Where is it: 1 – 63 The Abbey Place (off Old Toorbul Point Road) Caboolture, Queensland
What's it all about: Spend a weekend transported back in time and see history brought back to life when you attend Australia's largest medieval event!
How can I join in: There are a number of events on so check what best suits you and get your tickets! Or better yet, join a re-enactment organisation and get involved in the event!
Tell me more: Billed as Australia's largest medieval event, the Abbey Medieval Festival spans over a number of days during the winter school holidays, culminating in the Tournament Weekend - 2 days of non-stop reenactments, displays, entertainment and even a real and competitive jousting tournament! There really is no end to the experiences that you will have when you attend this festival - the costumes and the displays are authentic and the smells of the open fire roast cooking are amazing! It is a really well supported and run event and it's hugely popular! There is also a medieval banquet held at night which from all accounts really needs to be experienced, as well as some fun days through the week prior to the tournament just for the little guys! This is yet another of the 'must see' events in Brisbane!
Media launch 2020
Media launch 2019
It's so easy to get back to nature living here in Brisbane. There are so many parks and forests peppered around the region that you are probably never more than a half hour drive from some sort of bushland. There are some great examples of the diversity as well - the Koala bushlands are very typical of how one might imagine the stereotypical Australian bush, where the hilly regions surrounding the city (Nebo Range to the west, Tambourine mountains to the south and Glasshouse to the north) are great examples of temperate rainforests, and of course we have some great beaches. Today we decided to visit some wetlands - the Boondall Wetlands.
Just to the north of Brisbane Airport, right next to the Gateway Motorway, you will find the really nice, council maintained facility and protected bushland known as Boondall Wetlands. It's maybe about 30 minutes’ drive from Brisbane's CBD and it is serviced by public transport. There is a reasonable amount of parking available which I think would be sufficient even on the nicest of days when visitors are most likely. It's quite a large area extending from the south of Shorncliffe through to Nudgee Beach. In fact, part of Nudgee Beach is actually included in the Boondall Wetlands, and there are tracks (quite long - 3.5 hr walk!) linking the two areas! We can't really imagine tackling that one with kids, unless of course you are riding!
Most likely the main reason you will visit the wetlands will be to take a walk on the trails through the area (although the new look Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre is a fantastic facility), so you will need to come prepared for walking. The trails are very well maintained and the walk itself is not difficult, so your main concern will be to carry water (it gets quite hot and humid in the summer months), sun protection (hat, sunscreen) and being a wetland some bugs are to be expected!
It's only a short stroll from the carpark to the new environment centre building which is well staffed and has some excellent static and interactive displays which are relevant to the area - things like a Great Migration Challenge (it's a bird simulator - so much fun!), synthetic mud, viewing platforms, preserved display specimens and skeletons of animals found in the area. They also had loan exhibits from the museum when we were there, and there are plenty of brochures of this area and lots of which will provide ideas for future explorations! It's had a recent expansion and modernisation so there are heaps of things to see here and they have some fantastic school holiday activities on here as well. We were also provided with a loan book which provided lots more detail on what we might find on our walk, including a number of aboriginal sculptures (Nurri Millen totems) which are spread out along the walk! The environment centre also provides an opportunity to slap on some sunscreen for those who might have forgotten to bring some!
There are a number of different tracks and trails throughout the Boondall Wetlands. We would take the main track running from the Environment Centre called "Billai dhagun" which means ‘place of casuarinas’. Casuarinas are just one of the types of trees that you will find in the area - they are the trees with needle-like leaves. It's a 2 kilometre walk, which at a very leisurely pace, and providing plenty of stopping to explore, should be completed in an hour. It's not long into the walk that the noise of the Gateway traffic is soon lost and you feel like you are miles away! The wetlands when we visited were not very wet at all - it was quite dry, however nice and warm and humid - the breeze come through every now and then was a welcome relief!
The little ones had lots of fun looking for spiders and birds, however we didn't see much else - an occasional butterfly or dragonfly, but the kids we still very excited with anticipation as to what they might see next! As stated previously, there are also a number of Nurri Millen totems spread along the track which are surprisingly difficult to find, so the kids gladly accepted the challenge of trying to be the first to find them! There is also a great little bird-watching hut right on the Nundah Creek Estuary, but again, we were perhaps a little unlucky (or perhaps too noisy!) to see anything too exciting! All in all, we had a really nice morning out at Boondall Wetlands! Although the wildlife was a little elusive when we visited, the excitement of capturing a glimpse of something was balanced by the anticipation, and at the end of the day, the kids were happy! Which means we were happy! We will be back here again at some point - it's a nice and relaxing way to get away from it all!
Amenities: Toilets at the Environmental Centre, none on the track! 👍👍
Cost: Free! Just the cost of some snacks, sunscreen and the fuel to get there! 👍👍👍👍👍
Parking: Lots of Parking, perhaps it might get crowded on a weekend? 👍👍👍👍
Access: Easy access all through the walk - the trails are dirt but well maintained! 👍👍👍👍
Entertainment: More in anticipation, however a bush walk is all about the escape! 👍👍
Best for: We think from 5 and up might get the most out of this, although our 3 year old had fun too! 👍👍👍
Wildlife: Enough birds and bugs around, but we were hoping for more! 👍👍👍
Summary: A really nice and relaxing walk that is easy enough for anyone to get through! 👍👍👍
Hints: Try not to forget these three staples: water, sunscreen and insect repellent!
New Look Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre (Jan 2020)
Where is it: QUT Science and Engineering Centre, Gardens Point Precinct, Brisbane City
How can I join in: There are both drop in events and bookings, so check out their website, make your bookings (or just drop in) and head on in - and it's free!
Tell me more: Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is one of the top universities in Australia, and as well as providing a top class education to university goers, it also puts on some great activities to inspire the next generation of learners (as well as tempting their parents back to study)! As its name suggests, QUT has a focus on technology (as well as engineering and science) and their school holiday program provides heaps of opportunity for the little guys to try out many of the areas of engineering and technology, including geology, environmental science, a bit of coding, seeing how robots can operate, building some simple circuitry and heaps more! Such a great program and so much fun, and hopefully it inspires the little guys to reach for bigger and better things!
Summer School Holidays - January 2020
Summer School Holidays - January 2019
Winter School Holidays - July 2018
Media Launch - January 2018
Draw it. Code it. QUT Summer Holidays January 2018
Where is it: Various locations
What's it all about: The world renowned acrobatic and performance based circus that tours the world!
How can I join in: Head along to their website to secure your tickets and get prepared to be amazed! There are a number of shows including both afternoon (great for the kids!) and night time slots and tickets starting from $60!
Tell me more: For over 30 years, this Canadian based and premiere performance circus of the world (there are no animals) has been amazing millions of people around the world! As well as permanent fixtures in some of the casinos of Las Vegas, a touring big top and troupe head around the world, bringing new shows on every tour - and luckily for us in Brisbane they love to bring their show here! No-one is exempt from the charm and expectation of Cirque du Soleil (in case you are wondering, this is French for 'Circus of the Sun'), with local celebrities and personalities never missing out on the opportunity to see this amazing show, and adding to the special atmosphere that this circus brings to cities wherever it visits. Their shows 'Ovo', 'Kooza' and most recently 'Kurios', have all been generously welcomed here in Brisbane and they do not disappoint! The reputation of Cirque du Soleil is genuinely warranted and the truly amazing costumes, choreography, lighting, music and of course the amazing acrobatic skills of the performers will have you in awe. If you haven't experienced this show yet, you owe it to yourself to see what it's all about!
Kurios Opening night (Jan - 2020)
Kooza - Red Carpet and After Show
Kooza Raising of the Cirque du Soleil Tent
Where is it: Cremorne Theatre, Queensland Performing Arts Centre, Melbourne St, South Brisbane
Why we love it: Queensland’s premiere theatre and performing arts complex puts on some fantastic offerings for the little guys!
Tell me more: Mozart’s eccentric but marvellous music is perfectly suited for a circus and QPAC’s ‘Wolfgang’s Magical Musical Circus’ showcases the composer’s magical music in this wonderful show featuring Circa’s dexterous daredevil artists and a live accordionist - it’s a perfect family introduction to the theatre and classical music! You will be bound to be entertained as the music comes to life jumping and tumbling to this magnificent score - and although it’s a show aimed at the kids, we were just as excited to watch this as they were.
Where is it: Hamilton Road, Surfers Paradise, Gold Coast
Why we love it: Fantastic views from one of the tallest residential towers in the world - it’s Gold Coast’s highest attraction!
Tell me more: Queensland’s Gold Coast is one of Australia’s premiere tourist destinations, and it’s right on Brisbane’s doorstep - just an hour’s drive south. It takes something special to stand out here, but rather than try to give you just one thing special, SkyPoint gives you everything that Gold Coast has to offer with its amazing views over the whole city! Your admission gives you access to floor 77 of Australia’s tallest tower and from here you you get to see the amazing beaches and skyline that the Gold Coast is renowned for - the views are simply spectacular! There is a restaurant and bar on the floor as well, so if you are looking for some nice views with your meal, it doesn’t get much better than this. If you are feeling a tad more adventurous you can even try out SkyClimb, walking on the outside of this amazing building to take your experience to an even higher level!
This summer we were treated to a little more than the gorgeous views with something much sweeter with Skypoint’s Summer Sundae Shop - an ice cream parlour 230 metres up! We got to choose from one of 5 magnificent sundaes (plus the option to design your own, or milkshake or ice block), sit down, chill out and enjoy the views. There are games and activities as well - it was the perfect way to cool down!
Summer Sunday Shop
Brisbane Family Explorers