Splash into summer at the region’s best swimming holes
QUEENSLAND'S sweltering summer is well underway and there's only one way to beat the heat while still getting out and about - swimming.
Lucky for us, southeast Queensland boasts some pretty spectacular water holes.
We've rounded up 11 of the best spots to go for a dip these holidays - just remember to put safety first around the water holes.
Cedar Creek, Samford
How to get there: To access Cedar Creek, begin at Samford and drive north along Mount Samson Road, then turn left into Cedar Creek Road.
Why it's great: Cedar Creek is a treasure trove of rock pools, waterfalls and relaxing picnic spots. The stunning location is home to an array of native flora and fauna including platypus and wallabies and provides plenty of space even on busy days.
Noosa Fairy Pools, Sunshine Coast
How to get there: Start at Noosa National Park carpark and head past Tea Tree and Granite Bays. At the far end of Granite Bay there is a park bench and the track turns right around a large bend. It's time to ditch the path and scramble your way down to the rock pools.
Why it's great: There are two rock pools - one is quite shallow making it a perfect location for young children. The second is a bit deeper and provides a few good ledges to jump from. Noosa Fairy Pools is among gorgeous coastal headlands and boasts an array of sea life.
Purlingbrook Falls, Gold Coast hinterland
How to get there: There is one route to Springbrook via Nerang-Murwillumbah Rd (via Exit 69 from the M1) then Pine Creek Rd. Once in town follow the signs to the Settlement day-use area on Carrick Rd. The venture would normally begin at the Gwongorella picnic area but the site is being redeveloped. The walk is well signposted, easy to follow and can be done in either direction however clockwise is recommended.
Why it's great: Nestled among ancient trees in dense tropical and world-heritage listed rainforest, the 109m waterfall plummets into a swimming hole surrounded by mist. Take a dip in the cool waters and float under towering palm trees and chirping birds.
Gardners Falls, Maleny
How to get there: Head east along the Landsborough-Maleny Road for 2.8km. Turn left onto Obi Lane South and follow it for 1.2km to the end where you can park your car and take the short walk to the falls.
Why it's great: Gardners Falls has something for everyone. The short walk from the car park attracts young families while the large rope swing is reserved for the more adventurous. There are plenty of spots to swim at Gardners with both shallow and deep waterholes.
Rocksberg, Moreton Bay
How to get there: Travelling north on the M1 take the 146 exit towards Morayfield. Continue on to Morayfield Rd and then Caboolture River Rd and follow that until you reach Rocksberg.
Why it's great: Located in the rolling green hills at the foot of Mt Mee, Rocksberg is the perfect place to escape society. This quiet little town provides several spots to take a dip with both deep and shallow waterholes available. Pull up a spot on the grass and take in your new favourite daytrip getaway.
Booloumba Falls, Kenilworth
How to get there: Conondale National Park is 130km north of Brisbane in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. From Brisbane, follow the Bruce Highway north, and take the Kenilworth exit. Follow the signs for Kenilworth, travelling along the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road for about 28km. The turn-off to Booloumba Creek day-use is about 7km past Kenilworth.
Why it's great: Crystal clear creeks flow over pebbled beds in lush Australian bushland. Booloumba Falls is hidden away in the Conondale ranges and hosts an array of refreshing swimming holes along the creek. After your swim, take a stroll and check out the sculpture by internationally renowned artist Andy Goldsworthy
Currumbin Rock Pools, Gold Coast
How to get there: Take the Stapley Drive/Reedy Creek exit from the Pacific Motorway and continue through Currumbin and Tallebudgera valleys to Currumbin Creek Road.
Why it's great: Mix scenic views, rugged rocks and a calm pool of water in beautiful tropical forest and you get an idyllic location for families and adventurers. Currumbin Rock Pools are suitable for all ages, with shallow sections suitable for toddlers and young children and deeper sections where the older kids and adults enjoy jumping into the refreshing water below.
Kondalilla Falls, Montville
How to get there: From Brisbane, travel north along the Bruce Highway, take the Steve Irwin Way Exit 163. Follow Steve Irwin Way north and take the Landsborough turn-off. Continue through the Landsborough township and follow the signs for Montville on the Landsborough - Maleny Road. Turn right onto the Maleny - Montville Road, travel through Montville and continue on the road which changes names to Main Street and then Flaxton Drive. Just north of Montville turn left onto Kondalilla Falls Road.
Why it's great: Explore the luscious rainforest tracks on your stroll down to the first rock pool and waterfall. Take a dip to cool off before descending deeper into the rainforest as you walk down to the valley for the best waterfall view at the base of the falls.
Stony Creek, Moreton Bay
How to get there: From Brisbane, head north to Caboolture then follow the D'Aguliar Highway west through Woodford and take the Stony Creek Road exit around 5km out of Woodford. Follow the signs to Stony Creek day-use area.
Why it's great: Rock hop your way down to this hidden swimming hole at the southern end of the Bellthorpe Forest Reserve on the Conondale Ranges. Stony Creek hosts one of the Moreton Bay region's most beautiful swimming holes and is surrounded by breathtaking bushland. Bring a pool noodle or that trusty inflatable swan and float your way down the creek while listening to the birds.
Wappa Falls, Yandina
How to get there: Head along the Bruce Highway and take the Nambour Connection Road exit, turning off at Wappa Falls Rd. Follow this road and turn right at Pump Station Rd.
Why it's great: Wappa Falls is a gorgeous little waterhole to escape the summer heat at. Water gushes over slippery rocks into a deep swimming hole on the Maroochy River. The short walk from the car makes it an appealing choice for those with young children in tow. It is a well-known local spot but only really gets busy on weekends.
Serenity Falls, Buderim
How to get there: There are two paths to Serenity or Buderim Falls. The bush track from the top entrance is the most direct route at 350m long but is steepest. To get there, take Lindsey Rd off the main street in Buderim Village and then take the first right onto Quorn Close. From there, there will be signs for Buderim Falls. Alternatively, you may want to access the falls from Harry's Lane, located off the bottom of Lindsey Road.
Why it's great: Float below a tropical rainforest canopy at this serene waterhole and even step behind the cascading falls to take in a whole new perspective of this gorgeous little location. Serenity Falls is also known as Buderim Forest Falls and provides easy walking tracks with wheelchair and stroller friendly paths.