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6 BEST Swimming Holes Near Brisbane

Are you feeling hot? You’re not alone! It seems like most of Brisbane is at local pools these holidays. But would you like to cool off and escape the heat at on of the natural swimming holes near Brisbane instead? We’ve done our research and come up with the six best swimming holes near Brisbane! Swim on over here and check them out!

Remember – if you’re going to any swimming hole you need to be cautious about water depth and safety. Survey for objects like rocks and branches, test how deep it is before attempting any jump and don’t assume something is safe just because other people are doing it. Play safe around water!

Bunya Crossing Reserve swimming hole

Bunya Crossing Reserve Swimming Hole for toddlers- Brisbane

Head 25 minutes from the Brisbane CBD to find this gorgeous place that’s great for kids (and adults) of all ages! Shallows to splash in, rope swings to play on, deeper water to float in. It’s a peaceful setting to help you escape the rat race and the crankiness of a sweltering city.  Come to see a video review of Bunya Crossing Reserve swimming hole for yourself to inspire you to get out of the heat.  

Gardners Falls swimming hole

Gardners Falls Day Trip swimming hole

You’ll be venturing a bit further afield – Gardners Falls is near Maleny but the trip is worth it for this glorious swimming hole. As pretty as a postcard, gorgeous Australian bush surrounds this beautiful pool bordered by rock ledges with cascading water. A rope swing is available to swing from as well! Toddlers can happily plod about in the shallow rock pools and there is plenty of shade to relax in as well. Gardners Falls swimming hole makes for a beautiful family day out.

Enoggera Reservoir at The Gap

swimming holes near Brisbane enoggera reservoir

This is one of North West Brisbane’s best kept secrets! This swimming hole is the perfect place to take a liloh, spread out a towel or splash in the shallows. There’s even a loading zone where you can pull over to unload your car prior to parking – score!

The water is quite deep, fresh and MURKY – so goggles will be a little useless if you want to leave them at home. There are water crafts like paddle boats and kayaks available to hire on site (as well as mountain bikes and mini segways!) and there’s a discovery centre to get a little learning in. You can read the whole review (including video) right here. 

Kondalilla National Park swimming hole

Kondalilla Swimming Day Trip from Brisbane

Head 100km north, near Montville in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. Inside the national park you’ll find the Kondalilla Falls swimming hole located a few minutes’ walk from the car park. There is a steep descent but it is manageable – consider this option if your group includes people who have difficulty with balance. The Falls cascade down four metres of rock which makes for an idyllic setting. Come and see for yourself and get into the cool water! VIDEO REVIEW

Cedar Creek Falls swimming hole, Samford


Splashing at the Cedar Creek swimming hole has long been a past-time for many families of Brisbane. A lot of this area is now private land but there is still plenty of room to swim at any of the various rock pools along Cedar Creek Road. If you’ve got little ones try Halls Road Crossing – mini islands, fish and tortoises to spot! Lots of climbing trees and places to throw down a picnic blanket. You can also try Andy William’s Park which is set up with amenities for a barbeques. Head higher up the mountain to adventure through the meandering creek and spot the beautiful wildlife.

Cedar Creek is very rocky so make sure you wear appropriate footwear, even in the water. Come and explore this variety of swimming holes!

Cedar Creek Fall swimming hole, Tamborine

Cedar Creek Falls Mt Tamborine with kids

This can be a little confusing because they have the same one but this is NOT the same as the one in Samford. You’ll be travelling near Thunderbird Park. The rock pools are a bit isolated from the car park meaning you must remember to respect nature and take all of your rubbish with you. Steps and paths leading to the pools can be a little tricky to manoeuvre but once you are there you will find three different rock pools. The water is often very cold – perfect for these blistering summer days! Find out more about these Tamborine swimming holes here.  VIDEO REVIEW


We’ve got an added bonus as well. It’s a bit further south but definitely worth the trip. Check out our review of the delightful Currumbin Rock Pools right here!

Don’t let your fun family day out turn tragic – remember to play it safe near water!

• Watch out for wildlife.
• Keep your eye on your children at all times.
• Be respectful of other swimmers.
• Don’t use a rope swing without checking water depth and submerged items. Just because someone else is using it doesn’t mean it’s safe!
• Never dive in!
• Use aquatic shoes (Crocs will do) if possible.
• Be sun smart!
• Bring food and water.
• Be aware that many of these venues do not have toilets or baby change facilities.

Swimming holes a little further afield

We found a great piece by Concrete Jungle that mentioned the following spots. If you’ve got the time and the inclination, you could definitely combine ALL of the spots in this article for a bucket list of south-east Queensland swimming holes. Jump in!

  • North Belongil Beach (near Byron)
  • Serentiy Falls (Buderim Forest Park)
  • Minyon Falls (Nightcap National Park)
  • Lake Ainsworth (Lennox Head)
  • Lower Portals (Mt Barney)
  • Champagne Pools (Fraser Island)
  • Spiral Beach (near Coolangatta)
  • Blue Lake (North Stradbroke Island)
  • Killen Falls (Tintenbar)
  • Fairy Pools (Noosa National Park) It’s one of our PERFECT things to do in Noosa with kids!

What are you waiting for?

Don’t sit there and swelter for a minute longer. Get in the car, get out there and enjoy the beautiful natural waterholes that Brisbane and the surrounds have to offer!

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.

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