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Nudgee Beach: We Show You Our Secret Swimming Spot for Kids (and Dogs)!

Brisbane is awash (pun intended) with beaches including the lesser visited but family friendly Nudgee Beach. Living in Banyo, Nudgee Beach (also known as Nudge Creek Reserve) is our *local* and we have been down here more times than we care to count.

Nudgee Beach is an underrated beach for toddlers in Brisbane and should be added to your day trips list. Kids can dig in the muddy sand and get dirty, then splash in the low tide water to wash it off. This is a secluded, quiet beach with picnicking opportunities that is perfect for families.

As beaches go, this isn’t the kind of beach you see in photos of Queensland. You know, the beaches with golden sands and crashing waves! This Brisbane beach is often overlooked and discounted as *not a good swimming beach.* However, this makes it a perfect picnic spot for those amongst us who like a quiet, not-too-popular destination that offers kids a splashing good time.

Don’t believe me? Read on… and check out our photos too!

History of the area

The name Nudgee comes from the Yuggera word in the Yugarabul dialect, nardha meaning place of ducks, from nar meaning duck and dha meaning place.

Nudgee Beach Provisional School opened on 1 April 1926. In 1946 it became Nudgee Beach State School. It closed on 25 March 1988. In 1989 the school reopened as Nudgee Beach Field Study Centre. In 1992 it was renamed Nudgee Beach Environmental Education Centre.

How do I get to Nudgee Beach?

Drive: Nudgee Beach is a 25 minute drive north of Brisbane City. 

Cycle: The whole area is serviced by a bike track that runs close by the Schulz Canal itself, and eventually reaches Toombul Shopping Centre (and from there, many other parts of Brisbane).

Public transport: You can catch the 306 from Brisbane City out to the Nudgee Beach stop 39. This journey takes about 1.5 hours, so it is not a quick trip and not ideal for public transport. You can use the Translink journey planner to plan your journey to Nudge Beach.

Can you swim at Nudgee Beach?

swimming at Nudgee Beach

Yes, you can swim at Nudgee Beach.

It is a tidal flat with a large expanse of sand that is exposed at low tide. The best time to swim at the beach is at low tide. We have a secret swimming spot that is right on the bend of O’Quinn St at the end of Nudgee Rd. There is only room for about 8 cars and it is the quietest place to take small kids for a swim. That is our kids swimming and with the crocodiles in the photos above in the secret street… (Google 3D crocodile and you can have one on your photo too!) 

Things to do at Nudgee Beach

You may not know, but there are many different sections of Nudgee Beach with different entry points. We have covered them all and added photos so you can choose the part of the beach that best suits your family’s needs.

Entry via 18 Fortitude Street

This access point is the most popular. This is where you gain access to the reserve. There is a car park, disabled toilet, foreshore picnic area/shelters with electric barbecues, playground, half basketball court and water (bubblers).

Entry via O’Quinn Street

This access point is past the Fortitude Street entrance. There is a smaller car park that can also get busy on days with good weather. From here you have easy access to the Nudgee Creek canoe ramp and a picnic shelter. This is where you need to park if you are heading to the Tabbil-ban dhagun circuit boardwalk with its bird hide.

Nudgee Beach dog park

Brisbane City Council is piloting 3 off-leash dog parks at the time of writing.

The Nudgee Beach off-leash dog park stretches from the main boat ramp at Nudgee Beach Reserve car park south to Kedron Brook. Please remember that your dog must be on a leash outside these off-leash areas. You will see that there is signage at the entrance points to foreshore off-leash areas. We have included the dog park site map for you to check but also make sure you check signage when you arrive. This is a great place to walk your dog.

Bird watching

The Boondall Wetland and specifically this beach is a great place to go bird watching. These wetlands are home to a wide variety of native bird life inhabiting its tidal flats, mangroves and open forests. The wetlands offer habitats for over 190 species of birds. Including:

  • black-shouldered and brahminy kites, Australian kestrels and ospreys
  • whimbrels, godwits, plovers, tattlers, sandpipers and curlews on the mudlfats
  • ducks, egrets, herons and cormorants foraging within the wetlands
  • kingfishers in the mangrove forest
  • rainbow bee-eaters on the mangrove boardwalk.

Nudgee Beach boardwalk

Nudgee Beach boardwalk

Tabbil-ban dhagun circuit boardwalk is a short, level walk through the mangroves. You enter at the O’Quinn Street entrance parking there and head straight in to the beginning of the walk. It will take about 10-15 minutes if you walk straight around. If you stop at the bird hide… well then it will take a bit longer! 🙂


Fishing is allowed at the beach. If you plan on taking the boat out, there is a boat ramp at Tuckeroo Park along Nudgee Rd prior to arriving at the Reserve. 

Canoeing at Nudgee

There are four canoe ramps:

  • Fortitude Street into Moreton Bay
  • O’Quinn Street into Nudgee Creek
  • Mangrove boardwalk into Nudgee Creek
  • Boondall Wetlands into Nundah Creek

Nudgee Beach tides

The best time to go to the beach will depend on what you want to do there. As a keen fisherman/woman/person, you are going to want to know about the tides for fishing. If you plan on taking your dogs to the park, you will also need to check tides. If your kids want to swim, again the tides will be helpful. We always swim at low tide. 

Find out more about Nudgee Beach tides here.

What fish can you catch at Nudgee Beach?

There are many types of fish that you can catch. You could catch tailor, bream, flathead, cod, flounder, sometimes jacks if you know the spot. Keep your eye out for rays, sharks, stonefish, catfish, pike, etc. Try your luck on the boardwalk which can be pretty good at times too.

Families Tip: Depending on the weather the mosquitoes and sand flies can be really bad. Take bug spray and wear long sleeves and sun protection!

Facilities at Nudgee Creek Reserve

Depending on which part of Nudgee Beach you are at there are a range of facilities:

At the Fortitude St access point you will find:

  • car park,
  • disabled toilet,
  • foreshore picnic area
  • shelters with electric barbecues,
  • 2 playgrounds,
  • half basketball court,
  • water (bubblers)

At the O’Quinn Street access point you will find:

Boardwalk at Nudgee Beach
  • car park,
  • Nudgee Creek canoe ramp,
  • picnic shelter,
  • Tabbil-ban dhagun circuit boardwalk,
  • bird hide

Places to eat near Nudgee Beach

There are limited places to buy snacks, drinks and meals at the beach. The cafe is very close, the hotel is further away but is better for a larger, sit down lunch or dinner.

Nudgee Beach Hotel

Nudgee Beach Hotel

Address: Approach & Nudgee Rd, Nudgee 

The Nudgee Beach Hotel bistro is a favourite amongst locals and visitors to Nudgee. Their menu offers a range of delicious dishes with all the pub classics! They cater for all members of the family with a kids menu destined to please the fussiest little eaters and a delicious senior’s menu on offer.

Pams Cafe 88

Nudgee Beach cafe

Address: 88 O’Quinn Street, Nudgee Beach

The closest local corner store is called Pam’s Cafe 88 and they sell all the usual things!

Nudgee Beach is perfect for families

This is a great little beach perfect for families with kids, particularly little kids who like running around, playgrounds and splashing in shallow water.

Want to know what to pack when going to the beach – we know love this article.

Did we cover everything? If not, let us know in comments! 

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

1 thought on “Nudgee Beach: We Show You Our Secret Swimming Spot for Kids (and Dogs)!”

  1. Thanks for the great review of this wonderful place, Makes me want to go with my family too!
    Just want to know also whether there were any sandflies or mozzies about during your trips there?
    Would like to be prepared 🙂


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