As you soak in the fresh water, try and count how many distinct birdcalls you hear. Woodland birds you might listen for include the grey fantail, brown-headed honeyeater and the endangered speckled warbler. Though if the kookaburras or cockatoos are going off, then you might as well splash around until they’ve finished because nothing else can compete with their mighty calls.

For directions, safety and practical information, see visitor info

Current alerts in this area

There are no current alerts in this area.

Local alerts

For the latest updates on fires, closures and other alerts in this area, see https://www.nationalparks.nsw.gov.au/things-to-do/swimming-spots/washpools-waterhole/local-alerts

Park info

See more visitor info

Visitor info

All the practical information you need to know about Washpools waterhole.

Getting there and parking

On entering Towarri National Park:

  • Drive along Middlebrook Road and park at Washpools picnic area
  • Walk for 500m along Middle Brook until you reach the waterhole

Road quality

  • Unsealed roads

Vehicle access

  • 2WD vehicles

Weather restrictions

  • All weather

Parking

Parking is available at Washpools picnic area.

Best times to visit

There are lots of great things waiting for you in Towarri National Park. Here are some of the highlights.

Spring

Wildflowers emerge in spring and that gets the birds and bees excited too.

Summer

These hot months are a great time for swimming in Middle Brook and Washpools waterhole.

Winter

Wood fires are allowed in the park during winter, so it's an ideal time to come camping. Pack your billy and your thermals.

Weather, temperature and rainfall

Summer temperature

Average

16°C and 30°C

Highest recorded

40.6°C

Winter temperature

Average

2.5°C and 14.5°C

Lowest recorded

-6.5°C

Rainfall

Wettest month

January

Driest month

April

The area’s highest recorded rainfall in one day

227.3mm

Maps and downloads

Safety messages

Beach safety

Beaches in this park are not patrolled, and can sometimes have strong rips and currents. These beach safety tips will help you and your family stay safe in the water.

Mobile safety

Dial Triple Zero (000) in an emergency. Download the Emergency + app before you visit, it helps emergency services locate you using your smartphone's GPS. Please note there is limited mobile phone reception in this park and you’ll need mobile reception to call Triple Zero (000).

River and lake safety

The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. If you're visiting these areas, take note of these river and lake safety tips.

Permitted

Fishing

Fishing from a boat, the beach or by the river is a popular activity for many national park visitors. If you’re planning a day out fishing, check out these fishing safety tips.

Prohibited

Pets

Pets and domestic animals (other than certified assistance animals) are not permitted. Find out which regional parks allow dog walking and see the pets in parks policy for more information.

Smoking

NSW national parks are no smoking areas.

Nearby towns

Murrurundi (13 km)

Murrurundi has remained faithful to its pastoral roots and enjoys a fine legacy of historic houses and public buildings. In fact, the National Trust has declared the main street of Murrurundi an Urban Con servation Area. Today, you can explore the history of Murrurundi on a heritage walk that takes in churches, hotels and the original telegraph office.

www.visitnsw.com

Muswellbrook (33 km)

Muswellbrook is a vibrant country town surrounded by vineyards and horse studs. It straddles the Hunter River in the fertile wine-growing region of the Upper Hunter. Enjoy the local produce while you take in the natural beauty of the surrounding wilderness.

www.visitnsw.com

Learn more

Washpools waterhole is in Towarri National Park. Here are just some of the reasons why this park is special:

Fabulous flowers and creatures of flight

A pair of glossy-black cockatoos on tree branch. Photo: John Spencer/OEH.

Towarri is inhabited by a range of birds and animals, many with a particularly distinctive call, appearance or ability that appears in their name. The powerful owl is as strong as it sounds, hunting and feeding on medium-sized mammals and marsupials including gliders, possums and wallabies. The glossy-black cockatoo is as self-explanatory as the red-tailed and yellow-tailed black cockatoos. The greater glider spreads itself out like a sheet of paper to change trees. The Liverpool Range sees the blending of many plant species. Towarri National Park is home to about 650 species. From the cassuarina forests along the creeklines to the majestic snow gum on the ridgeline, that are capped with snow on occasion. The miltant grass trees stand on the hills amongst the serene poa grasslands. The gully lines off the falls of sandstone play host to dry rainforest pockets providing habitat to many fauna species. The unique area is a floristic wonderland with many species at the edge of the range.

  • Washpools picnic area and viewing platform Set beside the tranquil Middle Brook, Washpools picnic area and nearby scenic lookout are ideal for spending a relaxing day of swimming and barbecues with friends and family.
  • Washpools waterhole Only 500m along Middle Brook from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is the shallow, naturally formed Washpools waterhole — great for a dip on a hot day. 

Snow gums and spinifex

Farm land and distant mountains, Towarri National Park. Photo: Brent Mail

Three distinct bioregions meet in Towarri: the Sydney Basin, the Brigalow Belt South and North Coast. This means that the soil type, fertility and depth differ throughout the park. Throw in a variation in rainfall, elevation and geological features and the result is a mosaic of plant communities. Snow gums decorate the skyline above a snowgrass understorey on the high plateau areas of Mount Tinagroo and Bald Hill.

  • Washpools picnic area and viewing platform Set beside the tranquil Middle Brook, Washpools picnic area and nearby scenic lookout are ideal for spending a relaxing day of swimming and barbecues with friends and family.
  • Washpools waterhole Only 500m along Middle Brook from Washpools picnic area and viewing platform is the shallow, naturally formed Washpools waterhole — great for a dip on a hot day. 

The first people

Mountains in Towarri National Park. Photo: Brent Mail

The Wonnarua people were the first inhabitants of the Hunter Valley, which was known as Coquun before European settlement. Their name, ‘Wonnarua’, means ‘people of the hills and plains’, and their traditional lands reach from near Maitland in the Upper Hunter to the Great Dividing Range towards Wollombi. Their history in the area is shared with nearby groups such as Worimi to the northeast and Awakakal to the southeast. Towarri means ‘warrior’ in the language of the Wonnarua, and these people fought hard for their land after European settlement.

Education resources (1)

Washpool waterhole, Towarri National Park. Photo: NSW Government