The Sunshine State capital may not have any stretches of sand within arm’s reach (faux-fabulous Streets Beach aside), but it isn’t shy of secret swimming holes, heritage baths and salt-water pools fit for paddling.
While Melbourne is famous for its four seasons in one day, Brisbane’s climes are more predictable: sizzling with a chance of storms or blue skies with a bite in the air.
Either way, there’s only a small chunk of the calendar when a taking a dip isn’t an option.
1. Spring Hill Baths, Spring Hill
Dip your toe into a bygone era at the Spring Hill Baths – the oldest of their kind in the southern hemisphere.
Dating back to 1886, the heritage-listed baths are tucked away on a quiet inner-city street and still retain much of their original charm, including brightly painted Victorian-era change rooms and grandstand seating.
A 25-metre heated indoor pool makes it a lovely spot for a lap year-round.
2. Cedar Creek, Samford
You don’t need to stray too far from the city limits to go chasing waterfalls.
Not to be confused with Cedar Creek on the Gold Coast, this Cedar Creek is a few clicks north-west of Brisbane and is primed for a paddle and a picnic – especially after a decent downpour.
Dotted with rock pools of varying depths, this natural hideaway rewards the more sure-footed with trickling falls further upstream.
To get there, pop Andy Williams Park into your GPS.
3. Settlement Cove, Redcliffe
While Redcliffe may have enjoyed a short-lived stint as Queensland’s first colony, these days it lives a quiet existence as a seaside suburb of Brisbane.
At its foreshore is Settlement Cove – a delightful lagoon with all the amenities required for a family day out.
Settlement Cove ticks all the boxes with onsite barbecues, lifeguard patrol during the warmer months and a bikeway linking to the jetty.
4. Wynnum Wading Pool
The Wynnum Wading Pool is a Depression-era relic that has stood the test of time.
An easy 30 minutes from Brisbane’s CBD, the quaint tidal pool swells with salt water from Moreton Bay but remains shallow enough for even the littlest of nippers to splash around.
On the periphery of the pool, a revamped esplanade heaves with joggers, strollers and sightseers.
5. The Gorge, Lake Moogerah
An hour-and-a-bit south of Brisbane, in the heart of the Scenic Rim, sits Lake Moogerah – a popular base for all sorts of aquatic sports and a spot of stargazing.
This hidden gem holds its own secret: a rocky gorge that doubles as a private swimming spot. Stick around and explore more of Moogerah Peaks National Park, with ample accommodation skirting the lake.