‘Magic’, ‘medicinal’ water keeping tourists and towns afloat | The Pool

In a dusty outback village, in the middle
of winter, Alan Smith and his wife are swimming. But, it’s not your typical backyard pool. Well we accidentally stumbled on it 12 months
ago and this is our third time back here. It’s just an easy place to come to. Alan Smith and his wife have driven to Burren
Junction, in the North West of New South Wales, from their home at Gloucester, on the Central
Coast, to immerse themselves in the hot, mineralised water of the Great Artesian Basin. Well I tell everybody it’s magic water, I’ve
got a bit of a truck drivers knee and I get in here and it’s good. And he’s not the only one visiting for the
same reason. Julie Chauvet is from Adelaide, more than
1,400 kilometres away. I love being here in the beautiful warm water because it really does help my arthritis. I’ve got arthritis in my back, and my knee,
my hands, my feet and when I’m in the water you feel absolutely fantastic. There are bore baths like those at Burren
Junction scattered across the country. Fed by the Great Artesian Basin, the largest and
deepest of its kind in the world. Further south, in the New South Wales Riverina, a sign at the Barmedman Mineral Pool kiosk suggests it may also have therapeutic properties. We have even had people come with bottles, fill them up, take it home so they can soak their feet in it and that sort of thing. The water is very salty, it’s seven per cent
saltier than seawater. It’s not actually saline salts, not table salt, it’s an epsom salt. Ian Moore’s grandfather was one of the original
trustees of the pool, which is run and funded entirely by the community. We’re replacing cement work which has weathered
over the many years. We’re refurbishing the toilet block and
we’re putting in aeration in the bottom of the pool as well. So it should be no surprise that the local connection to the pool is strong. It’s just a beautiful spot to come and have
a picnic and a swim. More than 250 kilometres to the south east,
in the Kosciuszko National Park, at Yarrangobilly Caves lies another thermal pool. We have people that drive long distances just to come and swim in the thermal pool. It’s really relaxing. They come out and just want to swim in a nice
natural pool. It’s a nice alternative to chlorine and
it’s really amazing for your body. It’s very highly saturated with minerals,
it’s got lots of magnesium, sodium chlorides and calcium and that helps your skin and your
hair feel like silk when you get out.

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