The Mermaid Pools, Tahmoor have been on our to-do list for quite some time and after a Saturday freed up, we jumped in the car and headed down. Theres a couple different routes you can actually take to get the the pools but our adventure was based on starting at Charles Point Road.
The drive is approx. 95km from Sydney's CBD down past Campbelltown. Coming from Sydney you want to exit the motorway at Picton Road then turn right towards Maldon. Head to Remembrance Drive in Tahmoor then turn onto Rockford Road. Follow Rockford road until you drop down into a dip and over a bridge (Bargo River) then make a right turn onto Charles Point Road. Almost immediately you will see a dirt parking lot with a large "no dumping" rubbish sign. You can either park here or if in a suitable car, head down the dirt road until you come to the end of the road. To your left will be a river and directly in front of you should be the bridge that you crossed. Park here.
The walk starts at the bridge. Head under this and stick to the right hand side of the river. To begin with you may feel a little lost but within 100m or so you will start to see the signs put in place by local hikers. These vary between yellow/orange painted arrows, fluorescent yellow reflector tape and ribbons tied to trees.
After approx. 200m you will come to an arrow that gives two options. I read the higher track (to the right) is a lot easier and alot more open but we decided on taking the lower route along the river. This route in my opinion is of medium difficulty and includes some areas where you need to climb over/under rocks and tree trunks. Take this route at your own risk as we saw a number of Red Bellied Black Snakes (highly venomous) and lizards within a metre or so of the track. My suggestion would be to take a nice stick to tap the ground in front of you which should help move anything that you could come across. Whatever you do, do not engage with these snakes as you will require anti-venom if you're bitten!!!
If you have taken the lower route you should eventually come to some red and white warning tape, you will need to turn right and double back on yourself to head up the hill, then turn left and head back down the river. We found the make shift signals appeared every 100m or so, so make sure you keep an eye out for them.
The walk to the pools took us about 50 minutes but I would suggest you bring water, snack or light lunch as the walk is both physically and mentally (adrenaline pumping from seeing the snakes) draining.
Once at the pools there is a number of different height jumps. DISCLAIMER: The only way out of the water is via a sometimes dodgy rope which takes quite a bit of physical exertion to use. The rope gets cut and replaced quite often and there is no guarantee that the quality of the rope will withstand the weight of those trying to use it. Only consider swimming if you are 100% confident of being able to climb out as it can be very dangerous and very difficult to sometimes do so. Please also check the water clearance before choosing to jump in as there may be hidden rocks or trees below the water surface.
All in all our walk took around 2 hours which included a 15-20 stop at the pools.