Australian adventurers adding Cardwell Pool Spa, near Cairns, to their travel bucket list: Hidden gems

Adventurers discover a ‘strikingly blue’ swimming hole in the middle of a lush rainforest – but you’ll have to be quick to see it

  • Travelers rave about a breathtakingly vibrant natural pool set in the rainforest
  • Cardwell Spa Pool is a natural swimming hole two hours south of Cairns
  • It is best visited from May to September as the summer rains wash away its colour
  • The light aqua tone is due to the chemistry between the water and the rocks

A remote bright blue natural pool in the middle of the rainforest draws visitors from across Australia – but you’ll have to be quick if you want to see it at its best.

Cardwell Spa Pools is a naturally fed swimming hole in tropical Far North Queensland that is a spectacular turquoise color thanks to the chemistry between the rocks and the water.

The enchanting seasonal pools are a two and a half hour drive south of Cairns and are best seen between May and September.

Cardwell Spa Pools is a naturally fed swimming hole in tropical Far North Queensland that has a spectacular milky turquoise color thanks to the chemistry between the rocks and the water

Cardwell Spa Pools is a naturally fed swimming hole in tropical Far North Queensland that has a spectacular milky turquoise color thanks to the chemistry between the rocks and the water

The enchanting seasonal pools are a two and a half hour drive south of Cairns and are best seen between May and September

The enchanting seasonal pools are a two and a half hour drive south of Cairns and are best seen between May and September

Its incredible waters are naturally fed from underground reservoirs and are surrounded by lush rainforest and rock formations that create a natural pool and babbling brooks

Its incredible waters are naturally fed from underground reservoirs and are surrounded by lush rainforest and rock formations that create a natural pool and babbling brooks

Voted a “must visit” by travelers, social media is awash with picture-perfect images of the stunning Cardwell Pools.

Its incredible waters are naturally fed from underground reservoirs and are surrounded by lush rainforest and rock formations that create a natural pool and babbling brooks.

The stunning swimming hole’s water level fluctuates year-round and sometimes dries up completely, and heavy rains in the wet summer months can wash out the pool and lose its bright blue colour.

Voted a

Voted a “must visit” by travelers, social media is awash with picture perfect images of the stunning Cardwell Pools

The stunning swimming hole's water level fluctuates year-round and heavy rains during the wet summer months can wash out the pool and lose its bright blue colour

Geological experts have suggested that the pool's aqua color is due to minerals the water absorbs from sedimentary rocks, resulting in high levels of magnesium and calcium

The swimming hole’s water level fluctuates year-round, and heavy rains during the wet summer months can wash out the pool and lose its bright blue color

The unique color often varies throughout the day from a clear baby blue to a cloudy turquoise, depending on the time of day and sunlight

The unique color often varies throughout the day from a clear baby blue to a cloudy turquoise, depending on the time of day and sunlight

Why is the Cardwell Spa Pool so blue?

The science behind the color can get a bit complicated, but our team of geological experts suggest the blue color comes from the chemistry of the rocks and water.

Much of the water that flows into the creek comes from underground, where it picks up minerals from the sedimentary rocks, resulting in high levels of dissolved magnesium and calcium in the water.

Depending on the time of day and available sunlight, the color can vary from a light baby blue to a milkier blue.

Source: Tropical North Queensland

While it’s still a mystery, geological experts have theorized that the pool’s aqua color is due to minerals the water absorbing from sedimentary rocks, resulting in high levels of magnesium and calcium.

The unique color often varies throughout the day from a clear baby blue to a cloudy turquoise, depending on the time of day and sunlight.

One visitor said Cardwell Pools is a “gem off the beaten track and the color is “not like you’ve ever seen before”.

Another warned, despite being billed as a “spa pool”, the water isn’t warm, while a third said it’s a “beautiful blue mineral oasis tucked away on the outskirts of Cardwell”.

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Bradford Betz

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