Local Escapes

Good Waterfall Hunting | Best Waterfalls You Can Swim In

By Claire Plush - 21 Dec 2015

Just because TLC didn’t think it was a great idea to go chasing waterfalls, doesn’t mean we don’t! We’d give up a river or a lake any day for a waterfall. And if you wouldn’t? Well, I’m not sure we can be friends anymore.

To show you just how much we can’t get enough of water plunging off cliffs and into rock pools, we’ve rounded up the best waterfalls you can actually swim in on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Perfect for those balmy summer days that are about to come a-knocking.

Cedar Creek Falls

Tamborine Mountain

Tamborine National Park in the Gold Coast Hinterland is home to the stunning Cedar Creek Falls and well worth a jaunt when ticking “waterfall swim” off your bucket list. Naturally, this place goes off when it rains, and the rock pools turn from calm to a natural, bubbling spa great for a distress through water massage. Wink! Unfortunately, this rainforest spot isn’t a hidden gem, so be ready to share your water space.

Lip Falls

Denham Creek Reserve

Pack a picnic, your bikinis and boardies, and veer towards Denham Creek Reserve in Beechmont where you’ll discover a cool (literally) slice of Gold Coast paradise. Cocooned by greenery, hike down the gorge until you come to Lip Falls. Submerge, dry off, eat, repeat.

Cougal Cascades

Springbrook National Park

Feeling the need to escape the glitz of your hotel pool on the Goldy for more natural surroundings? Hop in the car and beeline to the Mount Cougal section of Springbrook National Park. Here, you’ll find the scenic Cougal cascades and rock pools, perfect for swimming in on a sweltering Queensland day. 

Gardners Falls


This little hinterland hideout is a favourite among Sunny Coast locals, so be warned: you’re not going to have this waterfall to yourself. But if you weigh up the easy stroll from the car, the beautiful bush setting, the gentle waterfall, and the rock pools below complete with rope swings, it’s worth battling a little crowd to enjoy a dip at this Maleny swimming hole.

Kondalilla Falls


So you like your waterfall chase to involve working up a sweat? We get it! After a bit of a bush walk there’s nothing like seeing a stunning four-metre waterfall surrounded by lush greenery and plunging into a deep waterhole appear before your eyes, and then knowing that you can jump right in for an instant refresh. Skip the beach and hit this waterfall in summer aka the wet season, to see its real power and discover first hand the reason behind its name “Kondalilla”. We’ll give you a hint in the meantime though, it’s the Aboriginal meaning for something that starts with “rushing” and ends with “waters”. Damn!

Booloumba Falls

Conondale National Park

This hunt will take you a little further afield from the bustling coastline of the Sunshine Coast and into the Conondale National Park. Pull up your car, tie up your laces (yep, ditch the thongs unless you want to make friends with LEECHES!), and hike a short 1.5km to the picnic area. Just before the falls lookout head down the stairs where you’ll find the main pool, perfect for a dip or waterfall shower. Loving the scenery? Back up, and set up a tent at the Booloumba Creek campsite.


Photo Credit: Brounie Downunder

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