To make the most of what’s left of the sunshine, we went for a hike to the Mermaid Pools, it’s located in a suburb called Tahmoor, about 1.5 hours south west of Sydney. It’s not too long a hike, you’ll need about 3 hours return (if you’re just heading to the pool and back), allow more time if you want to do the whole canyon.
Bear in mind that the track is not signed, you’ll be relying on the map below and a series of small yellow markers and occasional arrow on the ground to guide you. The track is mostly visible but it is possible to stray away from it without realising.
There’s an old map provided by the council. It was originally done with North facing down so keep that in mind when navigating, I might retouch it the right way later.
Download a pdf here: Mermaids-Pool-Map
Once you arrive, there’s a little dirt patch/car park on Charles Point Road (just off Rockford or Arina Road). Park your car here and follow the dirt road (keeping right) until you get to a bridge (Pheasants Nest Ford Crossing Bridge).
We initially went left and found a little lake, this doesn’t really lead anywhere though.
Just past the bridge is an area called The Potholes, a bunch of swirl holes from the creek water (you can see the bridge in the background).
I found one particular hole amusing as water would gush in but not out, a little like magic.
Keep to the right until you reach the track, there are small yellow markers and you’ll reach a point where the track splits. There are arrows spray painted on the ground marked M (for Matilda track). Follow either, the tracks meet up, the top is meant to be easier.
Shortly after the tracks converge, a path splits to the left, this is an area called the See Through pools, a very nice place to stop with pools to swim in and a small waterfall. We stopped here for lunch and it’s definitely a nice place to chill. We climbed down a few rocks to get here, but I do believe there is an easier path. We got too keen and just decided to come down, but if you follow the path a bit longer there’s one that goes left and back down.
After a short break we kept going until we reached the Mermaid Pool. Some markings denote the split, one to the pools and one to the canyon that surrounds.
What’s here? A lovely secluded pool.
Entry via a 10 meter cliff jump only, also the pretty stern warning from the top.
Water’s pretty cold, but refreshing. On the other end of the pool is also a rope swing. When we arrived there was only a small group of guys and a couple, so it’s a pretty quiet place to relax.
Exit via climbing some rocks with the assistance of a rope. Harder than it looks and there’s a few holes into the rocks so it’s a bit like rock climbing.
We went a little further to find the lookout that overlooks the pools from the other side but didn’t quite make it. You’ll see the vantage point we were after in the Eat Sleep Hike link below. We got to the spot below and decided that would be good enough. The sun was setting soon and we didn’t want to walk in the dark so it was time to go back.
We were going to make another stop at the See Through pools but found a different path down where we saw this old engine just sitting there. Not sure where it’s from, perhaps a ship or similar, way too big for a car.
Ended the day with some longer exposures of the flowing water along the creek.
Also a head-stand, why not?
For more information about the walk, see these links below. I should have been a little more detailed in providing guidance, but half the fun is trying to figure out where to go.
- Eat. Sleep. Hike. – http://www.eatsleephike.com/mermaid-pools-and-tahmoor-gorge/
- David Noble – http://www.david-noble.net/blog/?p=9053