Ahh, autumn in Brisbane; the perfect balance of hot summer-like days (minus the humidity) and cool(ish) evenings—the perfect recipe for dipping your toes in some of Brisbane's most beautiful smimming holes.
But which watering hole deserves your individed attention? Well, that’s where we come in—because not all Brisbane swimming spots were made equal. Here are our 8 favourite swimming spots to check out in and around Brisbane.
Blowing that other Cedar Creek out of the water, the Cedar Creek in Samford is home to many a tranquil rock pool worth donning your swimmers for. Nestled in the shadow of Mt Glorious, the Cedar Creek rock pools boast emerald green water, a Tarzan-esque vine made for living out your jungle swinging dreams, and ample space for floating all your stresses away. To get there, drive along Mt Samson Road, turn left onto Cedar Creek Road and take your pick of a number of rock pools at Andy Williams Park. Alternatively, if swimming in peace is more your style, follow the creek until you find your own private spot.
An under-the-radar gem well worth writing home about, Enoggera Reservoir is located in D’Aguilar National Park’s Walkabout Creek, in The Gap. Start your day at the creek’s Wildlife Centre to rid yourself of the suspicion that platypuses aren’t real animals, then head to the heritage-listed reservoir for all your swimming needs. Established way back in 1886 as Brisbane’s first water storage dam, Enoggera Reservoir now serves more as a chilled out swimming hole than a true-blue dam—which means you can totally lounge on it in your inflatable flamingo and not feel guilty. With a coconut-flavoured drink in one hand, a gum tree providing shade above, and the gentle lapping of Enoggera Reservoir’s waters all around you, these perfect balmy days are looking pretty great.
Maleny, nestled in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, might be famous more for its locally-produced dairy than chase-worthy waterfalls, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hiding a few hidden gems of its own. Enter: Gardners Falls, a series of freshwater rock pools practically made for summer swimming. Adventure lovers can try their hand at cannonballing into the largest pool (just make sure to check the varying water levels first) while those seeking a calmer experience can kick back in the gentler wading pools dotting the base of the falls. That being said, Gardners Falls can get a little busy at times – the locals know how to enjoy a good thing, after all – so if you’re up for the challenge you could always trek further along the Obi Obi River to find a pool all of your own. Just don’t forget your mozzie spray; this is still Queensland, after all.
Currumbin Rock Pools
It finally happened: you’ve stayed on the Gold Coast so many times that the gorgeous golden sands of the beach are starting to look ordinary and dull. What do you do? Why, head inland to the Currumbin Rock Pools for a much-needed change of scenery, of course. Located about 20 minutes west of the township of the same name, these rock pools boast the same leafy surrounds and turquoise waters that make Queensland’s swimming holes worth the drive. But the Currumbin Rock Pools also provide many a sheltered picnic table or pool-side lunch spot, meaning you can finish your dip in the water with a cheese platter (or four) and other assorted nibbles. Afterwards, head a little bit further down Currumbin Valley Road to get a look at the nearby Cougal Cascades, a waterfall accessible via a short hike perfect for working off those glorious calories you just consumed. Hey, we’ve got to keep that summer bod looking trim.
Springbrook Twin Falls
Springbrook National Park
For those of you who are more active-minded, taking a dip in Springbrook Twin Falls is the pot of gold at the end of an easy-peasy four kilometre stroll through lush nature and ancient trees on the Twin Falls Circuit. Featuring three tiers of cascading rock pools, the swimming hole at Springbrook Twin Falls is one that won’t disappoint. Start the adventure by exploring rocky caves and World Heritage-listed rainforest as you descend into the valley below, then decide whether to plunge straight into a pool or divert your time by walking behind the waterfall and surrounding yourself with the cacophony of rushing water. Guys, we repeat, you can walk behind a 100% natural waterfall and then have a splash in it. Is this even real life?! Run, don’t walk.
Located in the Blackall Range, Kondalila Falls marks the point where Skene Creek plummets 90 metres into the eucalypt rainforest below. Talk about majestic AF. Keen hikers can make the 100-step climb down to the rock pool and picnic area that the falls flow into. Alternatively, you could score a killer view of the falls from the lookout above. Here’s what we’d do: pack a picnic lunch (BYO dranks optional, of course), enjoy your wander through the subtropical rainforest, take a dip in the turquoise waters, then spend your after-swim snacking time trying to identify as many of the 32 species of frog that call Kondalila National Park home as you can. Oh and did we mention it’s all just over an hour’s drive from Brisbane. Weekend plans = sorted.
If you’re looking for a nature escape far from the madding crowd, Lake Moogerah is right up your alley. Famous as the place to take seriously good photos of the stars or to enjoy a quiet camping weekend – with a cheeky trip to the nearby wineries a must if you’re so inclined – Lake Moogerah is also home to quite a few swimming holes. Water-fiends can choose between getting their swim on in the lake itself, complete with a designated swimming area designed to keep those pesky boats from interrupting your much-needed paddle time, or head to The Gorge for an under-the-radar swimming hole well worth exploring. Think a pool framed by rocky outcrops, quiet waters and the chance to sit underneath a real-life waterfall. And it’s all totally dog-friendly, so your fur baby can share in your relaxation time. Uh, yes please.
Conondale National Park
Thrill-seekers, this swimming spot was made for you. Booloumba Falls, located in the gorgeous Conondale National Park in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland, is only accessible by packing the squad into a 4WD and navigating gravel roads and several creek crossings until you reach the falls car park. The view, and the swimming hole, at the other end, however, makes it all totally worth it. When you arrive you’ll be greeted by a watery paradise framed by tall, open forests and the gushing cacophony of the falls. Kick back under a tree and breathe everything in or go straight for it with a graceful belly flop into the cool waters of the rock pool in front of you. Plus, since getting to the falls is an odyssey in itself, you can bet you won’t have to share your precious swimming time with a horde of tourists. Now that sounds like a win-win to us.
Need more inspiration for your weekend getaways? Make sure to check out the 10 best beaches near Brisbane.
Image credit: Visit Sunshine Coast