Sink into relaxation in New South Wales’s unique Great Artesian Basin and discover the tiny towns that call the remote north‑west home.
Set in the New South Wales outback, this cruisy driving route explores the natural hot springs along the Great Artesian Basin, which also happens to be one of the largest and deepest artesian basins in the world. The basin spans a whopping 1.7 million square kilometres across one-fifth of the country – stretching from Cape York at the tip of Queensland, all the way down to the regional hub of Dubbo in Central New South Wales. What occurs, as a result, is a plethora of spa-like bores where pristine, mineral-laden water bubbles to the surface at warming temperatures. Join us as we follow the Great Artesian Drive to explore the most remote parts of New South Wales, and to sink into a Zen-like state with a soak in the natural pools.
Since its original construction in 1902, the Pilliga Artesian Bore Bath looks much like a swimming pool; however, once you descend the pool steps and submerge your body into the water, you’ll feel the heat of the natural spring relaxing you from head to toe. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, round off your trip to Pilliga with a visit to the Pilliga Hotel or Pilliga Cafe for all your favourite pub food, and then retire for the evening at one of the town’s surrounding camping grounds.
The Burren Junction Bore Baths are open all day, every day (except in summer – it’s too hot!), and are a popular attraction not only among visitors, but also with local residents. With a constant temperature of 41.5 degrees Celsius, the circular pool’s artesian water soothes, relaxes and restores sore muscles after a day trekking the wilderness or growing restless in the car. Come here to indulge in the therapeutic bathing experience like no other. Whether you’re after a relaxing swim during sunset, a sunny day splash fest, or a winter warmer, you’re bound to feel Zen in no time in Burren Junction.
Bid goodbye to Burren Junction and say hello to Moree, known as Australia’s artesian spa capital. To get here, travel two hours north-east from Burren Junction. Once you’re here, relaxation is imminent. Since 1895, hot spring water has been tapped in the town of Moree, which attracts upwards of 300,000 visitors each year. Driving past the $7-million, state-of-the-art Moree Artesian Aquatic Centre, it’s easy to see why – the centre is home to Olympic-sized public hot spring pools with temperatures varying from a mild 26 degrees Celsius to a semi‑scorching 41 degrees Celsius! If you’re after something a little more luxurious, book a private pool and experience all things wellness – massages, facials and other therapeutic activities are on offer, alongside a dip in the soothing, mineral-rich water.
To read more, check out the Spring 2022 edition of Caravanning Australia.
Image: The Great Artesian Drive (C) Destination NSW.