The most common feedback I get from readers of The Bushwalking Blog is that they “just want more hikes to do”. I get it – hiking is my passion too. I do more hikes than I’d ever have the time to write about, so that’s why I’ve decided Bare Bones Bushwalking is now a thing. Not every hike has a story I can attach to it and some I just don’t get around to writing up, so in an effort to share ALL of (or at least more of) the hikes with you I’m doing this. A more simplified blog post that gives you everything you need to go and do the hike yourself. Make your own stories.
Mermaid Pools (aka Mermaid’s Pool) is a popular swimming and cliff jumping spot in Tahmoor Gorge, just outside Tahmoor, south-west of Sydney.
Tahmoor Gorge is a stunning location known mainly to locals, that is unfortunately not protected by any state or national park. As such, its popularity is a little too apparent and its beauty is partly marred a fair amount of rubbish and graffiti. I didn’t find that this ruined my visit, though. I’d still recommend you go and check it out.
Despite its popularity as a swimming hole, I didn’t entertain the idea of swimming there. There’s only one way into that water and that’s via a very high cliff jump (I think the lowest option is about 10 metres). Even worse, the only way out is to climb back up with the only assistance being a dodgy rope.
No judgements on anyone who cliff jumps at Mermaid Pools. I’ve done far stupider things in my life.
I’m all for cliff diving and I’m all for taking fun risks in general, but they need to be well thought out risks. Too many people die and are seriously injured for my liking. Want proof? Do a Google news search for injuries or deaths there.
If you’re looking for a swim after your walk, it might be worth checking out the nearby See Thru Pools.
Back to the hike at hand, this track actually takes you through some gorgeous vegetation and follows a pretty part of the Bargo River. One particularly interesting section is Potholes, where river rocks have carved holes into the riverbed. The end of the walk is a cliff overlooking Mermaid Pools / Mermaid’s Pool. This is a perfect spot to stop for some lunch if it’s not too busy.
If you’re keen to check out the rest of the gorge, there is also a 10-kilometre loop walk. However, I haven’t done it and can’t find any detailed information about it online.
Need to Know
Last Visited: 2013
Length: 4 km
Time: 2 hrs
Grade: Moderate / Grade 4 (according to the Australian Walking Track Grading System).
Region: New South Wales
Closest Town: Tahmoor (3 km)
Car Access: From Tahmoor, head east on Rockford Road until you cross Rockford Bridge. Take a right on Charles Point Road and immediately turn into the car park. From the car park walk north under the bridge and you should find the signed trailhead.
Map: I haven’t been able to find any map that covers this walking track but it’s relatively easy to follow. We found a rough map nailed to a tree near the start of the trail.
Have you visited Brisbane Ranges National Park? Got it on your bucket list? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.
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