The Thermal Pools Walk has its own dedicated car park that providing people park correctly, will fit approximately 20 cars
The Thermal Pools Walk car park
The Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool Walk is probably one of Kosciusko National Park’s best known walks and one that is ‘Insta’ famous. This is another of those walks we have been trying to do for around three years and for various reasons, have never been able to make the time.
First up what its a thermal pool? Thermal pools/Hhot springs are natural water bodies where the water is heated naturally from an underground source. Typically when you think of hot springs what comes to mind is a natural water body which is what this site used to be. In the case of a thermal pool you think more of a constructed body and that’s what Yarrangabilly Thermal Pool is.
This hot spring was turned into a ‘pool’ in 1896 when a woody surround was constructed but the current pool came into being in 1969. The bottom of the pool is natural rock and approximately 2.5 metres deep with some shallower sections. Approximately 100,000 litres an hour of water flows from the main pool down into the ‘kiddie pool’ below before flowing out underground in the Yarrangobilly River which is around 80 metres away.
One of the reasons we haven’t managed to get to this site previously is the distance from Canberra which means that for us we have a 2.75 hour drive each way. While I was aware of this walk, I wasn’t aware of the other walks in this area and for that matter the caves so we will definitely be back to do the other walks.
We had an early start leaving home around 5:45am in the morning to do our usual stop at McDonald’s before reaching the Kiandra Courthouse f0r a quick toilet break. We realised the only time we had been down this road previously was when I did the the Kiandra to Namadgi Visitor Centre walk in 2019.
We continued on down the road and took the turnoff to the Yarrangobilly area consisting of 6 km of road on a mixture of bitumen and then dirt surface. This road is a one way road and was in good condition at the time we did this walk so is suitable for all types of vehicle.
We hit the Yarrangobilly village which is where the visitor centre is. Please note that there is no entry gate on this road so unless you have a parks pass, you will need to pay an entry fee when the visitor centre opens at 9:00am. We arrived early and after a short stop at the visitor centre which has a water fill point, rubbish bins and an outdoor interpretation centre, we head s short distance up the hill to the Thermal Pool car park which has the potential to fit around 20 vehicles (depending people’s parking ability) and started our walk around 8:30am.
This walk starts with roughly 700 metres downhill on a wide management road. Shortly after your start you come across a new wifi kiosk that provides wifi access if you feel so inclined – this looks like the way of the future for many national parks.
We reached the pool and had it to ourselves for a short period before others started to arrive. This pool has good facilities with a change room and toilet located up the hill on the opposite side of the trail. One thing to note as a set of facilities built in 1969 is that the stairs up aren’t easy for anyone and don’t have handrails. There are also a couple of small seating benches at the pool and a water bubbler as well, and towards the river there are a couple of benches and wood barbecues not far from the pool.
What’s missing from this area is shade so if you’re planning on staying for an extended period, you may want to factor that in. We stayed at the pool area for around an hour and that seemed to be the case for other groups that came and went during the morning.
The water temperature is quoted at 27 degrees Celcicus which is what olympic pools are suppose to be and I find that cold. In this case the water seemed hotter than that and I found it to be really comfortable even though it was early in the day.
At the time we did this walk that there was a family of ducks in resident that had pooped everywhere!
After we had our fill of the pool we made our way back up the hill to the car park for a round trip of 1.7 km over 90 minutes.
By no means is this a ‘bushwalk’ but it’s in a bush setting and the pool is well worth a visit. In our case we did a second walk on this day which we’ll review in the next couple of weeks. It would be very easy to spend a 2-3 day weekend to do more of what’s on offer.
There will be a full closure of the Yarrangobilly Caves precinct from Monday 26 February 2024 until Thursday 29 February 2024 due to road maintenance and other works. This closure will affect entry and exit roads, all walking trails and accommodation, the thermal pool and the Yarrangobilly Caves Visitor Centre.
The precinct will reopen to the public on Friday 1 March 2024.
Yarrangobilly area entry
Access into Yarrangobilly is on a one way loop road
Vistor centre at Yarrangobilly
Interpretation area at the visitor centre
Trailhead start at the end of the car park
Wifi kiosk near the top of the hill at the Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool walk provides access you wouldn’t otherwise get. You just need to scan the QR code and log in
Seat near the top of the Thermal Pool walk
Heading down the hill
The pool as viewed coming down the hill
Down the bottom of the hill
Picnic area at the Thermal pool
Seating at the thermal pool
Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool walk image. the colour is amazing when the sun it out. The main. pool varies in depth from 2.5 meters to about 1.7 meters at the shallowest. The bottom is natural rock
Gill in the Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool. If you get there early you may even have the pool to yourself
Interpretation signage at the thermal pool
Change rooms at the thermal pool
Toilets at the thermal pool
Stairs down from the change rooms and toilets. These stairs are steep and there is no handrail so take it easy going up and down
On the way back up from the thermal pool
This short video contains photos and videos to show you the walk from start to finish
This site can be accessed from various locations. The above map shows the trip from Cooma which is about 115 km and a 90 minute drive
This site can be accessed from various locations. The above map shows the trip from Tumut which is about 75 km and a 60 minute drive
This car park will comfortably fit around 20+ cars
This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker
11 February 2024