Tucked away between two pretty major roads on Sports Drive, Underwood, the Logan North Aquatic Centre is something of an oasis in the suburbs.
Located in the same precinct as the Logan North Library (another great place to visit, but that's a story for another day), the swimming pool has plenty of free parking, including some undercover. There's also plenty of pram and disabled parks available, plus a ramp connecting the car park to the aquatic centre.
Once you've made the short descent from the car park to the entrance, you'll see why this place is such an oasis. There are three pools set across sprawling grasslands, including one of Olympic size, another 23-metre fitness pool, plus a shaded children's wading pool, complete with a fun turtle fountain. There's also a 25-metre indoor learn-to-swim pool at the entrance of the centre, plus multiple change room facilities.
My toddler loves splashing up to the fountain and shouting "turtle" in her not-yet-perfect language. This shallow pool is the only one not heated so the water can be a little chilly early in the season. By the time we've had a few 30-plus degree days your little one should have no trouble plunging in.
Mr Turtle is a hit with the kids.
My toddler is not a fan of the cool water - or the camera for that matter.
Entry to the centre will cost you $6.10 for adults, $4.70 for pensioners and children (aged 2-14), or $19.50 for a family day pass (2 adults, 2 children). Occasionally there are restrictions on some of the pools for various reasons but the friendly staff will fill you in on arrival.
If you want to make a day of it, there are barbecues and picnic tables on the spacious grassy hill. However, sadly, given Brisbane's sizzling heat, the grass can go a little brown and dry, destroying some of the appeal of a poolside BBQ.
Brown grass or not, you won't have to go hungry thanks to the on-site cafe. The cafe has a good range of snacks, including hot chips, ice blocks, cold drinks and, most importantly, coffee. The giant shaded stairs overlooking the main pool are a great spot to enjoy your cafe treats. If the cafe isn't open during your visit, snacks are also available from reception at all times.
Many people I know have driven past here hundreds of times en route to the M1 with little idea of what they're whizzing by. I recommend turning off to find out.