A swimming hole makes an enticing destination for a day trip or a calming backdrop to an overnight stay. Rachel Lewis, joint Founder of Wild Swimming Australia, shares with us her favourite swimming holes near Brisbane for a much needed cool off.

 

We acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Countries on which these adventures take place who have occupied and cared for these lands and waters for thousands of years. We pay our respects to them and recognise that sovereignty was never ceded.

Wild swimming has always been an essential feature in the (admittedly short) history of microadventures. It’s the perfect way to cool off en route if you’re reaching your destination on foot or by pedal power.

Another integral part of a microadventure is that it pushes our boundaries a little. What better way to do that than stepping off the land into water, letting go of the rope swing or even pushing on past the dreaded bellybutton freeze?

Here’s my list of 14 wild swimming locations which are easily accessible from Brisbane. Some of these swim spots are perfect for a day trip, while others are a little further afield and perfect for an overnight stay with repeated dips over a sunny weekend. Many are even right next to an established campsite, and some of the swimming holes are even dog-friendly!

Read more: Staying Safe Around Swimming Holes

 

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Swimming Holes Less Than an Hour From Brisbane

1. Bunya Crossing Reserve

Time from Brisbane: 20 mins
Distance: Car park located at waterhole
Hot tip: Dog friendly! (well nearly all animals)

This spot seems to be a bit of a local secret, which makes for a really enjoyable swim. When I visited families and teenage friend groups were enjoying lying next to the waterhole, swimming in it and flying off the rope swing. There were also heaps of dogs enjoying the water, and even a horse!

 

2. Enoggera Reservoir

Time from Brisbane: 20 mins
Distance: 200m

This is probably the most popular spot on our list of Brisbane swimming holes as it’s suitable for anyone and everyone. There are often plenty of people swimming, kayaking, stand up paddleboarding and picnicking at this spot. However, if you’re not a fan of crowds or just want to enjoy a peaceful swim, this might not be the spot for you!

 

3. Cedar Creek Falls

Time from Brisbane: 55min
Distance: 900m

A series of beautiful plunge pools await you below Cedar Creek Falls in the Tamborine National Park. There are several walking trails in the park, including two to other waterfalls. However, swimming is only permitted in certain areas to protect glow-worm populations and other wildlife.

 

4. Cedar Creek Falls

Time from Brisbane: 45 mins
Distance: 500m
Hot tip: Dog friendly!

Nope, that’s not a mistake, there are actually two swimming spots near Brisbane called Cedar Creek Falls, one to the south and one to the north. Don’t get them mixed up! This one is dog-friendly, but the other is in a national park, a big doggy no-go zone.

Located near Samford, this Cedar Creek Falls is an awesome Brisbane waterfall and picnic spot. As soon as you park the car just off Cedar Creek Road, walk down to the creek and rock-hop all the way upstream to the waterfall. It takes about 20 minutes, depending on your speed and how often you stop.

There are waterholes big enough to swim in the whole way along, but keep going till you reach the monster falls. There’s a sign with ‘Cedar Creek’ spraypainted on it, so you can’t miss it.

Read more: Remember to leave no trace!

 

Swimming Holes Over an Hour From Brisbane

5. Kondalilla Falls

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 35min
Distance: 4km circuit

The pool above Kondalilla Falls could be the perfect swimming hole: long enough for a proper swim and fed by a small waterfall at the far end, this majestic swimming hole is surrounded by trees, native flora, and rocks which are plenty flat enough for picnics.

Whilst relatively tame as a standalone adventure, you can choose to pair it with part of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. The whole four-day walk passes several other swimming holes including Lake Baroon.

 

10 brisbane wild swimming adventures qld rachel lewis andy lewis kondalilla falls, waterfall, trees, swimming hole, waterhole

Kondalilla Falls | @andylewis_photography

6. Reynolds Creek & Lake Moogerah

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 25min

Some deeper sections along Reynolds Creek, about an hour from Brisbane, are easily accessed from the quaint, privately run Gorge Campground near Aratula. There’s also a designated swimming area at the picturesque Lake Moogerah which is located a little upstream.

 

7. Keyhole Lagoons

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 45min (pending ferry times)
Distance: 250m from Main Beach

There are so many great swimming holes on North Stradbroke Island but the Keyhole Lagoons, which span 4.5km and consist of a chain of freshwater lagoons and lakes, might be our favourite. The island is great to explore by bike as it’s fairly flat. Bikes go free on the ferry or can be hired on the island.

8. Rocky Hole

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 35min
Distance: 200m

Rocky Hole is a beautiful series of swimming holes along Neurum Creek. There’s an unsealed road joining Rocky Holes with Bulls Falls (a short walk to the lookout reveals more tantalising pools) and Neurum Creek Campground, where you can enjoy some peaceful bush camping for the weekend.

9. Northbrook Gorge

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 10min
Distance: 2km

This is such a beautiful waterhole to cool down in. It’s not very well known and you could blink and miss the path.

As you come down Mt Glorious, turn right into a gravel area (exact location on the map below). From there, walk down the sloping road for 100m and go over the metal barrier where you’ll come across a worn-in path. It’s a pretty steep decline for a couple of hundred metres, then you’ll hit the creek bed. From there go upstream for about 20-30 mins.

Along the way, you’ll need to wade through some of the creek so bring a dry bag for your stuff. There are a couple of beautiful waterholes along the way, but the best one is tucked in a gorge with a little waterfall flowing. This is a great location to get away from a stinking hot day.

 

10. Buderim Falls (aka Serenity Falls)

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 20min
Distance: 900m

With not a boat motor or bug trap in earshot, this is the kind of serenity Darryl Kerrigan could never have dreamed of. The only sounds are the waterfall hitting the large pool below and plenty of birdsong.

It’s a short walk (with a bit of scrambling) down to the falls so this is the ideal day-trip swimming adventure.

 

10 wild swimming adventures near brisbane qld rachel lewis andy lewis serenity falls, waterfall, swimming hole, rocks, ferns

Serenity Falls | @andylewis_photography

11. Currumbin Rock Pool

Time from Brisbane: 1hr 20min
Distance: Right by car park
Hot tip:
 Dogs allowed on leash

Currumbin Rock Pool is a not-so-secret secret spot just 20 minutes drive inland from Currumbin Beach. It’s a big ol’ natural pool, which is popular with families and has several levels of rock jumps.

If you want to feel like you really earn your swim, cycle the 40km loop from Currumbin Beach to Currumbin Rock Pool and back with a refreshing dip at either end. A large chunk of the ride is along the tree-lined and picturesque Currumbin Creek Road.

Swimming Holes Over Two Hours From Brisbane

12. Booloumba Creek

Time from Brisbane: 2hr
Distance: 10m from camp

The Booloumba Creek area of Conondale National Park is a wriggling maze of pristine waterways, making it a wild swimming heaven.

Camp at Booloumba Camp #1 and you’ll find yourself waking up right next to a turquoise clear pool surrounded by a beach of rainbow pebbles. It’s a serious hike to Booloumba Falls from here (where there’s another beautiful pool), but you can drive to the falls car park for a more manageable walk.

There are countless other swimming spots in the area so it’s an ideal spot to head to if you’re after wild swimming adventures near Brisbane. Time to explore!

 

10 wild swimming adventures near brisbane qld rachel lewis andy lewis booloumba creek, creek, pool, trees, swimming hole, waterhole, turquoise water

Booloumba Creek | @andylewis_photography

13. Fairy Pools

Time from Brisbane: 2hr
Distance: 3.8km

The coastline of Noosa Heads is littered with amazing swimming spots when there’s no swell, but the Fairy Pools are something else.

Nestled in the rocks around the point from Granite Bay, these sponge and coral-bottomed rock pools guarantee an incredibly beautiful and sheltered spot to swim in most conditions.

They’re accessed by walking through the Noosa Heads National Park where it’s not unusual to see koalas and the variety of bush and coastal walking trails will keep you well occupied for the day.

 

14. Minyon Falls

Time from Brisbane: 2hr 20min
Distance: 4-8km return depending on routes

A visit to Minyon Falls is definitely as much about the journey as the destination. You’ll be travelling on foot to the base of the falls through the incredible rainforest trails of the Nightcap National Park.

Once there you’ll find a shallowish but swimmable pool at the bottom of an impressive waterfall and overlooked by a formidable cliff made of rather ominous-looking columns of rock.

 

10 wild swimming adventures near brisbane qld rachel lewis andy lewis minyon falls, swimming hole, rocks, bush

Minyon Falls | @andylewis_photography

 

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