10 ways to keep cool in Brisbane this summer
The notoriously hot and humid Queensland summer calls for extreme cooling off measures. Keep your power bill down and resist pestering your neighbours for a dip in their pool with these heat-busting ideas to keep you feeling cool, calm and cheerful this summer.
Ice-cream and gelato
Head to one of Brisbane’s best ice-cream or gelato vendors for a delicious way to cool off this summer.
Cult favourite La Macelleria serves up traditional Italian gelato, while Nitrogenie creates a modern-day ice-cream with liquid nitrogen. If you’re a fan of the iconic Ekka Strawberry Sundae, visit the Lick! store in Graceville. The team has been making the ice-cream for those sundaes for the past four years.
Check out our list of Brisbane’s best ice-cream and gelato here.
Image: Lamington National Park
Be it a gentle trickle, steady flow or extreme gush, Brisbane’s waterfalls are the perfect place to cool off.
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. 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.
A second Cedar Creek can be found 45 minutes' north west of Brisbane near Samford Village. The picturesque watering hole is popular with locals.
Feel an immediate drop in temperature as you descend into Lamington National Park. 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.
Image: Lake Somerset
If water sports are more your thing, take a drive out to Lake Somerset for a day of kayaking. Otherwise Lake Moogerah in the Scenic Rim is perfect for water skiing, fishing and jet skiing, and Lake Samsonvale in the Moreton Bay region has a dedicated water sports association that promotes all water sports with sailing the most popular.
A little 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.
Air-conditioned activities in the city
Take it nice and easy with indoor activities that are sure to keep you cool.
Expand your cultural knowledge with a trip to the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art at South Bank. GOMA’s air-conditioning is permanently set to a crisp 18 degrees, which is ideal when the mercury rises outside. The exhibitions are constantly changing, so there's always something new to discover.
Brisbane pools and water parks
Splish and splash your way to a cooler day at one of Brisbane’s pools or water parks.
Image: Streets Beach
The heritage-listed Valley Pool is a 50m oasis from the hustle and bustle of Fortitude Valley, while Streets Beach at South Bank screams summer, right down to the red and yellow clad lifeguards.
Just outside of Brisbane City, you’ll find Robelle Domain in Ipswich which boasts a zero depth water park and tipping bucket with jet sprays and spurts – a day of fun for the family.
Image: Robelle Domain
Take a trip north to Redcliffe where you’ll find Settlement Cove, a water wonderland perfect for families keen for a barbecue by the bay. Kids will love this free water attraction, which features a playground, water jets and play equipment as well as a wading pool and swimming area.
Image: New Farm Park
Brisbane’s brilliant weather year-round means its parkland spaces get plenty of use. Relax by the river and enjoy spectacular views from New Farm Park, South Bank Parklands, Roma Street Parkland or the City Botanic Gardens. Make it an afternoon affair with drinks and a barbecue lunch.
The Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium at the Brisbane Botanic Gardens allows you to see recreations of Brisbane's night sky in the cosmic Skydome, watch short astronomy documentaries in the Mini Theatre or stargaze with qualified astronomers in the Observatory.
Discover more local parks here.
Image: Lennons Pool Terrace, NEXT Hotel
With almost 300 days of sunshine every year, it’s easy to see why rooftop bars have popped up all over Brisbane. Be the trendy person you know you are with a cocktail (or two!) at Eleven in Fortitude Valley or find your way to the top of Up on Constance. Overlooking Queen Street Mall is Lennons Pool Terrace which turns into a Latin-inspired party on Friday nights.
Raise your glasses sky high at these rooftop bars.
Islands and beaches
Image: North Stradbroke Island
Escape the city for a day or two and explore Moreton Island or North Stradbroke Island. Just a short ferry ride from Cleveland, Straddie – as it’s affectionately known – is home to some of the most picturesque beaches and lookouts in the Redland City region.
Four-legged friends will love to feel the sea breeze in their fur with a run along the beach at Raby Bay, while sailing is a popular pastime for locals in the area.
Looking for more places to splish and splash near Brisbane? Look no further. Your own patch of sand awaits here.
Image: New Farm Cinemas
Catch the latest blockbuster flick or arthouse film at one of Brisbane’s cinemas. New Farm Cinemas have been a social hub for locals since 1921 and it offers six cinemas with the latest and greatest projection, sound and seating.
Palace Barracks and Palace Centro Cinemas screen quality independent, mainstream and cult classic films. Sit back and relax with mouth-watering award-winning olive oil popcorn and a glass of your favourite drop.
For the cheapest cinemas in town, head to your local Cineplex. Located in South Bank, Hawthorne, Balmoral and Victoria Point, you’re guaranteed to have a great time with friends watching the latest Hollywood hit.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Image: Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Whether it’s a matinee or evening show, you’re bound to feel cooler enjoying a performance at QPAC. Home to world-class musicals, music and theatre, there’s something for everyone. The ever-popular Aladdin is here from 20 February.
Summer in Brisbane