Where is it: Harrys Lane or Quorn Close, Buderim
What's it all about: It's a lovely waterfall and swimming hole right in the heart of the Sunshine Coast!
Tell me more: Buderim Forest Park is a beautiful patch of tranquil rainforest set aside for public enjoyment! There are walking tracks throughout the forest, as well as barbeques and picnic tables so it's a great place for a picnic lunch! The Quorn Close entrance provides you with direct access to a lovely little waterfall and waterhole. Be aware that the creek does run through urban areas and as such might not be the most pristine - in fact, there have been occasions (after heavy rainfall) that water treatment facilities have overflowed into the creek! But this spot is lovely and even without a quick dip, it's certainly a worthwhile visit!
Amenities: Basic facilities but very usable! 👍👍
Cost: Free to enjoy! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Limited free parking is available! 👍👍👍
Access: Easy to get to and the walking tracks are generally ok – in some areas the tracks can get a bit rough! 👍👍👍
Best for: Everyone can enjoy this park – the forest and the waterfall are both lovely! 👍👍👍
Summary: For a quick ‘escape’ from Sunshine Coast’s beautiful beaches we can certainly recommend a visit to Buderim Forest Falls! 👍👍👍
Where is it: King Edward Parade, Ipswich
Why we love it: A really fun park with all the features, and nestled in a nice and relaxed spot by the Bremmer River!
Tell me more: With the summer heat already hitting us, it's great to know that the local councils have got us covered when it comes to providing places to cool down! There are some great water-play parks and playgrounds around the area, and a number of these are zero-depth so they are great for the littlest of our explorers, but still heaps of refreshing fun for the bigger guys! Bob Gamble Park at the Riverheart Parklands is one of the better ones - a superbly laid out playground which incorporates both wet and dry playgrounds and plenty of shady spots for parents to sit, relax and supervise! There a two different water-play areas, one is completely shaded and has a number of concrete channels with little locks so that the kids can direct the flow of water on their own! It's surprising how fun this can be!
The other wet area is covered in soft fall foam and is covered in intermittent spray systems so you never know where the water will be coming from, again this one is heaps of fun and the soft fall floor is a little less stressful for us parents! Both areas get a really good work out from our little kids and they all give it a big thumbs up!
Even without the water features, this would be a really impressive park with all the features of a modern park - plenty of climbing areas, swings, sand pit, slides, a flying fox, lawn areas, picnic tables (shaded), barbeques and a river-side boardwalk! But wait, there's more! Venture into the forest and you will find two fort-style playgrounds hidden away in there! If you have some little park aficionados in your family, we are sure that even the fussiest would be impressed by Bob Gamble Park!
Amenities: Excellent! A really well thought out park with great facilities! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Both on and off street parking, but expect it to be popular in summer! 👍👍👍
Access: On the banks of the Bremmer River so expect some ramps. Well connected with concrete paths. 👍👍👍
Best for: The under 10s will absolutely love this park! Most likely the over 10s will as well! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: This park really ticks all the boxes, great wet and dry playgrounds, heaps of well-maintained facilities and in a beautiful shady location! One of the best around! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Make sure that you've got plenty of time up you sleeve so that you can make the most of your visit!
Where is it: In the centre of Ipswich
What's it all about: One of the most visited regional art galleries in Australia, the Ipswich Art Gallery will have something for everyone!
How can I join in: Check out their website to see what exhibits or events are on, or just turn up and explore!
Tell me more: One of our favourite spots in Ipswich (along with the Workshops Rail Museum) is the Ipswich Art Gallery! It always has really interesting exhibitions and events on! And the best thing is more often than not there are some really great kids programs - from genuine artistic events, through to some that are more like a playtime - like building the fastest Lego cars! It's a great facility with really helpful and friendly staff, so we think that it is definitely one to visit! Some of the awesome exhibits for kids that we have been to have included 'Wind Tubes for Toddlers' - a really fun event where the kids got to suck and push things around with wind tubes, a Lego car construction event where the aim was to build your fastest car and then race it down a track and we've also seen some amazing Lego towers! We've also seen tunnels made from sticky tape, giant marble runs, foam block constructions and a giant model city made from recycled items from the kitchen! There's something for everyone at the Ipswich Art Gallery and it's certainly worth your while visiting!
Amenities: Well-appointed and some nice little cafes nearby! 👍👍👍
Cost: Some exhibits have a cost, but generally quite reasonable! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of options available, and well priced too! 👍👍👍
Access: Quite easy to access - only one lift though! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: Pick your exhibit and you will have so much fun! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Depending on the exhibits on at the time, but there's generally something for everyone! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Only painted wildlife! 👍
Summary: We always enjoy our visits to Ipswich Art Gallery! It is really well presented and the exhibits are very well considered! We think that the gallery deserves more recognition! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: There are some great attractions in Ipswich - make a day of it and visit the Workshops, Queens Park or River Heart Parklands!
Playing with light
Built for speed
Towers of Tomorrow
Where is it: 12 locations across Australia, including 6 here in South East Queensland
Why we love it: Family friendly casual dining!
Tell me more: Sizzler has been a favourite dining option for families here in Brisbane for over three decades now, having opened its first Australian store right here in Annerley in 1985! Sizzler’s concept of self-service soups, salads, drinks and dessert makes this dining experience a little more person and relaxed – but it’s not let down in the taste department either! For those not familiar with how Sizzler works, there’s no need to book ahead, simply choose your grill – perfectly cooked steaks, seafood or burgers (or just stick with the salad bar, if you like!), and then help yourself to an amazing array of yummy soups, super fresh salads (plus a few other meal options), drinks and of course fabulous desserts!
It’s always a casual and friendly atmosphere here at Sizzler and our little guys love being able to choose their own food! Menu options change with the seasons, so you know that you can get the perfect meal for the climate! And we can’t go without mentioning Sizzler’s signature and iconic Cheese Toast – complementary with your meal – and if you can make it along for National Cheese Toast Day (this year it’s on 19 January 2019), you can pick up a free Cheese Toast! Yum!
Where is it: The Greek Club, 29 Edmondstone Street, West End
What's it all about: A fantastic and brand new restaurant serving only the best in contemporary Greek cuisine! Opens from 21 June 2018!
Tell me more: Acclaimed chef David Tsirekas is well known not only here in Australia but also around the world as the one of the premier Greek chefs! Now we here in Brisbane can experience the fantastic Hellenic flavours that only David Tsirekas can provide at Nostimo, part of Brisbane's wonderful Greek Club! And you can taste the flavours of the season with their new 2019 Summer Menu which has fantastic options perfectly suited to our climate!
We've been along to a special pre-opening sample of some of the offerings from Nostimo as well as a masterclass experience with the head chef and well, what can we say? The food (and atmosphere) here is definitely not as you would expect of Brisbane, tasting and feeling like you that wonderful part of southern Europe that is Greece! The meals are meticulously prepared and presented and each dish tells its own little story of its local origins and what it means to Greek culture. And the restaurant will be more than happy to suggest the perfect Greek wine to accompany your meal!
You really do need to get in and try for yourselves as I am sure that our words would not do this amazing restaurant justice! (Plus the desserts are spectacular)!!
New Summer Menu (Jan 2019)
Just to the west of Brisbane (about 10 minutes from the city limits) is the busy but charming little town of Samford, and not too far from Samford is Cedar Creek - one of our favourite little getaways! It's a rocky creek that is generally calm and in most spots not too deep, so it's great for inquisitive little kids who love to explore! The drive out to Cedar Creek is really nice and picturesque. To reach this spot from the CBD it's about a 50 minute drive, but the last 20 minutes is through some really nice windy, rural and hilly roads and it's such a change from the city that you've just left. Turning on to Cedar Creek Road you will feel a world away on this winding road which criss-crosses the creek a couple of times through bush and rainforest - the road ends at the Cedar Creek Retreat, so once you are on this road you can't really get lost. You might even get to see a stone replica of a medieval French bridge! It's a private bridge but it looks really great in this setting.
The creek at Andy Williams Park is rocky and the water is clean and clear and not very deep, so it's great for little kids, however you will have to keep an eye on the little guys as some of the rocks can get a little slippery. There are a number of deeper waterholes further along up the creek as well. One of the more popular locations you will find if you drive right up to the end of the road (another 2 km). You will then have to follow the creek further upstream for another 800 metres or so before you come to a series of swim-able waterholes! The walk along the creek can be a bit tricky in places, but it's great for adventurous kids - and the waterholes are great!
If you are looking for a creek for little kids to splash in and explore, we think that Cedar Creek is up there with the best! We've been visiting Cedar Creek since our oldest boy was just a toddler and it's always been heaps of fun - a really worthwhile day out, and the best part is that there is so much of the creek to explore! We're really looking forward to getting back and finding a new favourite spot!
Amenities: Full park amenities at Andy Williams Park but nothing elsewhere! 👍👍👍
Cost: All free! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Limited parking at certain points along the road and at Andy Williams Park, however it is a popular spot in summer! 👍👍👍
Access: Not the best access for prams or those with mobility issues - very limited access at Andy Williams Park!👍
Entertainment: Plenty of opportunity to entertain yourself in the water here! 👍👍👍
Best for: With shallows and deeper waterholes everyone should be happy with Cedar Creek! Andy Williams Park is great for the little guys! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Birds, little fish and tadpoles - and watch out for those cheeky bush turkeys who will rummage through your belongings if you leave it unattended! 👍👍
Summary: An easy and fun day out for the whole family! A great way to escape the city and cool off in the warmer months! 👍👍👍👍
Andy Williams Park
Where is it: 60 Mount Nebo Rd, The Gap QLD 4061
What's it all about: It's a complete nature experience - a small zoo, an information centre, bike and walking tracks, a lake to swim in or canoe on and even a cafe!
Tell me more: Walkabout Creek is part of the fantastic D’Aguilar National Park which borders the Brisbane! It’s really easy to get to as it’s right on the edge of the suburbs. The information centre which is open most days of the year has all the details that you need when you are exploring this fantastic national park! This is also where you will find the wildlife centre, which although small, houses some wonderful native creatures – including some platypus and you might even see a crocodile. A few bushwalking trails set off from the Information / Wildlife Centre and it’s only a short walk down a gravel path to get to Enoggera Reservoir which is itself an important part of Brisbane’s history (the dam wall is heritage-listed as it dates from 1866 and was the first major dam in Queensland)! There is a designated swimming area which is great for kids with a little bit of sand (and a bit of mud and weeds!) and lots of lawn to sit on and a few trees here and there for shade. You can also rent a kayak and as you will see, this is a very popular location for this pastime! And if all of this is not enough, there are some really fun bike trails here as well – great for everyone even for the little guys just starting out! A lovely place to visit!
Amenities: The information centre has adequate facilities (although there’s nothing down by the reservoir), and there’s also a café which can even host weddings! 👍👍👍👍
Cost: Free to enjoy the park, trails and reservoir, however entry fees apply to the Wildlife Centre! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: Parking is free and plentiful throughout the week, hover finding a spot on the weekend might be a little challenging! 👍👍
Access: Easy to get with you own transport – and public transport can take you to within a 10 minute walk. The path down to the reservoir might not be the best for wheeled devices! 👍👍
Best for: A lovely day our for families and great fun for all ages! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: D’Aguilar National Park is one of our favourite places because of its diversity, and the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre really shines with all the different things that you can get in to! 👍👍👍👍
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre
Brisbane Family Explorers