23 September 2016

/ Travel Like An Artist: Tessa Blazey's favourite Australian swimming locations /

Our current JOURNAL series invites our artists to share with us their most inspiring destinations and experiences in 'Travel Like An Artist'...

Here we take a trip with Tessa Blazey, who is currently showing her Heroes & Villains exhibition in the gallery until October 1.

"This is a little collection of my favourite swimming spots discovered on various trips within Australia. All of them are beautiful and wild and some are framed by remarkable rock formations."


Surprise Creek Falls, Litchfield National Park, NT.

"This incredibly beautiful and often overlooked national park is one and a half hours' drive from Darwin, and is full of waterfalls with crystal clear swimming pools and iconic magnetic termite mounds.
The Surprise Creek campsite is a five minute walk from the falls, which include a series of beautiful cascading swimming holes framed by deep red granite and lush tropical vegetation. At night when you shine your torch there are thousands of little sparkling lights around you - we realised these were tiny spiders covered in reflectors.

To get to the campsite you need a decent 4WD with a high wheel base to successfully cross the Reynolds river. The water came up to my ankles in our Land Rover Defender during the 150 meter wide river crossing."



Emma Gorge, El Questro Wilderness Park, WA.

"El Questro Wilderness Park is located at the end of the Gibb River road about an hours drive from Kununurra in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Arrive at the Emma Gorge carpark early to miss the crowds – then if you do the 30 minute walk briskly, you will have the main gorge pool to yourself for the first half hour.

In the main pool under the falls you are surrounded by a towering red sandstone escarpment on either side and there is a thermal spring to the right hand side with lovely warm water if you find the water a bit chilly."



Barnett River & Galvans Gorge, Gibb River Rd, WA.

"Both of these gorges are in the centre of the Gibb River road. Galvans is very accessible and about a 10 minute walk from the carpark. It has wonderful rope swings hanging off a tree to the right of the falls. We arrived early in the morning and had the place to ourselves for the first hour.

Barnett River gorge is much harder to find and access – it’s a rough long drive off the main road and then a long, hot, exposed hike to make it into the gorge. But we didn’t see another soul while we were there – so it was worth the effort.

These gorges have been slowly carved out by rivers over millions of years. Some of the rocks here include red sandstone, quartzite, basalt and siltstone. The rock escarpments in all the gorges on the Gibb River road are truly spectacular."



Ned’s Beach, Lord Howe Island, NSW.

"Lord Howe Island is a 90 minute flight from Sydney off the coast of New South Wales. It is a pristine UNESCO World Heritage Listed paradise with rare and beautiful wildlife and plants.

The island is ten kilometres long and best explored on push bike. Ned’s beach has clear aquamarine water, white sand and incredibly tame tropical fish that you can feed by hand in the shallows.

Within 30 minutes of touching down on the island we were sitting on this amazing white sand, drinking a beer after snorkelling with the fish and sharks. We had each hired a bike, thrown on our bathers and grabbed some beer from the general store on the 10 minute ride from our hotel to the back beach."



Cable Beach & Quandong Point, near Broome, WA.

"This is a ridiculously beautiful 22 kilometre long beach in Broome, that has 4WD access in designated areas.

We camped (for free) in the dunes on the extension of this beach, about 40 minutes drive north of Broome in an area called Quandong Point. We caught and barbequed local fish for dinner with other campers and spent entire days exploring this vast and beautiful area by foot.

It is true bush camping – there are no showers or toilet facilities so numerous daily swims are lovely & necessary."



Douglas-Apsley National Park, East Coast Tasmania.

"Douglas-Apsley National Park is a 15 minute drive from the lovely seaside town of Bicheno on Tasmania’s east coast.

The most accessible pools for swimming are a 10 minute walk from the Douglas-Apsley carpark. We stayed at a lovely place on the red lichen covered rocky coastline about 20 minutes drive from here called Bicheno Hideaway."



View more of Tessa Blazey's pieces via her Artist page.