HEAT IS ON: 8 best places to swim in the Gympie region
1. Gympie Aquatic Centre
Where: Tozer Park Rd, Gympie
Opening hours: Mon - Thurs: 5.30am -8pm, Fri: 5.30am -7pm, Sat: 6am -5pm, Sun 8am-5pm
Cost: Adult Swim $5.20, children, concession $3.60 (under 2 free will paying adult)
IF YOU live in Gympie, this is the quickest way to beat the blasting heat. Whether it's a few dozen laps or a paddle with the kids, the Gympie Aquatic Centre is sure to make you instantly feel better when the mercury soars.
With an outdoor 50m Olympic pool, 25m indoor pool, water play area and water slides there is something for every family member.
2. Cedar Grove
Where: Along Amamoor Creek Rd, 12km west from Amamoor township in the Mary Valley.
Facilities: Toilet and fire rings at adjoining campgrounds
THIS spectacular swimming hole is set in the sub-tropical rainforest of the Amamoor State Forest. A surround of large red cedars, figs and piccabeen palm groves keeps the popular spot shaded, so the water is always the perfect temperature on a hot day.
The water's sandy, pebbly edge is the perfect place to relax near the sounds of the splashing fun, or to watch little ones wade in the shallow.
Older kids can make the most of it with a boogie board or floatie.
The adjoining public-use camping ground is also great for day-use with plenty of shade for a picnic to feed hungry swimmers.
3. Glastonbury Creek
Where: Off Greendale Rd, Glastonbury. Follow Gympie-Woolooga Rd, turn right into Diggins Rd before Greendale Rd.
Facilities: Fire rings, composting toilets and good non potable water at the campground while the adjacent day-use area has wood barbecues and picnic tables.
SET on the the south-east edge of Brooyar State Forest alongside Glastonbury Creek, this secluded spot is great place to keep cool.
The shallow, sandy stretches of Glastonbury Creek are great for young families to enjoy and are home to platypus, crayfish, long-armed shrimp, freshwater turtles, eels and fish.
4. Mothar Mountain Rock Pools
Where: A 20 minute drive south-east of Gympie via Noosa Rd (bitumen) and Hill Rd (last 2 km gravel).
Facilities: Picnic tables, barbecues, toilets
IF YOU'RE looking for a relaxing and sheltered place to cool off the Mothar Mountain Rock Pools in the Woondum National park is the ticket, just 10 or 15 minutes from town.
You can dip your feet in the water that cascades between rocks through the tall eucalypt rainforest, or if you want the full plunge then you'll love the deep and always cool rock pool.
Mothar Mountain Rock Pools is also the perfect place for a picnic or barbecue with plenty of shade, tables, wood fired barbecues, water and toilets provided.
5. Poona Lake
Where: Great Sandy National park near Rainbow Beach
Facilities: Toilets at carpark
POONA lake is a wonderfully secluded swimming spot a little way off the beaten (but still well maintained) track suitable for cars and 4WDs.
From Bymein picnic area it is a 2.1km walk through rainforest to the freshwater lake, and the reward is worth it.
An open tea-stained lake meets white sand - a picture of serenity - and beckons both a paddle in the warm shallows or an explore with goggles or a snorkel.
6. The Sands, Mary River
Where: Access off the Bruce Hwy, south of Aldi.
THE SANDS on the Mary River is the ideal spot right in the heart of Gympie for swimming, fishing, picnicing or launching a canoe.
So named because of the open, sandy and gravelly entry to the water, it is a great place for a paddle on a hot day after taking in the Mary River Walk.
Access is easy by car off the Bruce Highway, just south of Aldi.
7. Rainbow Beach
Where: One hour's drive north east of Gympie, via Tin can Bay Rd and Rainbow Beach Rd
Patrolled: Monday to Friday: 9am- 5pm, weekends: 8am-5pm
IT doesn't get more magic than swimming in the cool aqua surf against the stunning back drop of the coloured sandscape at Rainbow Beach.
Patrolled daily in the hotter months, the beach can serve up some great waves for board riders or be the perfect place to splash on the water's edge for youngsters.
Check conditions before going in the water and stay swimming between the flags as Rainbow Beach can produce hazardous rips.
8. Searys Creek
Where: 7.5km south of Rainbow Beach off Rainbow Beach Rd.
Facilities: Toilets, car park
THIS spot is the epitome of refreshing - with the cool, crystal waters that are slightly orange stained from tea-tree tannin flowing over a sandy floor.
It's an easy place for all ages and easily accessible from the timber board walks that weave through heath and low woodland.
Shaded at all times of the day, this hidden gem is also accessible by wheelchair for 100m.