Now that the sun is scorching and temperatures are rising, the desperation for a swim gets higher and higher. If you’re not blessed with a backyard swimming pool, don’t want to swim in a public pool, and can’t take the two and a half hour drive to the beach, your options in Canberra are fairly limited.
Enter Kambah Pool.
I’d heard about this place from a few friends. Some said they would take their kids there for a paddle, others used to enjoy picnics down there. All in all, it sounded like a nice place. It’s situated as part of the Murrumbidgee River, about 5 minutes drive from the centre of Kambah. I went there over the weekend to take a look around. I thought it was beautiful, down next to a mountain, the only sounds being the water lapping against the shore, wildbirds singing and wind through the trees. There weren’t many people there which surprised me. One family with a small child, and another family of about 4 people sitting in the shade. I’m not sure if I would ever go swimming there though. There was a bit of gross chemical foamy stuff on the shore, and a warning sign about blue-green algae.
I’d heard rumours that Kambah Pool was a nudist area. When we first arrived we took the stairs to the left, to the Pool. The right side pointed to a rock pool. We ventured to the rockpool later. Just as you’d expect, lots of rocks and rapids. I dipped my feet in to feel the temperature (much warmer than I had anticipated!) but you can’t really swim there. I was also met with a sign: ‘NUDE BATHING AREA 200m’. So it’s not actually a “rumour” that it’s a nudist area, it’s a designated spot. I have no problem with this, as I’m sure most people don’t. It’s clearly pointed out with a huge sign – if you’re not paying attention and wander up there, you can only blame yourself for whatever shock you might encounter.
One friend had previously told me about the ‘extra-curricular activities’ that sometimes take place at the ol’ swimming hole. And I don’t even mean nude sunbathing and swimming. I’m talking about full blown adult activities. My friend, let’s call him Pedro, used to frequent Kambah Pool quite a bit. Turns out it’s quite the meeting area for gay and bisexual couples. Like the nude bathing, I don’t care what people get up to amongst the sand dunes. As long as it takes place somewhere hidden to remove any chance of a child spotting it, who cares.
Essentially, when you arrive at Kambah Pool – if you brought your swimmers, turn left. If you didn’t, turn right. The Pool on the left hand side is completely family friendly. Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed though.
Aside from picnicking, swimming and getting naked, Kambah Pool is quite a popular fishing spot – although the fish population is mainly carp. There’s also a 7km walk from Kambah Pool to Pine Island. I’ve heard it’s lovely but maybe one for spring when the weather is a bit tamer.