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I’ve got swimming lakes near me. But nothing quite like this. These are the swimming pools of the gods. Hidden deep in tropical forests, naturally carved from rock, turquoise or azure waters fed by the sea or powerful waterfalls – these 21 wild swimming spots are nature’s answer to your local baths, without the chlorine-irritated eyes.

RELATED: 5 places for a soak in Sydney

Erawan Falls, Thailand

Wild swimming in Thailand

Flickr: pierre s

The spectacular tiered waterfall in the forested hills around Kanchanaburi cascade into a series of natural swimming pools accessible via a steep hike through the Erawan National Park. Named after the mythical Hindu elephant god Erawan, each lagoon feature extras which include natural stone slides and small fish which nibble the dead skin from toes.

Gunlom Plunge Pool, Australia

Gunlom Plunge Pool, Kakado National Park, Australia

Flickr: Karlos

Perched on a rocky outcrop, the Gunlom Plunge Pool offers serene vistas over the woodlands, ridges, billabongs and creeks of the Kakadu National Park. It’s recently be named by Australian Traveller as one of the top 100 views in the country. The tall surrounding gums offer a shady respite from the intense heat and its hilly position make it one of the only swimming spots in the park where you don’t run the risk of being swallowed up by alligators.

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