Sun’s Out, Swimsuits On…

When the sun turns up the heat and the beach start to feel a little warm, it's time to channel your inner platypus and take the plunge into the cool, crystal-clear waters that have made the Atherton Tablelands famous. These top summer picks for freshwater swimming won't take you on an epic journey off the beaten track but are 2WD friendly, guaranteeing that your sandy escape is as carefree as it gets.

1. Lake Eacham

Lake Eacham - Image Credit IG lily_czeszek

Lake Eacham – Image Credit IG lily_czeszek

It’s no surprise with its inviting, clear waters and ancient Mabi rainforest surrounds that Lake Eacham tops our list. Just a 10-minute drive from Yungaburra, this volcanic crater lake has it all – beauty, bliss, and barbecues. Enjoy a leisurely lunch at the available barbecue facilities, then swim, kayak, paddleboard, or simply float around as you soak up the stunning scenery of this ultimate cool-down destination. Here, you can leave the summer heat far behind and immerse yourself in the pristine, crystal-clear waters of the Atherton Tablelands.

2. Millaa Millaa Falls

Millaa Millaa - Image Credit IG foxys.photos

Millaa Millaa – Image Credit IG foxys.photos

Now, we are about to let you in on a little secret – Millaa Millaa Falls is more than just a pretty face, it is also the proud bearer of what we believe to be the coldest water found on the Atherton Tablelands. Before you take the plunge, consider dipping your toes in and bracing yourself for the cool, refreshing shock. This waterfall isn’t for the faint-hearted, it’s a true test of your mettle. Prepare for a brisk but invigorating experience. We promise, the warmer the day, the colder it will feel. So, if you are looking to cool off and truly wake up, Millaa Millaa Falls is the perfect pick coming in a close second on the list.  

3. Lake Tinaroo 

Lake Tinaroo - - Image Credit IG soonminkwonphoto

Lake Tinaroo – Image Credit IG soonminkwonphoto

Some might think if you don’t have a boat, Lake Tinaroo isn’t for you. Well, we are here to debunk that myth – all you need is an inflatable, hydration, shade and sunscreen, and you are all set for a fantastic day out along the water’s edge at Tinaroo. The Lake caters for day trippers and holiday makers with manicured parks, barbecues, fire pits and amenities everywhere. Top picks include Platypus, Tinaburra and the Kairi side of the Lake. For overnight stays, Tinaroo Lake Resort and Lake Tinaroo Holiday Park offer great access to this huge lake that is almost the size of Sydney Harbour. 

4. Davies Creek Falls

Davies Creek Falls - Image Credit IG careless_advanture

Davies Creek Falls – Image Credit IG careless_advanture

They don’t call it nature’s most spectacular infinity pool for nothing. While you will  definitely work up a sweat on the 1.1km bushwalk in, the reward is well worth it. The Davies Creek Falls infinity pool is a deep swimming hole, perched above the edge of the sheer granite cliff that offers views that go on forever. There are lots of shaded rocks around this natural pool – but take care as they are slippery. 

5. Little Millstream Falls 

Little Millstream Falls - Image Credit IG taleighapetersen

Little Millstream Falls – Image Credit IG taleighapetersen

Little Millstream Falls, the overlooked sibling in the waterfall family, often stands in the shadow of its renowned big sister, Big Millstream Falls, the widest single-drop waterfall in Australia. Yet, Little Millstream Falls has its own charm to offer. It’s a secluded haven where you can do more than just admire from afar – you can actually get wet. Located upstream and accessible through a separate entrance in Millstream Falls National Park, Little Millstream beckons with a freshwater pool at its base, making it a perfect spot for a dip, sunbathing and picnic. The short 700-metre walk to the falls is rewarded with stunning views and an opportunity to appreciate this often-overlooked gem.

These freshwater swimming spots on the Atherton Tablelands are your summer saviour. Whether you’re chilling at Lake Eacham, sitting on the rocks at the base of Millaa Millaa Falls, or finding your own piece of paradise Davies Creek, there is a cool spot waiting for you to make a splash. So, grab your swimsuit, pack a picnic and let the Atherton Tablelands’ natural beauty take care of the rest.