Tropical North Queensland is well known for its World Heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef and Daintree Rainforest, but a new tourism experience is set to position the tropics as one of Australia’s go-to destinations for natural hot springs and jaw-dropping spa pools.
Talaroo Hot Springs will open in May 2021 and join the likes of Jarramali Rock Art Tours’ infinity spa, Cardwell Spa Pools and Innot Hot Springs as Tropical North Queensland’s quartet of natural hot springs and spas.
Talaroo Hot Springs to open on Savannah Way in May
When you think of hot springs, the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park and Hanmer Hot Springs in New Zealand immediately come to mind. However, you’ll soon be able to add Queensland’s Gulf Country to the list with the upcoming opening of Talaroo Hot Springs.
A 65-million-year-old geological wonder, the Talaroo Hot Springs are one of only two mound springs in Australia and the only one that is not fed by the Great Artesian Basin. Talaroo will open in May 2021 and feature private soaking pools, new boardwalk to view the springs, a caravan park and campground, onsite cafe, “Yarning Circle” firepit, and tours led by the Ewamian Traditional Owners.
Located within 31,5000ha of rugged Savannah landscape, the hot springs are fed by water that travels for 20,000 years after falling in the neighbouring Newcastle Ranges. By the time the water reaches the springs, its temperature sits at around 53-63 degrees Celsius, with the main bathing pools a balmy 35 degrees Celsius catering for year-round dips.
A former cattle station, the property on the Einasleigh River was purchased on behalf of the Ewamian Indigenous people nine years ago through the National Reserve System and has been managed since as an Indigenous Protected Area and Nature Refuge by the Ewamian Rangers. The new tourism experience allows the Ewamian people to share their culture and provide visitors with a deeper spiritual connection to the land through their guided tours.
Talaroo Hot Springs is a 4.5 hour drive from Cairns along the Savannah Way or via comfortable scenic rail journey on the Savannahlander train.
Jarramali’s escarpment-top infinity spa
A new addition to the Jarramali Rock Art Tours experience, the Jarramali Spa atop the rugged sandstone escarpment helps guests disconnect from the day-to-day and appreciate the moment they are in. Located west of the township of Laura, making it one of the country’s most remote infinity pools, the dreamy spa can only be accessed by joining one of Johnny Murison’s small group tours.
Jarramali Rock Art Tours depart from either Cairns or Laura and takes guests on a journey through thousands of years of Indigenous culture and history. Hear stories from Johnny about his ancestors and connection to country as you make your way via 4WD to the Jarramli bush camp.
The highlight of the trip is a guided tour through the 20,000-year-old Magnificent Gallery at one of the Quinkan Rock Art sites, rated by UNESCO as one of the ten most significant bodies of rock art in the world for its variety, quantity, quality and preserved brilliance. However, sunrise calls for an early start to witness the warm hues of the sun crawl over the escarpment as you relax in the infinity pool.
Cardwell’s natural spa pool
Cardwell Spa Pools, a natural swimming hole and a geological phenomenon 2.5 hours south of Cairns, has quickly emerged as a favourite amongst nature-lovers, photographers and travellers looking for a magical Instagram shot.
Thanks to the mix of minerals and natural underground water source, the eye-catching colours of the pools can change between a soft turquoise and a mystical milky blue depending on the time of day, brightness and angle at which the sunlight hits the water.
This popular swimming spot is located a short drive from the town of Cardwell is best visited following the summer season when the pools flow deep with refreshing clear-running water.
Don’t wait, get ‘Innot’!
Those travelling out to the iconic Undara Lava Tubes should factor in a stop at the geo-thermal expeirence that is Innot Hot Springs. Located halfway between Ravenshoe on the Atherton Tablelands and Mount Garnet, Innot Hot Springs has been highly sought-after Cairns Hinterland ‘hot spot’ for many years. Even as far back as the 1900s, the spring water at Nettle Creek was bottled up and shipped back to Europe to spread its rejuvenating benefits. Today, visitors can pay a fee to access one of six temperature-controlled thermal pools at the Innot Hot Springs Leisure and Health Park, or go natural, and venture into the shallow sandy creek to bask in the revitalizing waters for free.
Dive into your next Tropical North Queensland adventure by adding these wonderous natural springs and spas to your road trip list.
Editor’s note: For the latest information on COVID-19 travel restrictions and advice in Queensland, click here.
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