If you’re lucky enough to get out and explore different parts of Queensland this summer, you should check out some of Queensland’s best free end of ride swimming spots. These locations are great for families wanting to make the most of the local free entertainment and they are also a great way to stay cool in summer! While you enjoy a ride in the cooler early hours of the day, you can plan your ride to finish at one of these swim spots before slowly making your way home in the early afternoon.
Follow some of our tips to ensure you get the most out of your family summer rides in paradise.
Located in the middle of town, the Cairns Lagoon is a saltwater swimming paradise free from stingers and crocs. Get some local produce from Rusty’s Markets, then ride down to the Cairns esplanade for a swim. The esplanade ride is flat and easy, perfect for families with young kids. Lifeguards patrol the lagoon during open peak hours, and with over 4800sqm of water, there’s plenty of space for everyone.
Hervey Bay – Wetside Water Education Park
This water park provides a unique educational experience giving people access to interactive displays that teach you how stormwater is supplied to the fountains. As Australia is the driest country, it’s worth educating people about this precious resource. There are several free swimming pools, but for a small fee, you can make use of the 2 large water slides or the FlipSide BoardRider! If you fancy riding in the evening (with bike lights) the facility puts on a Fountain Light Show that starts at 7pm. You can ride 7km from Urangan Pier along the esplanade on a flat and easy route. You have the option of stopping for a swim at Torquay Beach or checking out the Hervey Bay Historical Village and Museum on the way.
This lagoon is located next to the sea and is a massive 95 meters long. It’s an adventurous place for the kids with mushroom fountains, squirting lizards and an island in the middle of the main pool. There’s plenty of shade for parents to relax while their kids play, and shops nearby make this a perfect end of ride swim spot. The 4km ride to the lagoon from Scarborough Beach is relatively flat, and a lot of it is on separated paths. As you ride along the coastline, you’ll pass several parks and public amenities. Be sure to explore this ride on a Sunday as the Redcliffe Markets have something for everyone.
Brisbane – Enoggera Dam
Located just 20 minutes west of Brisbane, the Enoggera Dam is a beautiful spot to cool off after a ride. The heritage-listed reservoir has a section of water protected by buoys which makes keeping an eye on the little ones a bit easier. Non-mortised water devices can be used in the dam, and you often see people floating around on pool noodles and paddle-boards.
It’s a bit of a challenge finding a nice shady spot to sit, so the best prepared will have sunscreen and shade tents/umbrellas. There is a mountain bike skills course suitable for kids only 500m from the swimming hole. The skills course is suitable for learners but does offer some fun lines for experienced riders and a pump track for all abilities. Make sure you read all the safety signage and make note of the trail classification that represents the difficulty level of the trails. Once you’re done building your mountain skills and practising your moves, you can go for a dip in the freshwater.
Brisbane – Streets Beach
Located in the heart of South Bank these pools are close to all amenities and public transport that big cities offer. This lagoon is huge but can get pretty packed in the warmer months. The best bet is to get in there early and reserve a good spot. It has an interactive water play area for kids big and small and a couple of larger pools for all to enjoy. Streets Beach is free to swim, and it has lifeguards all year round. In terms of family rides, you can take your pick of flat rides with loops ranging from 3km to a 40km iconic Brisbane river loop.
If you’re more adventurous, why not explore other rides the area has to offer? Check out our where to ride page for more info.
Riding Brisbane Valley Rail Trail With Kids
Bicycle Queensland's Chair and Director, Rachel Nolan has ridden the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail each year end to end across four days since her son was four years old, he is now seven. Below is Rachel's guide on how to ride the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail!