Looking for fabulous and free Brisbane swimming pools for cooling off this summer or a great day out with the family? Check out these 5 great options!
Visitors to Brisbane swim in the sub-tropical climate all year round but having called the city home for 13 years now I’ve acclimatised and it’s only these scorching and sticky summer days that send me in search of the best places for a refreshing dip.
While there is coastline and some gorgeous islands around Brisbane, most of us head north to the Sunshine Coast or south to the Gold Coast for a day at the beach. What we do have locally are some great Brisbane swimming pools scattered across the city and surrounds.
Best of all these fabulous spots are all free so grab the kids, a towel and a picnic and let’s check out the best picks for a swim this summer.
Streets Beach at Southbank
As a river city, Brisbane central doesn’t have a natural beach but it more than makes up for that with Streets Beach, a huge manmade lagoon that runs through the Southbank Parklands. It’s a sandy-bottomed lagoon offering varying depths of freshwater fringed by white sand beaches and palm trees.
Lifeguards are on duty here all year round and you can check the hours at different times of year here. There are changing facilities and lockers available close by in the Stanley Street Plaza..
The lagoon opened in 1992 and has been regularly maintained and enhanced ensuring it remains a popular and well used public space.
If you prefer not to watch from the sand there are various sheltered areas with tables, wooden platforms and concrete terraced steps. There’s also 17 hectares of surrounding parkland with mature trees and grassy banks overlooking the Brisbane River to enjoy.
Settlement Cove at Redcliffe
The 95 metre long lagoon style pool in Redcliffe is a popular spot in summer and a great option for an early evening swim and BBQ dinner on the waters edge. There is a dedicated shallow area for younger children at the northern end that is fenced seperately and includes sprinkling mushrooms and spouting water creatures.
The main lagoon area is a good depth with plenty of outcrops and corners for cooling off. It’s not particularly suited to serious swimming but great for family fun or just relaxing. A little splashing during play is fine but lifeguards do keep it under control if it is impacting safety or other groups enjoying of the space.
Around the edge of the pool is seating, some of it sheltered, wide terraced steps lead into the water to sit on and grassy banks offering a good view of the water to keep an eye on things.
Orion Lagoon Pool in Ipswich
The Orion Lagoon pools are a large public waterpark in Springfield, about a 30 minute drive south of Brisbane city. The pools are just part of the facilities available at Robelle Domain.
There is a range of pools from toddlers (30 centimetres deep) through to 1.5 metre deep pools for swimmers. They depth tapers in from the sides like a lagoon making it easy to get in and out and judge the depth. One section of the pool has water play features including stepping stones and water spouts and there are lifeguards on duty at this facility all year round.
There are lockers and changing rooms with showers, picnic and BBQ facilities, a cafe on site and plenty of terraced grass areas to spread out inside the pool area.
The wider park area offers 24 hectares of community space with waterways for wildlife, walking paths, childrens parks, a central ampitheatre and even free wifi. Ideal for a family day out.
Read more: A day trip itinerary of things to do in Ipswich
Wynnum Wading Pool
The bayside suburbs of Wynnum and Manly have been a seaside retreat for Brisbanites since the late 19th century. The wading pool is central to the waterfront parklands here and a popular place to cool off.
It was completed in 1932 as a recovery project following the Great Depression providing work at the time and a much-loved resource for the area over almost 90 years.
The pool is around 75 cm deep in the centre and shallower at the edges and around the kid’s play area at the southern end. Known as a wading pool it’s ideal to cool off in and for the kids to play. Some do swim although it’s not quite deep enough for serious laps, most just splash around or soak while others use the resistance of water walking for exercise and recovery from injury.
The pool fills with saltwater on the high tide through a large filtration room adjacent to the toilet and changing room area, it has a sandy bottom and once or twice a year, usually in the depth of winter, it is emptied and the sand filtered and graded. Often the opportunity is used to host a sand volleyball tournament on the site before it is refilled.
The children’s end features a slide down into the water and terraced seating runs down one full side. There are shaded tables, BBQs, a children’s park with zero-depth water play and plenty of grassed reserves surrounding the pool.
On the southern end of the Sunshine Coast but still quite accessible to Brisbane is Kings beach. We really enjoy this area and the Caloundra Coastal Walkway that runs from Golden Beach in the south to Moffat Beach in the north. You can follow the coastal path all the way along and Kings Beach with the beachside pool is around the halfway mark.
The pool facility includes the 25-metre lap pool, a children’s pool and a wading pool with disabled access. There are shade sails and umbrellas providing some cover around the edge of the pool and the surrounding parkland provides a good variety of space for picnics, BBQs and relaxation.
Lifeguards are on duty at the pools during summer.
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