Wild swimmers flock to hidden waterfall pool in Australia, despite rumors of sewage
Theories swirling online suggest that the pool may be contaminated, but the biggest danger is likely the wet rocks
A waterfall pool in an Australian National Park has gained notoriety after videos of wild swimmers began circulating on social media, followed by claims that the pool might actually be flooded with sewage from a nearby water treatment plant.
The Woy Woy waterfall pool is relatively small, and situated on the edge of a cliff with impressive views down into the park. This has made it a popular swimming spot, but sites including the New York Post have raised concern about the cleanliness of the water, quoting commenters on some of the videos who have suggested the water is contaminated by "a rubbish disposal nearby" or "faecal coliforms" (bacteria from the digestive tracts of animals).
However, there's no proof that these statements are true. In fact, the biggest danger appears to be the steep climb down to the water.
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The Woy Woy pool can be found beyond the end of an established hiking trail, and according to AllTrails, the route is moderately challenging. It seems to have become particularly popular in recent months; the owner of YouTube channel Hunting Waterfalls remarked that he had to set out early in the morning to be certain that he'd have it to himself.
Those claiming the water is tainted with sewage might have an altruistic reason for trying to scare off tourists, though. Scrambling down from the trail to the water involves traversing some tricky rocks. These are noted to be slippery after rain, and could present a danger to inexperienced hikers who don't know when it's best to turn back.
If you're planning to go wild swimming anywhere, make sure you take responsibility for your own safety, and be particularly aware of the dangers of cold water. Lakes, pools, and rivers are usually much colder than the air temperature, even on a hot day, causing your body temperature to drop rapidly.
Always go with a friend, make sure you know how to get out before you enter, and ease yourself in slowly to avoid cold water shock. For more advice, see our guide what is wild swimming,
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Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).
By Cat Ellis