We’re a sucker for a secret swimming spot – even when they’re not quite so secret! Over the past century, Fonty’s Pool has become an iconic part of the south west with generations of families visiting the pool to cool off on a warm day or even learn how to swim.
What is it?
Nearly one whole acre of refreshing spring water! With a rich and storied history, Fonty’s is a man-made, freshwater swimming pool that is beloved by locals and visitors alike. Set amongst picturesque gardens, it’s a favourite spot for families to have a splash and a swim, and a gateway to the region’s majestic forests and spectacular wineries.
The pool was initially created by Archimede “Archie” Fontanini, an Italian migrant who bought 460 acres of farmland in 1907. Damming the stream that ran through the property, over the years it became a popular local meeting place and he was encouraged to turn it into an official endeavour, opening to the public in 1925.
In 1973, a few years after receiving an MBE for his efforts, Archie retired from managing the pool at the age of 93 – a community outcry of support lead to the reopening of the pool in 1979. Over the years the surrounding land was converted into Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park and Chalets, and it wasn’t closed again until 2005, when insurance issues necessitated its closure to the public and the Fontanini family sold the property to its current owners, who have undertaken significant upgrades. The pool has become such a significant landmark in its nearly 100 years of public operation that it’s even been registered with the National Trust of Australia!
Where is it?
Approximately halfway between Pemberton and Manjimup, Fonty’s Pool is about 300km from the Perth city centre, and is within the South West Boojarah region. The pool is on private property (the Fonty’s Pool Caravan Park and Chalets), so you can access the pool either by staying at the park, or by paying a small $3 day visitor charge.
What to do?
Make sure to book ahead, especially if you want to stay at the park! The pool’s popularity means that accommodation fills up fast, particularly during peak periods. If you’re just visiting for the day, the pool is open between 9am and 5pm.
You can bring your pooch along if you’re camping or staying in certain cabins – check out their FAQs for more details as there are some excluded dates.
What not to do:
Don’t rock up between after July 1st! The pool and park closes for the season on July 1st and reopens September 1st. If you’re visiting the pool, don’t bring along any hard bottom floating devices (like kayaks), but feel free to bring along your favourite inflatable. There’s also a strict no generator policy for any campers or caravanners.
While it isn’t quite as wild as some of the spaces we visit, make sure to still adhere to the Leave No Trace Principles: meaning don’t leave any rubbish out there, don’t pick wildflowers if you’re out exploring and try your best to look after the surrounding area. Make sure you also adhere to any fire restrictions or bans that might be in place, and respect other visitors to the pool and park.
All images via: Fonty’s Pool