While many think the most northern beach area for kids to swim at is Paradise Point, there is actually a lesser known spot at the very northern edge of the Gold Coast – Lions Park at Jacobs Well. I can understand why most people don’t know about this hidden gem – until recently it was mostly known for being the 2nd busiest boat ramp on the Gold Coast. But the Council have invested a fair chunk of money on updating the facilities at Lions Park and the results are amazing! This is definitely our favourite go-to spot for a quick swim now.
Jacobs Well is a quaint fishing village, approximately halfway between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. It’s only a 10 minute drive off the Pacific Highway, most of which is through fields of sugarcane! Access to Lions Park is through the Jacobs Well boat ramp parking area, but if you keep driving you’ll find plenty of car parking spaces, some even under some massive shady trees.
As soon as you step out of your car, you’re about 10 steps from the picnic area and 20 steps from the water! This means no need to lug all your stuff across a huge beach with kids in tow, winning! The first of the updates can be seen straight away, with the replacement of the dirt and worn down grass with astroturf. I was skeptical about this at first, but this is the BEST. IDEA. EVER. It made it so easy when it came time to pack up to get all the sand off the kids without worrying about them getting dirt and grass all over. It also didn’t feel very hot and was comfortable to walk on. There are 3 picnic tables with shelters, and another 3 picnic tables without, but under some nice trees so they do get shady at different times throughout the day. There is also a BBQ that has been renovated and looks like a great spot to have a sausage sizzle.
Beyond a small fence and down 2 steps and you’re on the sand. With a huge shade sail over the sand, this is a great feature of the beach for parents and little kids. We set up our blanket under the shade sail and it was close enough to the water that you could easily sit in the shade while the older kids swam (having a 1 year old, sitting and watching was never going to be an option – runaway toddler!!). The sand was soft and reasonably clean from sticks and leaves considering how close we were to where the ocean joins up to the Pimpama River.
My little man made a beeline straight for the water and had so much fun splashing in the shallows. One of the great things about this spot for little kids is that there are no waves (unless a boat comes along). The waves can sometimes make it hard for them to paddle in the shallows, and my little one certainly enjoyed not having to worry about losing his footing in the crashing waves. There were a few rocks, sticks and leaves along the water’s edge, but they didn’t make it uncomfortable to swim and the kids have fun collecting bits and pieces in their buckets. The swimming area is also netted off to protect swimmers from any sharks that may be in the water.
Along the beach (outside of the swimming area) there were people walking their dogs in the water, fishermen and a few small fishing boats pulled ashore. The swimming beach is also just next to the Volunteer Marine Rescue, and there are a range of big and small boats coming and going the whole day. We also had a flock of pelicans hanging out in the sun while we swam!
After a swim, we were able to dry off and easily change the kids back into their clothes in the picnic area. A quick snack and a drink and it was time to head home. In terms of facilities for those who don’t live as close by – there are toilets located near the boat ramp (a little bit of a walk from the swimming area, but not too far), a bait shop for anyone with littlies that like to fish, and nearby is a small shopping complex with a bakery, fish and chip shop and service station. There is also a small council playground at the entry to the boat ramp, next door to the holiday park and camp grounds.
I was really impressed with the upgrades to Lions Park and will definitely be taking advantage of this spot regularly over the coming Summer!
Need to know:
- Address: 1174 Pimpama Jacobs Well Road
- onsite – barbeque, shaded beach, small water tap (it is on a rainwater tank, given the current drought there was no water available. Bring water bottles for drinking and rinsing off if needed.)
- nearby – toilets, small playground, bait shop, fish & chip shop, bakery