My obsession with waterholes and pools had me try and cram as much as I could into my recent trip in WA’s South West.
I was staying in Siesta Park Holiday Resort – half way between Busselton and Dunsborough – when I came across an article on SoPerth – “Perth’s Top Unique Swimming Spots: Beaches, Swimming Holes, Lakes and Rivers.” (which is ultimately misleading because most of them are not actually in Perth at all). But anyway. I did find a few places I’d never heard of, Barrabup Pool being one of them.
Located in Nannup, a small country town located inland, though still in the shire of the South West region (and according to Google, about 280km from Perth), Barrabup pool was a mere hour away from where I was staying.
So I thought, what the hell.
I visited the pool with my sister and her boyfriend, and we set out along Caves Road heading towards Busselton, avoiding the town centre by turning right into Bussell Highway instead of going straight ahead, and then left onto the Busselton Bypass. We followed that until Vasse Highway came up on the right.
Road Map. Bussell Highway to Vasse Highway. Google Maps (2017).
From Vasse Highway we turned right onto Sues Road and then left into Mowen Road when it came up (which used to be gravel, but has now been transformed into smooth bitumen).
Brook Road is the road you’re after to find the pool – which comes off to the left of Mowen Road (or right if you continued to follow Vasse Highway instead). Brook Road is a gravel road, though we managed perfectly fine in a Honda Accord.
If you’re coming from Perth (straight down the Kwinana Freeway which then turns into Forest Highway), it’s virtually the same route – though you’ll turn left into Vasse Highway from Busselton Bypass instead of right. Simple!
Road Map. Barrabup Pool. Google Maps (2017).
You’ll also notice some signs on your way down Brook Road that point out “Workmans Pool” off to the left. This is because the area was used for saw-milling in the nineteenth century as part of The Old Timberline Trail.
For some reason, the workers weren’t allowed to swim in the Barrabup Pool and so Workman’s Pool was given its name. Make sure to read all the signs and info when you’re there to gain some knowledge of the history!
Barrabup pool itself is naturally formed, with surrounding trees and shrub making it a very secluded and peaceful spot. We only basked in the pool for a short time, though if you did want to stay longer there is a camping spot nearby with minimalistic facilities (tables, fire pits and drop toilets). If you want more info on camping, visit Park Stay.
The wooden platform (pictured in the cover photo) has steps on either side allowing you to enter the pool, which at the time that we visited (January), was a bit chilly but not too cold. In fact, it was probably the perfect temperature in hindsight, even at 10am in the morning.
There are also a few other entry points around the pool, though they are slimy so be careful.
Once submerged, you can glide through the pool with ease and a very strong sense of being within nature – there is nothing but the sound of the trees, birds, cicadas and the buzz of dragonflies whizzing past (or, you know, landing on your hand while you’re sitting on a log).
The water may look a tad dirty, but it is actually quite fresh and pristine. We giggled because our arms and legs looked bright orange when under the water – much like Georgia’s botched fake tan in Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (which is still a classic film and I must remind myself to watch it again soon).
And here’s me laying in the fresh water!
I would highly recommend making the trip to this pool, though if you’re travelling from Perth perhaps try to fit in a few others along the way to make the trip worthwhile.