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It’s hot – like, really hot. We’re looking for places to cool down (and fast) and have some fun while we’re at it. Here are the spots team haven will be frequenting all summer long…

Tallebudgera Creek
Tucked between Palm Beach and bustling Burleigh Heads is a spot so scenic, not even a busy overpass can ruin the magic. Echo Beach, perched on the northern side of Tallebudgera Creek, is a local favourite for its still water and leafy green surrounds – which are just a few of the reasons haven’s art director Emma loves it so much. “With turquoise water and no waves, this secluded spot is perfect for the littles and feels like a local secret,” says Emma. “It’s also great for a spot of snorkelling and a SUP.”

Cedar Creek, Samford
Far enough out of Brisbane to weed out the crowds, but not so far it constitutes a day trip, Cedar Creek in Samford is something of a hidden gem. While you’ll feel as though you’re miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city, this natural rockpool is only half-an-hour from suburbs like Enoggera and The Gap and comes highly recommended by haven editorial team member, Anny. “Cedar Creek is one spot I always recommend people put on their Brisbane bucket list,” Anny says. “Just make sure you’re heading to the right one, as there are a couple in Queensland and northern NSW.”

Rainbow Bay
Picture-perfect Rainbow Bay is a family vacay (or stay-cay) favourite. Perched at the southern end of the Gold Coast, looking north to the skyscrapers of Surfers Paradise in the distance, there are few places more relaxing than this old-school surfer hotspot. “When I’m not in Mermaid Beach (our own backyard), you’ll find me at Rainbow Bay,” says haven publisher Keeley. “It feels like a vacay when you’re looking at that postcard view, sipping a Corona at the surf club!”

 

Water parks
Beat the summer heat at one of the many water parks here in South-East Queensland. Both Wet’n’Wild and White Water World on the Gold Coast offer a bevvy of scream-tastic rides for the whole family, with plenty of food and drink on offer to keep you sustained all day long. If you’re looking for something a little bit different, try navigating the inflatable obstacle courses at the GC Aqua Park or Aqua Splash in Redcliffe. And, for something a little more mellow, why not check out the Chermside Water Park? This family-friendly aquatic centre has been a favourite of local families for decades and remains one of the best swimming spots north of the city.

Lips Falls
When TLC told us “Don’t go chasing waterfalls,” they mustn’t have been talking about Lips Falls – this Beechmont beauty is certainly worth chasing! High in the Gold Coast hinterlands, the walk to the falls (about a 3km round-trip) takes you under cool rainforest canopy and down a sloping valley. At the end, you’re rewarded with a natural plunge pool and a short waterfall to play around under that will keep you occupied for hours. Pack a picnic, sunscreen and plenty of water for the perfect summer day out.

Straddie
North Stradbroke Island – ‘Straddie’, to the locals – is one of Queensland’s must-visit destinations, but only true locals know where to go to escape the heat and the crowds. haven editor, Bel, says: “It’s got to be Amity Beach on North Stradbroke Island, late in the afternoon. Most days you’ll have the entire beach to yourself, except for a few dolphins that splash past. With the warm sun on your back as you enter the beach and head towards the Flinders Beach corner, you always get to enjoy a rad summer sunset on your return leg back to the carpark.”

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haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.