Think of the Snowy Mountains and swimsuits don’t spring to mind. But that’s probably because you’ve never heard of this natural pool in northern Kosciuszko National Park. In winter, it’s like slipping into a toasty bath that never gets cold, thanks to mother nature working her geothermal magic hundreds of metres below. Whether or not you’ve taken a couple of spills on the slopes, the heat will make that tension ooze out of your muscles. We’re not saying it’s like a setting for a winter rom com, but as steam fogs the surface and (if you’re lucky) snow dusts the valley floor, it’s pretty close.

This is one pool where relaxation is the order of the day. The water is dissolved with calcium, sodium and the hero of muscle relaxants, magnesium. A few laps and you’ll be feeling heavy and sedate as those sore muscles are soothed after your high country hikes, creaky joints from the desk job loosen up, and any hint of a headache vanishes.

Couple in steamy outdoor Thermal pool, Yarrangobilly Caves

Thermal pool, Yarrangobilly CavesKosciuszko National Park

Murray Vanderveer / OEH

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The big pool is 20m long and 2.5m deep, ie. no shallow end, so if you’re in more of a jacuzzi mood, step into the kiddy pool. It means you can sit and relax, and the rushing water streaming connecting it to the main waterhole will act like a jet-spa massage.

Don’t be grossed-out if you see algae or even springtime tadpoles in the water. Algae and weed provide a breeding site for frogs, and frogs mean the water is clean and healthy. A local platypus has been known to make an appearance, too.

The hilly walk back up to your car may undo the effects of your thermal dip, so a better option is to stroll 1km along the River walk to gently wake up your limbs. From there, it’s a short scramble up to the path that heads back towards the carpark. Or, if you haven’t filled up on natural beauty yet, turn left and head around the corner to Glory Arch and the lofty chambers of South Glory Cave.

Fresh alpine air, mineral-rich waters to soak away everyday aches, and an absence of entry fees (unless you count the low daily parking fee), puts this leagues above the average day spa.