WE in the Gladstone region are privileged to live by the coast, so there's no shortage of places to cool off when the weather heats up.
With the looming heatwave just around the corner we've put together the top 11 places to cool off in the Gladstone region.
If you don't have a pool or air con chances are you'll be looking for anything water-related to cool yourself down this week.
Here's a list of 11 places you should visit as summer sinks in in the Gladstone region:
1. Deepwater National Park
Located at Agnes Water, there's a couple of practically deserted beaches you can visit to camp, fish, swim, kitesurf and surf.
During off-peak seasons there's a decent chance that you'll have one of these beaches almost to yourself.
Visit three beaches in this area: Flat Rock, Middle Rock and Wreck Rock. There are camping facilities at Middle Rock and Wreck Rock.
Take some snorkelling gear for when there's not much swell around.
2. Blackmans Gap
This picturesque spot provides a point of difference to the beaches and lakes in the Gladstone region.
Blackmans Gap is a rock pool water hole located near the Boyne Valley.
This place is picturesque, and if you have it to yourself it's a beautiful place to spend a day. On Instagram #blackmansgap has more than 200 photos.
Blackmans Gap is located near the Boyne Valley. Turn onto Blackmans Gap Rd off Gladstone Monto Rd. It'll take you down a dirt track, follow until you see an area to your left for parking. There will be a running creek near the car park. Walk along the dirt track and rocks until you find the waterhole.
It takes in the Deepwater, Mitchell, Blackwater and Cow Creeks, and is a great spot for a family camping trip.
Go kayaking, swimming and fishing in the creeks.
There's also the option of staying in cabins, at Broadwater Haven.
It is half way between Gladstone and Bundaberg and is to the north of Baffle Creek on the Broadwater.
4. Bustard Head
Bustard Head is located on the Coral Sea, near Seventeen Seventy.
The area boasts the only open, operating lighthouse in Queensland.
The lighthouse is now a National and State heritage listed site and is in pristine condition.
Visitors can enter the Lighthouse and climb the stairs to take in a stunning view of our city and Seventeen Seventy.
You can see Bustard Heads on a LARC tour.
Surrounding areas include Pancake Creek, Jenny Lind Creek and Chinaman Creek.
The camping area at Bustard Head can only be reached by boat. Camping is allowed at the water's edge.
5. Boynedale Bush Camp
Boynedale Bush Camp is off the Gladstone-Monto Road about 26km south from Calliope. Look out for the signed turnoff to the east and follow the unsealed road for about 2km to the campground.
This free camping spot nestled on Lake Awoonga is the optimal family escape, with swimming, fishing and boating all popular recreational activities.
According to locals, this window into the stunning Boyne Valley is unmatched within our region for those looking for a camping spot with all of the facilities and activities to occupy the family.
6. Eurimbula National Park
This is the view you can have from a campsite at Middle Creek, within the Eurimbula National Park.
This area provides a culmination of everything that is great about the outdoors, Eurimbula is a locally renowned campsite area, with enough activities to ensure each member of the family is entertained.
Some of the activities include boating, fishing, bushwalking and birdwatching.
This area also gives you direct access onto the previously mentioned Bustard Beach.
Remember to leave little to no footprint. Camping permits and bookings are required through National Parks. Also check their website for any alerts.
7. South end Curtis Island
When someone says Curtis Island, sadly most will think of the three gas plants situated on the northern side of the island. But travel down to the opposite side, and you'll find a haven for camping, fishing and turtle watching.
Take in the miles of sandy beaches and turquoise waters at this beautiful island getaway.
To get there you can catch the Curtis Ferry Services Ferry to Curtis Island (vehicles permitted) or arrive by private vessel.
While you're there visit 'frotn beach' for a swim, enjoy a picnic at the campgrounds or grab a meal and a cold drink from Capricorn Lodge.
There's also plenty of opportunities for birdwatching and bushwalking.
8. Lake Awoonga
Cruise around in a kayak, a stand up paddle board or one of the boats to hire at Lake Awoonga, or just go for a dip to cool off in the fresh water dam.
There's plenty of barbecue areas and a playground to keep the kids occupied too.
9. Tannum Sands Main Beach
Go for a dip at Tannum Sands Main Beach, but be sure to bring your thongs because the sand gets mighty hot come midday.
10. Calliope River:
Explore the Boyne Valley and all it has to offer by swimming at Nagoorin.
12. East Shores
Here's one that's always a hit with the kids: East Shores Precinct. Let the youngsters run wild in the water park while you relax in the shade.