Olympic Pool: Is this the best wild swimming spot in the Royal National Park?

Olympic Pool in the Royal National Park. Photo: Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures
Olympic Pool in the Royal National Park. Photo: Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures

Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures has given a 60m-long pool the title of best wild swimming spot in the Royal National Park.

The Olympic Pool is accessed via a largely unknown track near the well-known Karloo Pool in Heathcote.

“It’s very deep and has amazing colours that shine from the abalone shells underneath. It’s a freshwater pool and pure paradise,” he said.

“This pool is largely untouched so please most importantly be sure to clean up after yourself and take any rubbish/plastic bags/ bottles etc with you when you leave.

“This is so important and will ensure I can keep sharing these amazing places with you.”

Alan Podmore, founder of Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures.

Alan Podmore, founder of Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures.

Visit the Sydney Wild Swimming Adventures Facebook page for directions to the secret swimming spot and read the safety tips below before heading out on your next adventure. 

Read more

Water safety tips by NSW National Parks

There are loads of fantastic places to explore in our parks, including lots of campgrounds that are on or near a river, lake or lagoon. The aquatic environment around rivers, lakes and lagoons can be unpredictable. Please take note of the following safety tips:

  • Beware of fast-flowing water, submerged objects and deep water.
  • Check the conditions – ask someone who is familiar with the area.
  • Beware of slippery banks or paths near waterfalls
  • Never swim alone – ensure that someone else is there to provide or get help.
  • If you are caught in a rip or current, float on your back and travel downstream.
  • If you get into trouble in the water, stay calm. Signal for help, then float and wait for help. Float with a current or undertow if in a river.
  • Always check the water depth before entering
  • If you feel cold in the water, get out as quickly as you can.
  • If someone needs help in the water, stay dry and reach out to them with a stick or throw a rope.
  • In some parks, high levels of blue-green algae can occur in lake systems under certain conditions. Please avoid direct contact with blue-green algae in the water and as surface scum. Warning signs will be displayed when algae levels in the lakes are high. Algae can exist in the shallow muddy bays and sediment disturbance in these areas should be avoided at all times.

Bushwalking safety tips

Walking in national parks and reserves provides a great opportunity for solitude and self-reliant exploration. If you’re keen to head out on a longer walk or a backpack camp, that’s great – you’ll never run out of options. But always be prepared.

Plan your walk

  • Research your walk and make sure everyone is comfortable with the planned route
  • Go at the pace of the slowest person and don’t overestimate your abilities
  • Walk in groups of 3 or more people – in an emergency one of you might need to wait with the injured person while the other gets help.
  • Check the difficulty – some walks require rock scrambling and abseiling skills. If you’re note sure of the difficulty, contact the local NPWS park office.
  • Check weather forecasts and park conditions and be aware that weather conditions can change.
  • You may also come across waterfalls during a bush walk, so be sure to also check our waterfall safety page.

Tell somebody

  • Give route details to your friends and family or the NSW Police. Tell them about any medical conditions and when to expect you back.
  • Check in when you return
  • The NSW Police Force and the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service provide bushwalkers and adventurers in the Greater Blue Mountains and Kosciuszko National Park with a free loaned Personal Locator Beacon. Find out more about the Think Before You Trek initiative and how to complete a trip intention form before your wilderness adventure in these areas.

Stay on track

  • Walking tracks in NSW national parks parks are not always signposted or maintained, so be sure take care.
  • To protect our landscapes for generations to come, please ensure that native plant and animal communities are disturbed as little as possible. 

What to bring

  • You may not have mobile phone service; if you’re really heading bush, consider taking a locator beacon which can be used as a last resort.
  • For longer walks take plenty of water, snacks and a first aid kit
  • Wear or take appropriate clothing and closed-toe footwear and always take a windproof and waterproof jacket
  • Take a topographic map and compass and be confident with how to use them
  • If you're camping take a good tent, sleeping bag, insect repellent and a torch.
  • In a natural environment there is sometimes no escape from pests including mosquitoes, ticks and insects. Be sure to wear appropriate clothing to prevent bites, spray clothing and exposed skin with an insect repellent and reapply as directed, particularly if camping – and be sure to close that tent flap at night. More information is available at NSW Health