Swimming holes and waterfalls are not the best advertised natural wonders in South East Queensland, until now!!. There are lots of natural places around Brisbane that you can escape the heat and get some well earned R&R in.
We have made finding the perfect swimming spot easy so grab your togs and chose a swimming hole the it’s time to cool off and relax.
Enoggera Dam, The Gap
Brisbane’s first water reservoir is now a much loved swimming spot. Enoggera Dam is 15 minutes west of the city centre, in a bush setting that belies its suburban location. A short trail through the trees from the car park opens out to the wide, sparkling waters of this heritage listed local playground. There are grassy slopes for picnicking, a fascinating wildlife centre nearby and a five kilometre (three mile) nature walking track surrounding the lake-like waters. Locals love to bring every kind of non-motorised water toy, from inflatables to canoes.
Gardners Falls, Maleny
There are plenty of rock pools in the breathtaking Sunshine Coast hinterland, just over an hour north of Brisbane, but Gardners Falls may be the best. A short, easy walk from the car park on Obi Lane South leads to a pristine waterhole surrounded by rocky ledges just made for sunning yourself, while the waterfall lends a constant, soothing soundtrack. More daring visitors can try out the rope swings in the main swimming area, while younger ones can splash about in the smaller rock pools in the area. In one rock pool there are eels that love to give toes a cheeky nibble.
Cedar Creek Falls, Mount Tamborine
Ever dreamed of swimming beneath a waterfall? The renowned wilderness area of Mount Tamborine, an hour south of Brisbane, is an ideal place to reconnect with nature and it makes sense that Cedar Creek Falls is a popular swimming spot. Take in the views of the falls and the swimming hole from the lookout near the car park, then descend the 86 steps to enjoy dipping your feet in the cascades, play in rock pools and swim in the deeper waters below the waterfall.
Springbrook Twin Falls, Springbrook National Park
A bona fide natural wonder awaits in the form of the Springbrook Twin Falls, just over an hour south of the city. Not only are there multi-level pools for swimming in sun or shade, but the easy four kilometre (2 1/2 mile) walking circuit leads to spectacular scenery above, below and around the falls. When you have finished swimming, explore rock caves or wait until after dark to see glow worms in the Natural Bridge formation. Please note there is no swimming around Natural Bridge to protect the glow worms’ habitat.
Currumbin Rock Pools and Cougal Cascades, Currumbin
In the tourist hotspot of the Gold Coast, about an hour south of Brisbane, the seaside village of Currumbin draws crowds to its famed wildlife sanctuary and quintessential sun-and-sand scenery. However, its freshwater swimming holes are no less beautiful, and the Currumbin Rock Pools are a regular destination for families. There are grassy picnic spots, lots of shallow rock pools for the little ones and a main pool that has a party atmosphere on weekends. Cougal Cascades, at the end of the road, provide a quieter spot.
CEDAR CREEK – SAMFORD
Located just outside of Samford, below Mt Glorious, are the serene rock pools of Cedar Creek. It’s a short scenic drive north-west of Brisbane which gives you a taste of the countryside with rolling green hills in every direction.
Drive along Mt Samson Road and turn left onto Cedar Creek Road. You can choose to stop at Andy Williams Park for a number of rock pools, or you can follow the creek.
There are private properties in the area though, so be mindful and respectful of the homes around you and ensure that Cedar Creek stays untouched and undistributed (just the way nature intended it).
KONDALILLA FALLS – MONTVILLE
Past the picturesque Sunshine Coast Hinterland town of Montville and up in the Blackall Range is a lush waterfall deep in the rainforest.
Be sure to wear good walking shoes as there are over 100 steps on the Kondalilla Falls Circuit! For those who aren’t too keen to take off their flip-flops, don’t fret. You can nab an absolutely gorgeous view of this beauty from the lookout above (or upside down!).
SERENITY FALLS – BUDERIM FOREST WALK
This secluded oasis is a jewel in the subtropical paradise of the Sunshine Coast.
There are two access points to Serenity Falls (aka Buderim Falls). The circuit track from Quorn Close takes about 20 minutes to complete whereas the track to Harry’s Restaurant on the north side of the park can be completed in about an hour.
BOOLOUMBA FALLS – CONONDALE NATIONAL PARK
To access the beautiful Booloumba Falls you will need a 4WD to navigate the gravel roads and several creek crossings but, boy is it worth it.
When you arrive, venture through tall open forests on the scenic walk to the falls and take a dip in the cool waters. Want to extend your stay? Conondale National Park has camping grounds available but make sure you organise a permit beforehand.
WAPPA FALLS – YANDINA
Just a short walk from Wappa Dam is a local secret not too many know about. Similar to Gardners Falls, Wappa Falls offers plenty of little swimming holes around the main fall (score!).
MIRROR FALLS – LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
Starting at O’Reilly’s, Mirror Falls is one of the longer hikes in the area.
The track is 20.6km long and is part of the Albert River Circuit. But with views like this, it is well worth a visit at least once!
CHALAHN FALLS – LAMINGTON NATIONAL PARK
The deeper you wander into Lamington National Park, the more incredible the waterfalls become. Found along Toolona Creek Circuit is the picturesque Chalahn Falls.
When you arrive, you will spot water tumbling off the mountain and cascading over mossy rocks below. A return walk from the falls is about 10.5 km from O’Reilly’s.