• Distance 3.1km
  • Altitude max 982m
  • Altitude min 890m
  • Duration 1.5 hours
  • Trail type Return
Three Stars

Three Stars

Worth Doing

The Australian Hiker Experience Rating is a measure of the overall quality of a walk. It is intended to help you decide whether to walk a trail, not to measure anything objective. Consider this our personal take on the walk.

Grade Three

Grade Three

Suitable for most ages and fitness levels. Some bushwalking experience recommended. Tracks may have short steep hill sections a rough surface and many steps. Walks up to 20km.

The Australian Grading system is based on the australian standard for measuring trail hikes.

Rubbish Bins
Camping Grounds

Yarrangobilly River Walk NSW (3.1km)

Kościuszko National Park

Nearest Town

  • Adaminaby, NSW

Starting Location

The parking location for this walk is in the dedicated car park not far past Visitor Centre on the right and will accoomdate approximately 20 cars providing people park correctly


Finish Location

Car park

Best Time of the Year to Walk


  • Check the status of this walk prior to travelling

Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool Walk Review

While people may have heard of the Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool Walk I doubt many would be aware of the Yarrangobilly River Walk. This walk is identified by the NSW Parks Service as a loop walk that travels along the Yarrangobilly River and at its mid point you come across the Thermal Pool. While the Thermal Pool walk is all about walking down to and back up from the pool and is really about getting to your destinations by the shortest route possible, the river walk provides an opportunity for a real bush walk along the narrow river corridor. This walk can be done as a loop but we wouldn’t recommend it and instead this walk is best done as an ‘out and back walk’ – we’ll explain why shortly.

For us this was the second walk of the day and when we sat down after the Thermal Pool Walk we realised that if you’re going to do this walk as a loop without car shuffling, there are two possible starting points providing four possible direction options.

  1. Start at the Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool car park, walk down on the trail towards the river before reaching the Thermal Pool. From the pool walk, head back up towards the Thermal Pool car park where you have parked your vehicle.
    1. From our perspective if you’re doing a loop then do it this way
  2. Start at the Yarrangobilly Thermal Pool car park, walk down to the lower car park and then walk on to the river towards the Thermal Pool and then head back up to the Thermal Pool car park.
    1. This option is what most people seemed to be doing on the day we were there – the people we passed in our car all looked shattered as they walked the last section on a dry, dusty and busy road.
  3. Start at the lower car park, walk down towards the river and the reach the Thermal Pool. Then head up to the Thermal Pool car park and then down the (dusty) road to the lower car park to finish your walk.
    1. This option still provides you with a loop.
  4. Start at the lower car park, walk up towards the Thermal Pool car park and then downhill towards the pool. Once you have reached the pool head along the river and back up to your starting point at the lower car park.

Ideally if this is going to be a proper loop, then the road walking section needs to be moved to an off-road trail.

Why you shouldn’t do a loop

After looking at the options, we decided to park at the lower car park, walk long the river to the pool, then turn around and head back the way we came. We decided this was the best option after seeing the shattered look on peoples faces who were doing the full loop. This option also meant we were spending more time walking along the river and not doing any road walking.

The walk itself

The walk down to the river requires you to pay attention to the signage but once you take the turn off down towards the river its pretty much impossible to get lost. The trail along the river is formed natural trail and includes a rocky section as you make your way down to the river gorge. The trip isn’t overly difficult but one thing to note that in the hotter weather its very snakey. We saw a Copperhead on the way to the pool and if you look at the video slide show below it appears not to be moving. It took me banging on the ground with my walking pole for it to slowly slither off. On the way back we came across a Red Belly Black snake. In both cases, hikers were moving along the trail regularly but the snakes weren’t moving.

We reached the Thermal Pool through the small barbecue/picnic area which is the best area for shade. 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 into the Yarrangobilly River which is around 80 metres away.

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. After we had our fill of the pool we turned around and made our way back to our starting point for an approximate trip of 3.1 km and about 90 minutes.

This is the ‘bush walk’ version of the Thermal Pool Walk and provided you don’t want the shortest route possible then this would be my first choice as the river corridor is lovely.

Yarrangobilly area entry

No caravans

Access into Yarrangobilly is on a one way loop road

Visitor Centre at Yarrangobilly

Interpretation area at the Visitor Centre

Trailhead start at the end of the car park

The left branch goes up to the Thermal Pool car park. The right branch is the direction you want

Follow the River Walk sign

Heading down the hill

Yarrangobilly River Walk trail example

Yarrangobilly River Walk trail example

Turn left at this this sign and head down towards the river

Down towards Yarrangobilly River

Yarrangobilly River Walk trail example

Yarrangobilly River Walk just before reaching the river

Yarrangobilly River

Picnic area at the Thermal Pool

Kiddie pool

Seating at the Thermal Pool

Yarrangobilly Caves Thermal Pool walk image. The colour is amazing when the sun is out. The main pool varies in depth from 2.5 metres to about 1.7 metres 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

Yarrangobilly River Walk overgrown barbecue. We only noticed this on the way back

Heading back up the hill

Heading back to the car park

Car park for Yarrangobilly River Walk

Trail Video


This short video contains photos and videos to show you the walk from start to finish

Getting There

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

Things to know

  • Phone: There is variable phone signal on this trail (Telstra)
  • Water: There is a water bubbler at the pool otherwise filter from the adjacent river
  • Toilets: There are toilets on this trail next to the Thermal Pool change rooms
  • Trail: This trail is on formed trail
  • Dogs: Dogs are NOT allowed
  • Camping: No camping is allowed on this trail
  • Other: 
    • Pay attention to the signage otherwise you may end up on a nearby trail
    • There is limited shade at the pool so be sun smart
    • $4 per vehicle per day applies at Yarrangobilly Caves for motor vehicles without a Kosciuszko National Park day pass or NPWS All Parks annual pass
    • Pool access 7:00am-7:00pm
    • Bring some swimmers and a towel!
    • Expect to see snakes in the warmer weather

This car park will comfortably fit around 20+ cars


This walk was undertaken by the team from Australian Hiker

Last updated

3 March 2024

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