If you've never heard of Tweed Heads' Jack Evans Boat Harbour, then now's the time to get acquainted with this brilliant family swim spot. Literally hugging the Tweed Heads-Coolangatta border, the Jack Evans Boat Harbour is just over an hour's drive south of Brisbane. Comprising almost five hectares of manicured parklands, the harbour precinct has modern public toilet facilities, and is ideal for picnics, BBQs or for just letting the kids run amok on the plentiful grass or modern playground.
Jack Evans Boat Harbour looks spectacular from above.
But on a 30-degree day, the highlight for us was definitely Central Beach. This calm, harbour-like section of the Tweed River is fringed by two substantial patches of clean white sand, ideal for building sandcastles, exercising the dog or just frolicking around. The water starts out quite shallow, making it perfect for the very young or those only wanting to get the feet wet. Older children and adults can swim to their heart's content without fear of being swept out to sea, and there's also a range of water activities available for hire, including pedal-powered boats and stand-up paddle boards.
The beach area is easily accessible (strollers included), courtesy of the wide boardwalk weaving its way through the precinct. If you fancy stretching the legs, the walkway extends right out to the headland where you'll be greeted with stunning ocean views. The genuine surf beaches of Coolangatta are also just minutes away by foot.
A well-maintained boardwalk makes it easy to access the beach area.
With a successful morning of sandcastle construction behind us, we were all more than ready for some lunch. While the surrounding streets of Tweed and Coolangatta are packed with cafes and restaurants, we opted for the air-conditioned comfort of the Twin Towns Club. If you're a lover of all things food then this is the place for you. Boasting 10 different eateries across multiple levels, we were totally overwhelmed by the choices on offer. But with the toddler screaming out "I want raisin toast" at the top of her lungs (yes, it was on the menu; no, she didn't get any), we hastily decided on a combination of pizza and salad and gourmet toasted sandwiches.
The Twin Towns Club (pictured bottom left) is a perfect family lunch destination.
All meals were hearty and delicious and served up against a backdrop of sparkling blue ocean views. Better still, the tables were big enough to accommodate a large group, and spaced far enough apart that we didn't have to worry about a rowdy toddler tossing food all over a neighbouring diner. We sat indoors, but the outdoor balcony overlooking the boat harbour was a popular spot with other patrons.
As far as day trips go, the Jack Evans Boat Harbour is the total package.