My favourite time of the year, and though my crazy dogs will swim in the dead of winter, it really is much more enjoyable when it's warm. So, I'm sharing our favourite swimming holes in the Brisbane and wider Gold Coast and Sunshine coast regions!
Unfortunately for us Brisbanites, most of the best ones are up or down the coast.
1. Gold Coast Regional Botanic Gardens Head past the playground and look left, you'll come to the dog off-leash area- a lovely wide open field with a little inlet. There's a small stretch of sand for some digging, and plenty of water for cooling down!
2. Pizzey Park One of my favourite shoot locations- nestled among the pine forest is a beautiful big and flat lake that dogs are welcome to swim in.They also have a small fenced off leash area, though the surrounding area is also a dog off leash area.
3. The Spit
A fabulous beach on the gold coast that i know many dogs are very fond of! A lesser known fact is that dogs are welcome not only on the surf side of the beach, but also in the large protected cove on the Broadwater on the opposite side. The water is flat here, allowing smaller, or less confident dogs the ability to truly paddle. Any point past Muriel Henchman Avenue is a designated dog off leash area.
4. Daisy Hill Quarry My dogs love this spot- it's right in the middle of one of our favourite bush-walking spots. It is a 30 min walk to the quarry and back, but worth checking out. If you go, I would recommend early morning or late afternoon- simply because there is very little shade on parts of the trail, and almost none at the quarry itself. Also note, it is an on-leash area. Park in the car park at the corner of Ford and Avalon Rd, and follow the signs to the Quarry! *Take a water bottle for you and the pup too!
5. Kedron brook This is our favourite 'local' spot. It can get busy though, so if your dog is easily overwhelmed by other dogs, head there on off-peak times. It's another that can be lacking shade, so make sure you slip, slop & slap!
6. Bunya Crossing Reserve This is one that I've kept up my sleeve- it generally doesn't have many other dogs, but is popular for families picnic-ing. It is on lead only, but the water is so lovely it's worth a visit.
7. Nudgee Beach
Check the tide before going, as the beach is non-existent at high tide. Not the nicest 'beach'- as in the sand isn't white and the water isn't bright blue, but the dogs still love it! Plus it's not far from Brisbane!
8. Shorncliffe Pier Like bunya crossing, dogs must be on lead.The path along the water connecting shorncliffe with sandgate is an excellent walk- Lovers Walk*- I normally walk a bit of a loop along it, letting the dogs swim before and after! *Fun fact: the walk was originally called Dover's walk after a Sandgate Town Council Engineer, when someone jokingly changed the sign. In 1910, the 'new' name was accidentally printed by an English company who produced postcards featuring scenes in Brisbane! The name has stuck ever since.
9. Red Beach- Bribie Island Recent changes mean the on-leash area extends further than it did previously, but there is still PLENTY of off leash area to explore. I personally love this one as it's usually quiet, and the sunsets are always stunning!
10. Coolum beach I love this beach- its got pristine sand and beautiful blue water along the beach, but also dogs that are less confident with waves can head into the mouth of Stumers creek and swim where it's flat.
11. Colleges Crossing Reserve This is where I often head when kayaking with the pups. It gets busy on the weekends, but there's usually enough room to find a spot along the bank to sit and relax. It is a dog on-leash area and there are a few native birds who call the area home, so stick your pups on a longline while they enjoy the water. *There's a sign by the riverbank noting that sharks can be present in the area, so enter at your own risk, that being said if you stick to the shallows and busier spots you should be fine.