Why You Need To Visit The Amazing Mares Forest Creek Canyon Near Sydney

If you’re looking for things to do in Sydney and up for a bit of adventure, we whole heartedly recommend visiting the Mares Forest Creek Canyon at Wombeyan Caves. Honestly, I doubt you’ll find anywhere more impressive than this spectacular place.

Related post: A weekend at Wombeyan Caves

Last year, I was sent a book called Wild Swimming in Sydney. It was the best book I have ever had as it introduced me to a whole new world of adventure.

I spent the summer, exploring all the best wild swimming spots in Sydney, but the most mind-blowing, incredible place mentioned was at Wombeyan Caves in the Mares Forest Creek Canyon!

Related post: 9 Best wild swimming spots in Sydney

It actually took us 4 hours to get there because we went a long way round but go to Goulburn then up from there. The scenery on the off road track is amazing.

There’s an awesome camp ground there at the caves and an information centre so naturally we went in to ask where the track started. After 30 minutes, we got to the canyon and hid our few things under a rock before stripping off in our swimmers.

At the start of the pool, it doesn’t look like anything but around the corner it gets awesome.

The water is unbelievably cold but we powered through after it taking so long to get there! Once you get round the corner, it becomes amazing. Crystal clear water in the canyon and best of all, we were the only people there the entire time! The canyon is thought to be million of years old, it really is incredible!!

Related post: 25 best day trips from Sydney

There’s alot of this – climbing up and down rocks in between swims

We went as far as a final pool where there was a rope you’d have to pull yourself up and it looked really hard. We were also knackered by that point as it had been a couple of hours of swimming and climbing over rocks.

Tips before you go to Mares Forest Creek Canyon



One thing to be careful of are snakes. Towards the end, I actually saw a massive brown snake in the rocks which freaked me out but it’s obvious they are going to live around there.

Waterproof Shoes

Definitely wear waterproof shoes as it is very rocky. We didn’t know about this and our feet were killing by the end.


Also wear a wet suit if you can because the water is FREEZING!!! We went in summer and read it’s best to get there before 12pm as the sun will hit some of the water by that point, slightly warming it up!


And lastly, make sure you take a camera with you!! It’s so incredible, you’ll be snapping away like there’s no tomorrow!

Where:3 hour drive South West of Sydney, 30 minute hike to the pools, allow 2-3 to go through the canyon and back. 

Mares Forest Creek Canyon

Save for later and pin below!

If you found this post helpful, please share it to you social pages below 🙂 

Co-Founder and Editor
  1. Hi! This trip looks amazing, thanks for sharing! I will be traveling to Sydney/Canberra this month and I would like to do this! I’ll be with my mom, though, so I am wondering how difficult the hike is? She is active and regularly walks/runs about 5-10 km but does not have much experience bushwalking. Do you think she’d be able to complete the walk?

    1. Hi there, just be careful with the bush fires right now as they have been through Wombeyan area. The hike is pretty easy down to the canyon but the canyon is freezing. Once you get over that, it’s an amazing swim and climb through it. I don’t think it’s too hard as you can turn back at any point. Best of luck!

  2. Hi this is a great write up on the Mares Forest Creek Canyon Thankyou can you please let your followers know that this area of the PARK is CLOSED until further notice due to bushfire and flood damage repairs. It will be back but we dont have a date at this time
    Thankyou Tanya

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *