A freelance writer and bargain hunter with wanderlust, recently moved to Perth from Brisbane.
Published October 23rd 2012
Beat the blustering heat for free
It is almost time for the joys of summer. Get ready for the sweltering heat, the scorching sun, the sweaty patches and sticky, uncomfortable skin. Or you can channel your inner child and look on the bright side; long beautiful days and perfect excuses to jump into the water to cool yourself down.
If you do not have a swimming pool at home or a neighbour or friend's you can jump in and are not game enough to just jump into a stranger's backyard pool, you can check out your neighbourhood council swimming pools.
If you don't feel like paying, Brisbane is fortunate enough to be right smack in the middle of two beautiful coastal areas, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. However, if you do not feel like driving for more than an hour to waddle in the ocean, braving the weekenders traffic, there are some closer options available (some still free!)
A Brisbane local would probably be no stranger to Streets Beach in South Bank. This beach-like setting is the closest free, clean and safe waterhole you can get to the hustle and bustle of the city. Be prepared for shrieks and squeals from little kids during the weekends as this is a popular family spot. Rest assured that there are qualified lifeguards from 7 am to 7pm until 31st November and then 7 am to midnight from 1st December to 31st January. So if you were planning to make a dash for a midnight skinny dip around the Christmas or New Years period be forewarned. You will have spectators. Although a packed lagoon would not be ideal for a wanna-be Olympic training session, it is more than adequate for a quick refreshing dip and a fun, playful day out with your friends and family.
This lagoon is probably still a bit of a drive if you live in the middle of the city but after a 30 minute drive to get here, you get the best of both worlds. There is enough sand and ocean nearby to take a quick dip in the sea or Sunday morning markets to distract and entice you with pedicures, home-made soap and massages. This lagoon is usually packed during the weekends as well with families firing up the barbeques available along the oceanfront. A favourite with kiddies due to its shallow pool and playground, the lagoon is not to be missed. The large and fun lagoon appears impressive to passer-bys, akin to pools available at holiday resorts but the clincher is that it is free to the public. In fact, it may be more economical to drive to Redcliffe as compared to going to Streets Beach as parking is also free around the Redcliffe lagoon vicinity.
3) Wynnum Water Park, Wyndham East
If your kids love whales, this is the place to go with whales sprouting out water, sprinkling the little ones like rain. Situated right next to Pandanus beach, the water park has a pirate-themed playground, bike paths, wading pool with a fun slide, toilets and nearby cafes. This is a great place for little ones to splash around and entertain themselves for the afternoon while their parents sigh in relief as their kids have the time of their lives using up their energy. Adults can also sneak into the wading pool with their kids to splash around and ensure they come out feeling as cool as a cucumber.
4) JC Slaughter Falls, Mount Cootha
Despite its creepy name, JC Slaughter Falls is another favourite local haunt (pardon the pun). Enjoy what nature has to offer in this popular picnic area surrounded by untamed bush land. JC Slaughter Falls, one of two sources of Ithaca Creek, can easily cool you off as you paddle down the stream, relishing in the cool mountain water. The nearby Simpson Falls is another refreshing waterfall. The nice little creek is perfect for splashing around but don't expect a proper swimming experience from these natural waterholes located a mere 10 minute from the CBD. There are times when the fall is a bit dry or only trickling, so it is best to go after it has been raining. To get to the falls, turn off Sir Samuel Griffith Drive at Mount Cootha.