Mulligan’s Hut Swimming Hole
Gibraltar Range National Park near Glen Innes, NSW, Australia
This is a large, deep, tranquil swimming hole fed by a small, gushing inlet just downhill from Mulligan’s Hut in the Gibraltar Range National Park. The feel of cool, slow-moving water and the way light filters through overhanging trees combined with the trickling tune of the inlet mean that this is a place where you can get lost in sensory experience and enjoy a few moments of genuine peace. There is also a large grassy area with barbecues, perfect for an after-swim picnic down by the river and making this a great spot to visit with kids. There is plenty of varied plant and animal life as this swimming hole is deep within a series of national parks and there is nothing but bush for miles around. There is also much historical interest as the area was the proposed site of a pioneering hydroelectric scheme in the 1900s
How To Get There: The Mulligan’s Hut campground is accessed via Mulligan’s Drive which a turnoff along the Gwydir Highway between Grafton and Glen Innes. You will find the turning by driving around 69km from Glen Innes or about 90km from Grafton.
Difficulty of access: 4/10 – The road in (Mulligan’s Drive) is unsealed but well maintained and fine for 2WD all year round. The campground has wheelchair accessible toilet and shower although the ground is unpaved. The trail down to the swimming hole is short but steep, narrow and unpaved.
Opening Times/Seasons: All day/All year
Entrance Fee: See here for the current day parking fee.
Facilities Nearby: Flush toilets, cold showers, parking (check here for current prices), tank water (which needs to be treated or boiled), picnic tables and free gas/electric barbecues in the picnic area as well as wood-fired ones up in the camping area.
Other Activities: Picnics, cycling and hiking. This is a great central point from which to explore other National Parks and there are countless other trails to explore from here, including the Gibraltar-Washpool World Heritage walk. The Butterleaf, Mann River, Nymboida and Capoompeta National parks are also nearby meaning that this locality has almost endless potential for exploration.
Other Places of Interest Nearby: This was the setting for an early hydroelectric scheme in the 1900s and Mulligan’s hut is of historical interest as it was built by Bill Mulligan, the entrepreneur behind the scheme.
Wildlife: The area has plenty of interesting wildlife and flora and there are information boards up around the place for more information.
Places to Eat: There are several cafes and restaurants and a bakery in Glen Innes and Grafton has plenty of options for food.
Where to Camp: There is plenty of camping at the top of the track (about 5-10 minutes walk) with flush toilets and wood-fired barbecues and sometimes firewood. For current prices check here.
Other places to Stay: There are several motels in Glen Innes and several farmstays and B&Bs in the surrounding area. The same is true of Grafton.
Nearby Towns: Glen Innes, Grafton, Armidale, Coffs Harbour.
Other Swimming Spots Nearby: Barra Nulla Cascades
Comments: This is a really interesting area with so much potential for exploration. It is likely that by exploring the trails and other National Parks closeby on foot, many more opportunities for a secluded dip would be uncovered.