Almost every accessible body of freshwater up north is sign-posted with a warning of resident crocodiles. So it was really nice to be invited to a safe swimming hole by signs on the main highway. And in case we weren’t certain, a local had clarified its location for passers-by.

Sign to Five Mile Swimming Hole, outside Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Yes, we take the wrong turn-off, but the clarifying instructions are very clear.

Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Facilities at this remote spot include an electric barbecue and composting toilets.

For such a remote location, the surroundings are well developed. We discovered cemented paths, stairways and even a stainless-steel ladder down into the beautiful water-hole.

Calista at Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Calista lead us down the stairs to the shallow part of the water-hole.

Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Although it starts off in rocky shallows, the swimming hole gets deep.

Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
We try out the ladder into the depths.

Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
Braver big boys jump straight off the edge.

Our girls at the Five Mile Swimming Hole, near Cardwell, Far North Queensland, November 2012
This is an interesting pool for the girls to play in — it's too deep to stand, and so they have to keep paddling.

Calista in a swimming ring, November 2012
This is the summer during which Calista will learn to swim independently. She has already improved so much in the past couple of weeks.

Brioni and Aisha swimming, November 2012
Brioni and Aisha are confident swimmers, stretching their abilities with every outing. At this water-hole, Brioni practised swimming back and forth without an aid.

Early in the morning, we were the only ones at the swimming hole, but the place soon filled up with locals and tourists. Many brought picnic lunches, and some kids stayed for hours. I can see how this is such a popular place, and I’m glad we got to rest here for a day before resuming our driving north!