25 Sep 2019

Grab your flip-flops, thongs, jandals or whatever it is that you may call them; summer is near and the Gold Coast is heating up in the best ways. The surf is pumping, the fish are biting and there is more sun than we know what to do with.

But with all this great weather you’re bound to want to cool down, so we have searched from the highest peaks of the Hinterland to the edges of the beaches and back again to find you the best swimming holes on the Gold Coast. And the best part? They’ll all free.


Snapper Rocks is famous for more than just being ridiculously good looking. This is where the best of the best surfers come to have a play. Mick Fanning and Co. love it. Don’t think that’s all it has to offer though. The swimming here is great, the beach is beautiful and the cliffs offer some of the best views around.

Located on the shores of Coolangatta it’s close to shops, restaurants and great coffee places. So this makes it ideal for a day away. In the warmer months, there’s also lifeguards on duty so the beach is a great safe place to have a cooling dip.

Check out more of the Southern Beaches while you’re there to get a greater taste of what the Gold Coast has to offer.

Image Credit: @shipwreckphotography


The drive to Currumbin Rock Pools is almost as refreshing as the water itself. The road winds through lush forests and small country farms and cafés. You’ll feel like you’re hours away from the city life even though it’s a short twenty-minute drive.

The pools themselves are a stone’s throw away from the road so parking is in close proximity and you can be neck-deep in soothing mountain fresh water in no time. There is shade aplenty and young kids have a blast jumping into the pool from the small rock wall.

Continue exploring the Currumbin Valley when you’ve cooled off, you won’t regret it.


Tallebudgera Creek has it all. Not only do you get a great place to swim with a lifeguard tower, you also get some of the best fishing on the Gold Coast as well as a great BBQ area for cooking up that fresh catch. Parking here is free and plentiful and not far from the shore and there are toilets as well. Echo Beach is also a must-visit hidden gem of the creek – accessible via the Ocean View Track along Burleigh Headland Access.

Head to Palm Beach and then make your way to the Tallebudgera Creek side to find shade, a sandy shore free from waves and a place you’ll want to keep coming back to again and again. Here it feels like you have found your own secret spot even though there are plenty of people around. That’s the magic of this place. A little something for yourself hiding in the middle of the Gold Coast.

Try your hand at some SUP (stand up paddle boarding) while you are here, it’s quite relaxing once you get past the falling off part!

Image Credit: @_harrrryy_


Right near the heart of everything, there is the Broadwater Parklands of Southport.This place was built to make going out for the day and having a good time as easy as possible. There are multiple toilets and BBQ areas and a safe swimming beach for the older kids as well as a rock pool for the little ones.

If you are feeling adventurous there are jet-skis for hire right on the beachfront and some great fishing options nearby as well. With paid parking really close to everything and a bunch of cafés that have some amazing treats and great coffee, the day seems to disappear really easily here.


Nestled near the top of Mount Tamborine is the Cedar Creek Falls Rock Pools. The one hour drive from Surfers Paradise goes by really quickly thanks to the beautiful views that play out the windows of your car.

Park at the entrance then take the short five minute walk down the stairs to find several rock pools each more inviting than the last. Don’t worry the stairs are easy, your camera will get more of a workout than you will. Cedar Creek flows through each pool making the water fresh and clear. There are plenty of large flat rocks to lie a towel down on and take your well-deserved afternoon nap.

Rock pools and cascades at popular Cedar Creek Falls. Image: Brooke Darling

As you can see the Gold Coast is littered from Hinterland to the beaches with amazing places to dip your toes.

Don't want to leave the comfort of your hotel? Have a look at the Best Hotel Pools on the Gold Coast

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Ben Brayley
Ben Brayley

Ben is an international man of mystery and a boss travel journalist. Born in Wales, raised in Canada and now living on the Sunshine Coast, he married an Aussie girl and is trapped here forever (not that he's complaining). He loves movies, basketball and most of all, fishing the Queensland coast.


Destination Gold Coast acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the land on which we are situated, the Kombumerri families of the Yugambeh Language Region. 
We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging, and recognise their continuing connections to the lands, waters and their extended communities throughout Southeast Queensland.