Berry Springs Nature Reserve
A little hidden treasure on the outskirts of Darwin is Berry Springs Nature Reserve.
Berry Springs Nature Reserve is around 40 minutes drive south along the Stuart Highway from the Darwin CBD. It's a double lane, duel carriage way right up to the Berry Springs turn off.
Turn right onto the Cox Peninsula Road off the Stuart Highway, following the signs to the Territory Wildlife Park. Around 10 minutes after turning onto Cox Peninsular Road you'll come across the Berry Springs Nature Reserve on your right hand side.
Berry Springs is a very popular spot for the locals. It's not as widely advertised in the tourist brochures. Tourists tend to be more focused on the big national parks of Kakadu and Litchfield, leaving Berry Springs to the locals.
This is a quiet swimming spot with picnic tables and chairs spread out on the shady grassed area between the car park and the river. There are public toilets, and a small kiosk. To be honest, in all the times I've been there, I've never seen the kiosk open, so don't count on it... make sure you pack your own snacks and drinks.
It's a short walk from the carpark to the swimming holes, and you'll pass through the public BBQ's and seating along the way. These are nicely spaced out but it's always good to bring your own chairs if you have them.
The water quality is monitored and from time to time it will be closed so check to see if it's open before heading out. It does close for a few weeks or months during the Wet Season as the water becomes very fast flowing and dangerous for swimmers during this time.
There are 3 pool areas - the top waterfall, the main pool and the lower pool. You can swim from one pool to the next via the pandanus lined creek.
The waterfall area is access by a staircase. The main pool has 2 separate entry points, and the lower pool has one entry point, which is easily accessed.
You can stand in the Waterfall pool and the Lower Pool but the Main Pool is deep. Make sure you bring your pool noodle with you.
There are shaded areas around each of the entry points to the pools.
It's free entry to the Nature Reserve and there are recycling and general waste bins on site - so please use them.
If the car park is full then the waterholes will be crowded. I last went on a weekday around lunchtime at the start of the Dry Season in 2021. The water was still warm, but I was surprised how many people were enjoying the pools at the time. It wasn't overly crowded, just unexpected.
Berry Springs is also a great place for breakfast, or a lazy late afternoon swim and sunbathe. Make sure you pack the insect spray if you plan on going at either end of the day.
Make a Day Of It
visit the territory wildlife park
When my kids were little, I'd take them early in the day to the Territory Wildlife Park. After the Wildlife Park we'd stop in at Berry Springs for a swim on the way back to Darwin. I'd pack an esky with drinks and sandwiches, along with our bathers, and towels. After a cooling swim and lunch at Berry Springs, you can easily be back in Darwin by mid to late afternoon.
Berry Springs Nature Reserve - Image Gallery
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