The steam rose around me as I excitedly slipped out of my dusty trail worn clothes and eased my body into the crystal clear water of the awaiting hot pool. I dipped my toe into the first pool tentatively, squeaked a litte and quickly retracted it, the water was piping hot! I moved onto the next pool and after testing the water once more, I let the warm water envelop my body and my senses gave way to the blissfullness of the moment.
The Cow Stream Hot Pools are just one of St. Jame’s many natural hidden gems and just down the road in Hamner Springs we saw people lining up to get a little taste of the magic we were about to freely enjoy, surrounded by nothing but wilderness. We had caught wind of the hot pools existence through a few of the locals and set out in search of these illusive hot springs. We knew roughly where they were and “followed our nose” up the valley, snaking our way along the stream and keeping our eyes peeled for signs of thermal activity. The last thing we needed was to cook ourselves in a hidden hot spring by accident! We rounded a bend and spotted the pools ahead, three steaming rock pools ready and waiting along the edge of the river. After spending months on the trail as part of our Rewild Project, neither of us could even remember the last time we’d taken a hot bath and the steam coming off the water was an invite we couldn’t resist.
As the name suggests, the Cow Stream Hot Pools are located beside the Cow Stream, up a little valley tucked away between two hills. There is a very clear and easily accessible 4×4 Track that goes up the ridge on the true right of the stream and dead ends on a little grassy knoll. From here it’s only a short walk down to the large main pool. From here, follow the trail to the right to find 3 other sensational hot pools of varying temperatures to suit everyone. If you head upstream a little further you’ll find a nice little clearing on the left with plenty of trees to tie horses up to that is also out of the way. Be mindful about picking up all horse poo in the area and keep an eye out for other hot springs as you make your way up the stream.
From the Hamner Springs Horse Riding Group: 2 ‐2.5 hours from the homestead (you will have crossed the Edwards river twice) turn sharp left at a ‘T’ intersection in the track. Follow the track up a steep terrace and across 2‐300m of grassy flat to the hot pools. Lead your horse down to the river level to find a tie up place. There are 4 newly built rock pools of varying temperature 20m downstream from the older main pool. Sandflies are abundant in the evening, so not a great place to camp. You will be eaten!
I let the warm water envelop my body, and my senses gave way to the blissfullness of the moment.