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Top waterway spots for summer fun

arial view of the Gold Coast city and the blue waterways around it

Emily Toxward | November 28, 2021

You’re spoilt for choice when it comes to waterway spots to enjoy on the Gold Coast, with the city boasting an abundance of picturesque lagoons, parks and swimming enclosures.

This summer your toughest decision will be where to go first.

1. Tipplers Swimming Enclosure, South Stradbroke

If you’ve never been to South Stradbroke Island, then this summer is the perfect time to go. Tipplers at South Stradbroke is a scenic 30-minute boat ride from the Runaway Bay Marina. Be sure to pack a picnic, snorkelling gear and sand toys to make a day of it at the Tipplers swimming enclosure. There’s a kiosk, café, playgrounds as well as an abundance of wildlife and birds to see, maybe even a dolphin.


Image credit: @northendboardriders


2. Southport Broadwater Parklands

A local’s favourite overlooking the Broadwater, water spots include a netted swimming area, the Gold Coast Aquatic Centre and the Rockpools. Manned by lifeguards, the Rockpools is a sculptured water playground featuring fun fountains, a creek bed and several tidal pools. Outdoor fun is guaranteed thanks to a bouncy pillow, all-ages playground, bike tracks and shaded seating areas. There’s even coffee shops and Fish & Chips nearby.

3. Harley Park swimming lagoon, Labrador

Located adjacent to the Gold Coast’s famed Charis Seafood Market, the Harley Park swimming lagoon is great fun for everyone. Dive into the cool water, play on the shore or explore the expansive sandbank. There is also a gated playground for the kids, shaded BBQ areas and plenty of grassed space to throw out a picnic rug. You might even be lucky enough to get a visit from the resident pelicans.

4. Paradise Point Parklands

From stand-up paddle boarding to kayaking around the exclusive Sovereign Island and Ephraim Island, this Gold Coast location offers stunning water views and a ramp for those who want to go boating. A netted swimming area, well-maintained amenity blocks and an extra-large shaded playground makes this Broadwater spot a hit with families. Coffee shops, cafes and eateries are located across the road.

Two people sitting in a park looking over a waterway
Paradise Point Parklands


5. Jabiru Island swimming enclosure, Hope Island

Located along Oxley Drive between Paradise Point and Hope Island, the Jabiru Island swimming enclosure is a great spot to catch up with family and friends. Take a dip in the tranquil Broadwater, relax on the sand or throw in a fishing rod. There’s also a playground, BBQs and plenty of shaded parkland for a picnic.

A playground at the waters edge of a swimming enclosure
Jabiru Island

6. Jacobs Well swimming enclosure

Head north to beat the crowds at the Jacobs Well swimming enclosure. The kids will love digging in the sand for pippies and cooling off in the enclosed swimming lagoon, complete with floating pontoons. Pack the fishing rods (or better still the tinnie) and get set for a great day on the water.

Jacobs Well swimming enclosure

7. Evandale Park at HOTA, Bundall

Bordered by the Nerang River and with the Surfers Paradise skyline as a backdrop Evandale Park at HOTA, Home of the Arts is the perfect spot to cool off while enjoying a barbecue. Centrally located and with a sheltered swimming lagoon, it has exceptional amenities, trees for shade, seating areas and a fenced playground. There are also exercise stations to work up a sweat before taking the plunge.



8. Murlong Swimming Enclosure, Tallebudgera

Tallebudgera Creek is famed for its pristine calm water swimming spots. Just over the bridge from the ever-popular Tallebudgera Creek Park is the Murlong swimming enclosure. This is where the locals escape the weekend crowds to enjoy kid-friendly beach time. Murlong Park has approximately 70 metres of beach where children can play in the sand or go for a swim in a netted enclosure.

9. Currumbin Rockpools, Currumbin Valley

Venture into the lush Gold Coast hinterland to discover the Currumbin Rock Pools. There are cascading waterfalls, deep natural pools of mountain water and many smooth rocky boulders to explore.

Have fun and keep safe in and around the Gold Coast’s waterways – always check for warning signs, and make sure you follow any advice.

A couple walking through a creek
Cougal Cascades, Currumbin Valley


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