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.

Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve
Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

Access to the Waterfall is by this staircase.

Berry Springs

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. 

Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

The Waterfall - Berry Springs

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. 

Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

Looking from the Waterfall pool towards the Main pool - Berry Springs

Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

Picnic Area

Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

BBQ's and public seating

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. 

Key Points

  • BYO Pool Noodle
  • If you plan on having a picnic, bring your own chairs if have them (just in case).
  • Bring Insect Repellent if you plan on visiting early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
  • If the car park is full, the pools are full - there's no point stopping.
  • Don't count on the Kiosk being open - bring your own water, drinks and food. 
  • Respect the area, and clean up after yourself - use the bins provided.
  • Check the Springs are open before visiting - Check the NT Govt Parks website
Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve
Main Pool Berry Springs Nature Reserve

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

Click on any image to see the full size photo. 

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About the site

I'm Sharon McKenzie and I’ve always loved spending time in and around water - which is not always easy when you live in Darwin. Living in the Northern Territory certainly poses some interesting challenges.

I enjoy swimming, snorkeling and Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and the weather in the Top End lets me do this year round.  

Darwin and the Top End of Australia is such a unique place. Many Aussies who usually travel overseas are exploring Australia at the moment.

I hope that if you're planning on visiting the Top End, that you'll find some useful information on this site so that your adventures are fun, safe and enjoyable.

Sharon McKenzie

Sharon McKenzie