WARY: Yannick van Steen and Cheyenne can de Ruit check out the Bexhill Quarry.
WARY: Yannick van Steen and Cheyenne can de Ruit check out the Bexhill Quarry. Marc Stapelberg

Why are people still swimming at these dangerous spots?

IT seems some swimmers will do almost anything to keep cool this summer even if it means risking their lives or health to do so.

Dalwood Falls, in the Ballina Shire, was closed off to the public in June 2016 after a 31-year-old man became the second fatality at the water hole after jumping into the water from a tree.


Similarly, Lismore City Council, with help from Crown land and the NSW Department of Lands, have warned people to avoid Bexhill Quarry following a report by SCU in 2002 revealing the pH levels in the water were almost as acidic as vinegar.

The Northern Star went to visit these two popular swimming holes to talk to those choosing to take a dip there, in order to find out why they are swimming there over legal and patrolled swimming locations.


Ivy Reynolds has been going to the Bexhill Quarry every summer since she was 12-years-old.

She said she was aware of the warnings regarding the acidity of the water however they have not deterred her.

"Yes, I have heard about them and I have read articles about them also and I am not worried," Ms Reynolds said.

"I've never had any skin rashes or anything like that."

Yesterday, she showed her favourite swimming spot to Sebastian Muecke from Sydney.

They both said they were happy to risk it and live a little "dangerously" to enjoy the iconic cobalt blue water.

"You got to risk it to get the biscuit," Ms Reynolds said.


On the other hand, one couple from Holland, Yannick Van Steen and Cheyenne Van De Ruit, said they wouldn't want to risk their health for a swim in the Quarry.

The pair were on holiday in Australia when some locals recommended they visit the Bexhill hotspot.

"We met a few people while camping and they told us about a secret lake and we decided to take a look," Mr Van Steen said.

"(However) they didn't recommend us to swim in here because of the sulphuric in the water."

Ms Van De Ruit said she would potentially consider jumping in but wouldn't spend a long period of time swimming.

Dalwood Falls was overrun by tourists yesterday, as convoys of cars pulled up to check out the popular waterfall and swimming hole.


Byron local, 'Ben' said he has been going to the falls for over 20 years.

"It's a beautiful place, it holds a special place in my heart, I really do love coming here and it is really nice to share with some friends," he said.

"We are aware of what has happened in this area and the danger that it can offer but that being said I have been coming here for a really long time, since I was a little kid."

'Ben' said he usually comes to the Dalwood Falls to get away from the chaos in Byron Bay.

"This time of year, it is obviously super busy so we were looking for a bit of a retreat."


A Queensland traveller on holiday with his family said he did some research to find all the tourist destinations in the region.

"We found this by googling online and I think it is great. Just by going through the comments it seems obvious that people can still come a view the waterhole, which is awesome for tourism in the area," the father of three said.

However, he said he wouldn't necessarily go for a swim in the hole.

"I wouldn't say I'd swim in it unless it looks appealing," he said.

"I wouldn't take a risk especially with a family, being a dad."

"I will go down there if it is safe to do so with my children."


Sydney girls 'Megan' and 'Michelle' came down to check out the falls after hearing about it from friends.

However, when they arrived they were surprised to see all the prohibited signs, 'Megan' said they concerned her.

"The sign scared me a bit, I probably wouldn't jump after reading that," she said.

However, 'Michelle' said it hadn't deterred her yet.

"Seeing the sign wouldn't put me off too much, I'd look at the jump rock myself and decide if I want to jump."

A group of four Melbourne boys who recently finished up at Falls Festival decided to come check out the swimming hole before heading home.

'Donny' said he had heard about the jump rock from a mate's sister who had already visited.

Even after seeing the signs they were still keen to head down for a swim.

"We had seen the sign, we will take it on board but we are going to have a look anyway," 'Donny' said.

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