I have been in Canberra for four years now and am ashamed to admit that I have not explored the area as much as I should have in that time. Actually, at all. So with the Best of Canberra moving away from food to the best things to do around here more generally, I am happy to begin exploring.
When the call went out for the best river and lake swimming holes in and around Canberra, some readers felt it best to stick to the local pool or crash at the neighbours’ place. Whilst tempted to lie on the warm tiles beside my mate’s pool for the afternoon, I put the adventure hat on, (got to be sun-safe), and went to test the waters at two of our readers’ favourites: Uriarra Crossing and Casuarina Sands.
Uriarra Crossing has a lush, shaded area filled with little BBQs and massive picnic tables. I love the look of it because it makes me want to come back with friends to have a picnic and throw the Frisbee around or bring the football to play a bit of touch. Pets are allowed and I can see that being a big attraction. I would absolutely love to take my Jack Russell with me next time. Having not been in a river for quite some time, venturing into the water is a bit slow and slippery but you easily get used to it. There is nothing quite like swimming in an open area and surrounded by nature. The cockatoo in the distance certainly had something to say about it!
Next stop was Casuarina Sands. It is a bit more established with metal BBQs and picnic tables and ramps for disabled access. Dogs aren’t allowed and there isn’t much room for running around until you get to the sand. However, once I reached the water I felt as though I was so far removed from everything and instantly relaxed. It isn’t close to rapids as Uriarra Crossing is, so everything seemed to be at peace. I loved watching the ducks fly up and land ever so gracefully in the water. I can see myself going back with an inflatable boat in summer to just drift in ignorance and bliss.
Despite the serenity of Casuarina Sands, I’m awarding the swim-off to Uriarra Crossing. I love a good patch of grass to run around on and a refreshing river handy to dive into when the heat becomes too much. I recommend Casuarina Sands though, for a chilled afternoon out with friends.