Where is it: On the highway at Palmview, Sunshine Coast, just over an hours' drive north of Brisbane.
What's it all about: A fun little theme park (great for the smaller kids!) and a really enjoyable Australia Day program!
How can I join in: Head up the highway any day of the year (except Christmas and ANZAC days) to enjoy a fun day out at Aussie World, or join in on their Aussie Day celebrations on January 26!
Tell me more: A really fun alternative to the Gold Coast theme parks, Aussie World ticks all the boxes when looking for a fun day out with the little kids! It has some great rides, a really relaxed+ and fun atmosphere and both wet and dry play areas - add to that some great food options and you will be sure to have a fun day out! And keep an eye out for their special low season deals which are a great option for taking the little kids along!
The Aussie Day Activities kick off early with an 8am brekky followed by plenty of fun Aussie Day activities! The Dunny Races are a highlight, but the kids loved the egg and spoon and sack races! And we don't know why, but it seems as though you cannot have any sort of Australia Day celebration without have a competition that involves throwing something!? Here at Aussie World, they've gone with a mullet over the more traditional thong. If you still haven’t had enough of all of the running, pulling, jumping and throwing, continue the festivities with live music on until late! Lots of silly fun!
Amenities: Full amenities including food and drink options. Note that you can't take your own food in, but contact Aussie World for further info! 👍👍👍
Cost: Most Aussie Day events are free, and half price entry is good value! 👍👍
Parking: A good sized (and free) carpark 👍👍👍👍
Access: Easy access to all areas! 👍👍👍👍
Entertainment: The Aussie Day events are really fun! And the park itself has a great selection of rides! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Younger families might get the most out of this! 👍👍👍
Summary: Aussie Day at Aussie World is great fun! Lots of things to do and with the half price entry to Aussie World, it’s great value too! 👍👍👍
Hints: The Aussie World Village has some nice little shops and food options!
Where is it: Neurum Rd, Mount Mee (Moreton Bay Region) Why we love it: A beautiful waterhole which is somewhat quiet due to its relative isolation.
Tell me more: A couple of hour's drive north west of Brisbane, through some quaint villages and some magnificent forests you will find a really tranquil waterhole called Rocky Hole - hidden away in a dry bushland forest. As part of the northern (Mt Mee) section of D'Aguilar National Forest, this little waterhole is slightly out of the way but is a very worthwhile visit for those looking for a bushland escape!
When coming from Brisbane, the drive will take you past the ‘Gantry’ picnic / day use area. This is a large, shaded picnic area with toilets and water (but not suitable for drinking) which was established on the surrounds of an old timber mill. The Gantry building remains however there’s no exploring this old building as it has now been closed off. It’s a nice spot to stop at for a picnic or barbeque lunch on your way to or return from Rocky Hole. Continuing down the road (which is gravel and in some cases a bit rough) for about 8km and you will come to a small carpark which gets you to within a couple of hundred meters of the waterhole. It's an easy walk to the waterhole (although there are some stairs leading down to the water), however the drive out might be seen as a bit of an adventure! We did see a few smaller cars make the journey but in wet weather it might be a bit of a challenge for 2WD vehicles.
The waterhole itself has a small area of shallow water with a pebbly ground which is great for the little guys to have a splash, while the main waterhole is quite deep and definitely inviting for the older kids and adults! No amenities here so make sure you bring your own drinking water and get the kids to the toilet before heading off (or stop in at the Gantry picnic area as you drive past) ! The scenery is really beautiful and the rocky surrounds and bushland backdrop make for some excellent photo opportunities - you might even catch a pic of some local wildlife! Overall, this is a great little day trip out – it’s off the beaten track a little so you may feel a sense of achievement when you reach it, but it’s close enough to do without too much of a hassle and the scenery will make you feel miles away!
Amenities: No amenities at Rocky Hole, there is a toilet block at the Gantry picnic area (15 minutes’ drive away)!👍
Parking: A small off-street parking area, probably not enough in the warmer months but you should still be able to find a spot! 👍👍
Access: Easy to access from the carpark however the stairs leading down to the water will mean that prams are not really an option! 👍👍
Best for: Probably best for those 3 and over! 👍👍👍
Summary: A beautiful spot and a great swimming hole! The minor challenges of getting there will make the visit all the more worthwhile! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: There are a number of scenic lookouts and walking trails along the way so don't forget your hiking boots! And the Gantry day-use area is a great spot for a picnic!
What's it all about: A really impressive cultural centre that always has something fun to see!
How can I join in: Check the website to see what's on - they have some great shows on so book early so you don't miss out!
Tell me more: Gold Coast has so many awesome attractions that sometimes it's hard to know where to start! And we think that it must have been this competition for visitors that has driven Gold Coast to create such a really impressive arts centre! It's a really nice centre that attracts some great exhibits and events. With a theatre, gallery and family area there's sure to be something on offer for everyone! We were quite impressed with this facility, so we are really excited to see what's in store when the new Gold Coast Cultural Centre precinct is finalised next year - just in time for the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games! One of our favourite events that we have attended was the celebration events for Play School's 50th Birthday which was a really special exhibit and we had such a great time!
Amenities: A great facility with full amenities, bar and café! 👍👍👍👍
Cost: A mix of free and paid events! 👍👍👍
Parking: Some paid and some free parking - expect it to be busy for big events! 👍👍👍
Access: Easy to access and wheelchair (and pram) friendly! 👍👍👍👍 Entertainment: Something for everyone! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: From the very little guys upwards! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: The Gold Coast Arts Centre is a great visit for both Gold Coast locals and those who can't get enough of their cultural fix from the other impressive cultural centres in the region! Even though we have Brisbane's excellent venues so close, we will definitely be visiting the Gold Coast Arts Centre again in the future! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: This is a really popular arts centre, so plan and book ahead! And there's also a little playground right next door as well!
Play School 50
Where is it: At the southern end of the CBD
What's it all about: Queensland University of Technology always has something to look at or get involved in!
How can I join in: Keep an eye on QUT's website for upcoming events. The Garden's Point campus is centrally located and has great facilities so it makes visiting a breeze!
Tell me more: Going to a university might not be the first thing that you think of when looking for kids or family activities, but if you experience some of the events at QUT we're sure that you will change your mind! We've been to a number of different programs, events and exhibitions at QUT and they've all been amazing - all very well presented, organised and always interesting and lots of fun! Every two years they hold 'Robotronica' - an incredible display of robots and interactive activities that will keep everyone amazed! There are also some really fun exhibits on at 'The Cube' - the huge, wall sized touch screen displays react to your movement and touch and it's would be easy to play with it for hours! And if all of the university 'work' gets too much for you, rest assured that you are right next to the city botanic gardens, which is a great place to relax while the kids burn off some more energy on the playgrounds!
Amenities: Very well appointed and numerous choices for food! 👍👍👍👍
Cost: Many of the programs and displays are free, but there are some paid events and sessions too! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Paid parking available - being in the city it does come at a bit of a cost! 👍👍
Access: Well laid out and easy to get around! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: The activities had the kids really engaged! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Something for everyone here although some of the very little ones (under 3) might not appreciate it all! 👍👍👍
Wildlife: Not much at QUT, but the gardens are home to lots of birds! 👍👍
Summary: We have really enjoyed all of our visits to QUT! Not only are the exhibitions really informative and fun, but the facilities are great and that makes for a pleasant day out! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Some of the exhibitions are really popular, so make sure to book your sessions early if you can!
Physics Obervatory at "The Cube"
Previous projects: "Dino Zoo"
Where is it: Bunya Pine Crt, Eatons Hill
Why we love it: Such a quiet spot in a beautiful bushland setting. It's another great spot in the south-east to get the kids back to nature!
Tell me more: Set on the grounds of the former Bunya Park Zoo, Kumbartcho Sanctuary is a really nice spot to bring the little kids and let them experience some Aussie bush (including some riverine rainforest!) and nature! The environmental centre has lots of information, displays, books and activities and is a great place to start your visit! There are a number of walking paths through the sanctuary where you can easily wander around for ages just taking in the tranquillity of your surrounds - you might even catch a view of some of the local wildlife! There is also a nice little playground and barbeque / picnic area so it's a perfect spot to visit for you picnic lunch!
Amenities: The playground area has toilets and covered picnic / eating area! 👍👍👍
Parking: It's a quiet spot so finding a park shouldn't be a problem in their off-street parking area! 👍👍👍
Access: No problems getting around this bushland! 👍👍👍
Best for: Great for kids of all ages looking for a relaxing get-back to nature day out! 👍👍👍
Summary: We love this reserve! It's such a relaxing visit and the little playground gives those active little guys a bit of a release! 👍👍👍
Hints: Pack a picnic and stay for lunch!
Brisbane Family Explorers