An Ipswich summer day can be hot, hot, hot! With temperatures rising well above 30 degrees on most summer days, knowing the best places in Ipswich to cool off is a must! There are plenty of places to cool off on a hot Ipswich day, from zero depth water parks to massive lagoons, public swimming pools, and natural waterways.
No doubt your family has their favourites which they visit regularly, but if you’re after some tips on where to cool off this summer, here’s a list of some of the best places to swim in Ipswich.
In the peak of summer, families flock to the Orion Lagoon in their droves! That’s because the Orion Lagoon is just awesome, offering something for everyone – and it’s completely free!
The Orion Lagoon has a range of interconnecting swimming pools of varying depths. You’ve got your shallow areas for the little ones to splash about and then deeper pools for the older ones to have a proper swim. There are also stepping stones, water squirts and an easy beach entry makes it accessible for all. Plus, there are lifeguards on duty too.
Around the lagoon are various shady areas for families to escape the heat, as well as loads of grassy space to set up their own shelters. While most families bring a picnic or BBQ to enjoy, you’ve also got a cafe right there on site. Plus, within walking distance, you have the Orion Springfield Central food court and Cold Rock at the bottom of the GE building.
Orion Lagoon can get pretty busy on a super hot day. So my tip is to get there early in the day – like as soon as the kids have had their breakfast or even at dusk, just before dinner. That said, I’ve been at varying parts of the day and always managed to set my family up somewhere and found space to have a dip.
The best part about the Orion Lagoon? It’s completely free!
Bundamba Swim Centre
I have very fond memories of spending entire days swimming at the Bundamba swimming pool. My dad would slap together some sandwiches and we’d grab our drink bottles ice cold from being in the freezer from the night before. Then we’d all pile into the old Ford Falcon for an awesome day at the pool.
It’s great to see that decades later, the Bundamba Swim Centre is still a brilliant day out for the family. I’ve often taken my daughter there to cool off during the peak of summer. It’s an excellent place for families with kids of all ages because you’ve got multiple swimming pools of varying depths and then some great little waterslides for the toddlers. There’s even a super cool lazy river, so don’t forget to bring some inflatables to float around on.
The centre has a bbq area so that you can have a sausage sizzle for lunch. There is also a kiosk serving light snacks and drinks.
As there is a small entry fee to the Bundamba Swim Centre, it does tend to be much quieter than your free water parks. This makes it the ideal place to go on a super hot day when pretty much everyone else is headed for the Orion Lagoon.
Ripley Splash ’n’ Play
For families with younger kids, a great place to cool off is the Ripley Splash ’n’ Play. This zero depth water park has plenty of interactive water activities to keep the little ones occupied, including meandering water streams, jets and sprinklers.
The beauty of a visit to Ripley Splash ’n’ Play is right next to the water park, there is an epic playground! This is one of the best playgrounds in all of Ipswich with something to keep the little ones entertained as well as the older kids. For the smaller kids, there are nets, swings, seesaws and climbing equipment, while the older ones will love the huge fort, 7 metres off the ground, which includes giant slides, climbing ropes, ladders as well as a flying fox.
While there are plenty of BBQs and picnic areas around the water park and playground, Ripley Splash ’n’ Play also has a cafe on site, so you can easily grab something for the kids for lunch.
Waterworx Aquatic Centre
While there are some great free places to stay cool around Ipswich, sometimes you just want to go somewhere you can fully emerge yourself in the water while also escaping the crowds. One place that ticks those boxes is the Waterworx Aquatic Centre in Springfield.
Waterworx has long been a favourite place to cool off for my family. It has a great indoor and outdoor swimming pool, as well as an excellent kid’s pool. The kid’s pool has a beach walk in style entry so the kids can easily get to a depth they are comfortable with. Then they can run amuck under the water spraying mushrooms and caterpillars.
There’s plenty of shade and chairs for the parents to relax and there is a kiosk on site too. However, families are welcome to bring along a picnic to keep the kid’s hunger at bay.
Just a short walk over the bridge from the Orion Lagoon is Robelle Domain, home to Ipswich’s very first zero depth water park. The Robelle Domain water park has a huge 700 litre tipping bucket, water sprays, and water jets, making it ideal for families to bring little ones who have plenty of energy.
A playground is right by the waterpark, so the little ones can mix it up when they’ve had enough of the water play. The playground includes swings, see saws and climbing equipment. There is even a kids interactive music area.
When it’s time to feed everyone, there are loads of undercover picnic and BBQ areas. There is a cafe on site too.
Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre
The Georgie Conway Leichhardt Community Swim Centre is ideal for families with little bubs and toddlers looking for a quiet place to escape the crowds. As well as your full size swimming pool, they have a great area for the tiny tots.
The kid’s pool here is just ideal for families with super little ones. The kid’s pool is a relatively small shallow wading pool, with a few small mushrooms and caterpillars gently spraying water. In addition, the kid’s pool is covered with shade cloth which is ideal for escaping the summer heat.
The swim centre has a massive undercover BBQ area that is perfect for cooking up a feed for lunch. There are plenty of tables and chairs around the place and grassy space for a picnic lunch. There is also a kiosk on site for your basics like snacks and drinks.
Bob Gamble Park
If you’re looking for a quiet water park in Ipswich, then Bob Gamble Park is probably your best bet. Located along the Brisbane River, just outside the Ipswich CBD, it tends to be much quieter than most other water parks in Ipswich – most likely due to not being in the centre of a busy family suburb.
There are two main water play areas here. One is ideal for the little ones with several water troughs that feed water into the maze of shallow streams meandering through the stepping stones. Then for the older kids, there is an area with numerous spouts shooting water out at varying lengths.
Like all good water parks around Ipswich, in addition to the zero depth water play area, there is great modern playground equipment for the kids. The big kids will love the 25 metre flying box, the huge climbing net with massive slides, sand diggers, swings and a swing log for multiple kids to enjoy at once.
For families wanting to make a day out of their visit to Bob Gamble Park, you’ll be pleased to know there is plenty of undercover BBQ and picnic areas.
Goodna Aquatic Centre
Another great swim centre, is the Goodna Aquatic Centre. This is the perfect spot for the family looking for somewhere to escape the heat in the middle of Summer. With the choice of three swimming pools, including a children’s play pool and pools with wheelchair access, there is something for families with kids of all ages here.
For those wanting to swim, there is an outdoor 25 metre pool as well as a smaller pool that is undercover. You’ve then got the kids play pool, which is a great shallow depth, perfect for younger ones to wade through. The kid’s pool also has a couple of water spraying mushrooms and caterpillars for a bit of interactive water play.
There are plenty of options for lunch too, with a great kiosk or feel free to bring a picnic lunch to enjoy. There are plenty of tables and chairs as well as grassy areas for a picnic.
Just outside of Ipswich in the picturesque town of Fernvale is Savages Crossing, a natural waterway perfect for families. This is a gentle section of the Brisbane River, with shallow water so the kids can safely wade into a depth they’re comfortable with.
Kids can spend hours splashing and wading through the shallow sections of the river, while parents can pull up stumps in the water with a cool drink in hand. A great idea is to bring some inflatables so you can gently float down the river or kayaks for exploring. It’s also a great spot for fishing.
Bring along some shelter, a picnic, or your BBQ to make the most out of your time at Savages Crossing.