Scouting for waterfalls, lakes and waterholes near Brisbane

The Brisbane region is teeming with cascading waterfalls, expansive lakes and trickling waterholes. Strap on your hiking boots and hit the trails to discover cooling waterfalls and waterholes, or take in a spot of fishing, boating or paddling on one of Brisbane’s lakes. 

Waterfalls

Morans Falls, Lamington National Park

Lamginton National Park views at sunset

A postcard perfect view awaits at Morans Falls in Lamington National Park. Found in the Green Mountains section, the 4.6km walk starts just down from O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat.

Cedar Creek Falls, Scenic Rim

Take a day trip to the lush area of Mt Tamborine where you will find Cedar Creek Falls. It’s worth the walk to the rock pools at its base where you can peer up at the 15-20m waterfall.

Curtis Falls, Scenic Rim

While you’re in the region, don’t miss Curtis Falls in the heart of Tamborine Mountain National Park. The 1.1km track through the mossy forest leads to a viewing platform overlooking a large rock pool.

Chalahn, Box Log and Elabana Falls, Lamington National Park

Feel an immediate drop in temperature as you descend into the Green Mountains section of Lamington National Park. Begin your hunt for the three falls at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, a privately-owned resort at the end of Lamington National Park Rd. 

You’ll find Chalahn Falls about half-way along the 17.4km Toolona Creek Circuit. From the O’Reilly’s car park, the 10.6km Box Forest Circuit will lead you to Box Log Falls, one of the many waterfalls you will find on the journey.

Have your camera at the ready for that perfect snap of Elabana Falls. The walk to find this waterfall takes three hours, but the journey is worth it. 

Coomera and Yarrabilgong Falls, Lamington National Park

One of the most breathtaking views in Lamington National Park can be found along the 8km return trail to Coomera and Yarrabilgong Falls in the Binna Burra section of the park. 

Mirror Falls, O’Reilly’s Lamington National Park

Not for the faint-hearted, this 20.6km walking track along the Albert River Circuit will lead you to Mirror Falls. Trust us when we say the magical view of the falls is worth the effort.

Mt Coot-tha Reserve, Brisbane

Not only is Mt Coot-tha home to one of the best lookouts for capturing that iconic shot of Brisbane, there are also a couple of waterfalls worth checking out. There’s even enough space for a picnic or barbecue. JC Slaughter Falls and Simpson Falls are a short 10-minute drive from Brisbane and can be found along Sir Samuel Griffith Drive. See them at their best during the wet season. 

Lips Falls and Denham Falls, Scenic Rim

Spectacularly beautiful, these waterfalls are located in the Denham Scenic Reserve in Beechmont in the Scenic Rim and were once unknown gems frequented by the local community. Now popular with bushwalkers and photographers, Denham Falls can be found along the 3km Back Creek Gorge Track. From here, descend through cooling rainforest to Lips Falls. 

Lakes

Lake Moogerah, Scenic Rim

Moogerah Dam

Head to Lake Moogerah in the Scenic Rim for perfect water skiing, fishing and jet skiing conditions.

Enoggera Reservoir, Brisbane

Closer to home you'll find Enoggera Reservoir, where recreational activities keep families occupied. Enjoy a swim, bring a canoe or kayak for some peaceful paddling, or cast a line if you're feeling lucky. 

Lake Samsonvale, Moreton Bay Region

Lake Samsonvale

Lake Samsonvale in the Moreton Bay Region has a dedicated water sports association that promotes all water sports, with sailing the most popular.

Lake Somerset, Somerset

If water sports are more your thing, take a drive out to Lake Somerset for a day of kayaking.

Lake Wivenhoe, Somerset

Wivenhoe Dam

Logan’s Inlet is the main recreational facility at Lake Wivenhoe. Suitable for swimming, boating and camping, it’s also the go-to area for day visitors who are chasing a relaxing day out complete with a picnic.

Lake Kurwongbah, Moreton Bay Region

Located north of Brisbane, Lake Kurwongbah is a popular recreational spot for fishing, kayaking, rowing and water skiing. Please note that there is no dedicated swimming area.

Lake Manchester, Brisbane

Pack a picnic then take a stroll along the grassy shore of Lake Manchester in D’Aguilar National Park.

Lake Dyer, Lockyer Valley

Head west from Laidley and you’ll find Lake Dyer, a popular recreational spot for fishing, boating and paddling. Pack a picnic and let the kids have fun on the playground. 

Lake Atkinson, Lockyer Valley

With two privately-owned camp grounds near Lake Atkinson, it’s the perfect weekend getaway spot for boaties, water-skiers and fishermen. It’s also a short drive to Lake Wivenhoe where there are walking trails, and playgrounds for littlies.

Lake Maroon, Scenic Rim

Take a day trip to Lake Maroon, where boats are aplenty and keen fishermen are hoping for a catch. Water sports are a popular pastime, with a number of lakeside camping grounds allowing you the chance to ski and paddle until your heart’s content.  

Brown Lake and Blue Lake, North Stradbroke Island

Family have fun at Brown Lake

Step back from the sandy beaches of North Stradbroke Island and you’ll be surprised by the freshwater lake system that includes Brown Lake and Blue Lake. Brown Lake is pure, yet is tinged brown by the native paperbarks and teatrees that line the banks and organic matter on its bed. It’s a great spot for outdoor activities like bird-watching and photography, or for a picnic. Blue Lake is part of the Naree Budjong Djara National Park which offers protection to the lake, a culturally significant area to the Quandamooka people. Walk the 5.2km return trail to the lake through wallum woodlands, flowering heath and stunted eucalypts.

Waterholes

Cedar Creek, Moreton Bay Region

A second Cedar Creek can be found 45 minutes' north-west of Brisbane near Samford Village. The picturesque watering hole is popular with locals.

Stony Creek, Moreton Bay Region

Stony Creek, Bellthorpe National Park’s day-use area, is the perfect place for a picnic. Enjoy an unspoilt landscape with rainforest, small waterfalls, creek cascades and a rock pool. Waters are shallow, so for your safety, jumping and diving into the creek are not recommended.

Killarney Glen, Scenic Rim

Found further downstream from Lip Falls in the Denham Scenic Reserve, the 2.5km trail to Killarney Glen begins just off Beechmont Rd, between Beechmont and Canungra. The main drawcard to the area is the heart-shaped basin. The Australian Defence Department occasionally close off the track for nearby army training but it is open most weekends and during the school holidays.

Lower Portals, Scenic Rim

For those that like to hike, take a day trip to Mt Barney and do the Lower Portals trail. Part of the three-hour return route treks through these waterholes and it is the perfect spot to cool off on a hot day.

Rocky Hole, Moreton Bay Region

The 90-minute drive from Brisbane to Mount Mee will lead you through the townships of Samford and Dayboro. Rocky Hole is a popular spot during the summer and features a rock pool surrounded by eucalypt forest. Access is via an unsealed, formed gravel road. 

  Share this & go chasing waterfalls, don't stick to the rivers and the lakes that you're used to.

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