Kariong Falls, Brisbane Water National Park, in July
I chose the term 'Winter dips' especially to describe Kariong Falls. Though there was plenty of water, and I immersed my body up to my neck and moved through the water by breaststroking, I couldn't really call it a swim. I was in the icy water for a couple of minutes at most. It was a cold July morning, and, even though I was warm from walking 4 kms, the pool had been in the shade most of the day and felt bitterly cold.
Jellybean Pool, Blue Mountains National Park, in July
Another dip rather than swim, Jellybean Pool had been in the sun for most of the morning, but was still bitterly cold. I'd warmed up on a long bushwalk by this point, and thought I'd be in the water for a while. Once again it was a matter of minutes.
Jervis Bay in July
Beach in Booderee National Park, Jervis Bay
At least I could stay in the water at Jervis Bay for a good long swim (even if I did shiver for quite some time afterwards). The sea was not much cooler than back in Sydney, probably around 17°C.
Uloola Cascades, Royal National Park, in September
Probably a Spring dip, by most people's reckoning, but still a dip rather than a swim. There's enough deep water to wallow and use a few strokes, but the real attraction is sitting under the various cascade falls. The water is still pretty cold at this time of year, but that's half the thrill. Luckily, this was on a sunny day.
Karloo Pool, Royal National Park, in September
This, however, is an amazing place for a swim. No dipping here. The water is deep, and the pool is long enough to really stretch out. It's one of my favourite ever swimming holes. I love the way that, unlike the tannin-stained pools of nearby Heathcote National Park, Karloo Pool is incredibly clear.