Berry Springs Waterhole is one of the best places to cool off near Darwin. While crocodiles and jellyfish make swimming at Darwin’s beaches and rivers a very bad idea, you can swim safely at Berry Springs Waterhole in beautiful crystal clear water surrounded by monsoon forest.
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Darwin to Berry Springs Nature Park
It takes about 45 minutes to get from Darwin to the Berry Springs Waterhole in Berry Springs Nature Park. Berry Springs is also a township so if you ask your navigation system to get you Barry Springs, make sure you add waterhole or nature park, otherwise, like us, you will be directed to some random street in Berry Springs.
That said, there is good brown tourist signage from the Stuart Highway and via the slightly shorter route that takes you over the Elizabeth River and has you pop out on Cox Peninsula Road right next to the park.
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Berry Springs Waterhole FAQs
Swimming at Berry Springs Waterhole
Here are the reasons you want to come for a swim at Berry Springs in Darwin.
It is stunning. The pools are crystal clear and surrounded by forest. Kangaroo Falls and small rapids along Berry Creek tumble into the pools. It is an idyllic spot that’s as beautiful as any of the swimming holes at Litchfield National Park.
There is lots of room. It’s true this is a popular spot but there is also plenty of room to spread out between the upper and lower pools. Even when the car park is busy, we can still find a bit of water to relax in. If you do want to avoid the crowds, arrive early in the day. You will likely be the first person to break the mirrored reflection of the forest on the surface.
The pools are easy to get in and out of. There are steps and ladders at several points around the pools so getting in and out is easy – no slippery rock hopping required!
It is safe. As mentioned, the pools are free of saltwater crocodiles and jellyfish. There are plenty of fish and turtles in the springs, but they will stay out of your way.
Berry Springs Nature Park Kiosk
From April to October there is a kiosk open from 11.00am to 5.50pm. It is in the heart of the picnic area, about halfway between the carpark and main swimming pool. They sell a range of cold drinks, snacks, sandwiches and ice creams.
You can also buy or hire pool noodles from the kiosk They are just the thing if you want to be even more relaxed in the water or you just like having a bit of extra buoyancy when you swim.
Berry Springs Nature Park Picnic Area
Even if you don’t feel like getting in the water, the picnic grounds here are lovely. There are BBQs (mostly wood but there are a couple of gas ones at the Water for Life Walk end of the park), picnic tables and toilets. There are lots of trees and most of the tables get some shade.
Even in the dry season the grass is nice green, there are birds everywhere; it is a beautiful setting. Whether you want somewhere to relax after a morning at the Territory Wildlife Park next door, or you grab something from the kiosk, the gardens are the perfect spot to relax.
Berry Springs Waterhole War History
Much like Howard Spring Nature Park, Berry Springs was also used by soldiers during World War 2 as a rest and relaxation area. There are a few photos around the park of soldiers relaxing in the pools. The Defence of Darwin Experience App is a must have for history buffs in Darwin. It has information on 16 important military sites around Darwin and takes you on self-guided tour of the sites.
Berry Springs is one of the 16 sites featured on the app. It includes a map, a little information and photos and videos of each site. The photos are especially interesting. The app is available from your Apple or Google app store.
Explore the Water for Life Walk
This easy 30 minute 1km loop trail takes you through a small patch of monsoon forest alongside Berry Creek. The walk starts at the Kangaroo Falls end of the swimming area. Look for the signs along the main path by the upper and lower swimming holes.
It is only a short walk, but there is a lot to see. As you walk along the dirt and boardwalk path, there is information about the butterflies, pythons, frogs, wallabies and trees you might see. The enormous banyan trees are super impressive.
As you go from monsoon forest to more open savannah bushland you see a huge range of birds. We spotted northern rosellas, figbirds and some orange footed scrub fowl. But you might also see an elusive emerald dove and the even harder to spot Rainbow Pitta. The bright pink turkey bush was flowering for our visit which added a big splash of colour to the second half of the walk.
Read More Monsoon Forest Walks at Fogg Dam
Territory Wildlife Park
If you are in Darwin and have made it as far as Berry Springs, make sure you stop in at the Territory Wildlife Park. It is just a little further down Cox Peninsula Road, and it is a great Park. The free flight bird show, walk through aviaries, nocturnal house and freshwater exhibit are excellent. There are keeper talks across the day and a shuttlebus service makes getting around the park much easier.
A great day trip from Darwin is to spend the morning at the Territory Wildlife Park then head over to Berry Springs waterhole for dip afterwards.
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