For the best beaches you need to head out of town and either down the coast, towards the Gold Coast (try Echo beach tucked away in the National Park at Burleigh Heads or Main Beach if you want a bit more surf and action) or up the coast towards the Sunshine Coast (try Noosa beach for good swimming and cool beachside cafes or Sunshine Beach for some surf and a beautiful stretch of sand)- both directions are about an hr out of Brisbane.
If you are looking for the best spots to swim in or around the city or just want an excuse to cool off try:
Currumbin Rock Pool, Curumbin Valley – Just a fifteen minute drive from Currumbin Beach you will discover the beautiful Currumbin Rock Pools - a real treat. Hear the birds sing, the stream running into the pools and kick back on the large grassy banks. There are picnic and BBQ facilities or if you haven’t packed a lunch there is a café directly across the road for your convenience.
Stradbroke Island – a great adventure from Brisbane. Catch a ferry across the Moreton Bay National Park to North Stradbroke Island. The beaches are beautiful and the lifeguards patrol year round at both Cylinder and Main beach. So many activities to do on Stradbroke Island a day might not be enough!
Southbank – with enough water to fill 5 Olympic sized swimming pools these Brisbane riverside swimming spots are fabulous for the kids and adults alike. All the sand around the pools creates a beach-like feel. The beach is patrolled and sitting along the waters edge you get a great view of the Brisbane city and of the river. Plenty of cafes and snack bars for lunch or ice cream break.
Little Stanley St, South Brisbane
Settlement Cove Lagoon – this is a great place for kids with waterfalls, slides and a ship themed playground. The Redcliffe beaches are close and are always great for a dip also.
Redcliff Parade, Redcliffe. Cost – Free.