There's lots of bushland in and around Brisbane - we have some great spots of natural vegetation to escape the city life. But with every urban location, we do have some problems. With the way that a city grows, it's very hard to maintain continuous corridors of bushland, and so the wildlife that lives in the bush can be heavily impacted, particularly when travelling from one protected area to another. Which is why spots like the Brisbane Koala Bushlands and Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary are so important, both for refuge for the animals and to provide an education resource for all of us. We decided to pay a visit to Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary for a bit of education, check out a koala or two and generally just have a nice relaxing time away in the bush!
Daisy Hill Koala Sanctuary is located about 25kms south of Brisbane in the suburb of Daisy Hill, Logan. An easy drive (depending on the time of course!) down the M1 from Brisbane, and you'll find plenty of parking there once you arrive. It's a convenient and easy way to escape the city and get back to the bush. Plus there's the added benefit of being able to get up close to a koala! But don't worry too much about not finding one in the bushland (koalas can be quite tricky to find in the wild!), as they generally have one or two koalas at the centre!
The sanctuary is managed by the Department of Environment and deliver the activities and programs that you will find. They run organise sessions for schools and groups but for our visit we just turned up and had a casual look around. Even if you don't want to get involved in the activities, it's a really nice and quiet spot just to get away from it all with plenty of room to lay down your picnic blanket. There's a wooden boardwalk that leads up to the Koala Centre which winds its way through typical gum forest which makes it really easy if you are pushing a pram - there's also a good chance of spotting a bit of wildlife on the way, so keep your eyes peeled! The boardwalk fits in really well with the bush and the design of the centre does as well - it really looks at home in its setting and doesn't detract from the bushland.
Once you arrive at the Koala Centre you are presented with a wealth of information about our national furry treasures and heaps of tips on how best we can all contribute to making sure that they have the best chance of surviving side-by-side with our suburbs. We are so lucky to have such a big portion of land set aside just for koalas! There's lots of written information and some displays as well. Another really awesome feature of the koala centre is the observation tower which gives you a 'koala's eye' view of their habitat!
Another really great facility here in Brisbane! It's so important that we can protect our native wildlife and the more awareness that people have the better! Hopefully sites like these can ensure that our little kids can grow up knowing that we all played our part in making sure that we can all continue to see these great creatures in the wild! These areas are also great for switching off (just for a little while) from our busy city lives for a few hours!
Amenities: Great facilities and well maintained! 👍👍👍
Cost: Visit for free, donations to support their cause is appreciated! 👍👍👍👍
Parking: No problems with parking! 👍👍👍👍
Access: The facilities are well looked after and very accessible! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: More of a place to chill out, rather than to be entertained! Although you will get excited if you spot a wild koala! 👍👍
Best for: Toddler age and above will enjoy this - the adults will also get heaps of info! 👍👍👍
Wildlife: Some wallabies and birds and koalas of course! 👍👍👍
Summary: It would be great if koalas were so abundant and we didn't need places like this, however as Brisbane has been built up in a prime koala location, we are really lucky that so many people are putting in such an effort to protect these wonderful animals! Definitely a place to stop by! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: The resident koalas are not always available to see - call the centre before you visit to make sure you get to see them!
Where is it: All across Australia!
What's it all about: Every year the Children's Book Council of Australia promotes Children's Book Week! Partly to celebrate Australian children's literature and partly to promote reading amongst (and to) kids!
How can I join in: Check out schools, libraries and bookstores for events as these are probably the best ways to get involved!
Tell me more: There all always fun kid's events on for Children's Book Week and it's such a great initiative to get kids more engaged in reading! Libraries are the obvious choice when looking for Children's Book Week activities - for a recent book week activity we joined up with Mt Coot-tha Library as they held a special reading time in the garden! It started off as any story time with some great stories, but it just got better as we played out the stories we had just read! First we had to go exploring through the gardens - searching for a bear by following chalk paintings and even passing a crocodile! After finding the bear, we transformed into wild animals with palm-leaf tails and whiskers and searched for other wild animals. We saw turtles, birds and lizards and it really got the kids excited! A great example of the type of event that you might encounter for Children's Book Week!
Where is it: Sandstone Point Hotel, Sandstone Point
What's it all about: A festival all about strawberries! Partly to recognise the farmers, partly to acknowledge the significance of the strawberry industry here in south east Queensland, and partly just to have fun and extra strawberries!
How can I join in: Held annually (usually just before the end of winter), keep an eye on the website for up-to-date details!
Tell me more: We weren't really prepared for how big this event was going to be - maybe a lot of people didn't want to accept that the Ekka was finished and wanted to keep the party going, but it was a really popular event! Luckily they have a great venue, The Sandstone Point Hotel. With its sprawling lawn areas, there was heaps of room so it didn't really feel too crowded. There was a live music stage which also had a Dirtgirlworld show on for the kids, lots of rides, strawberry eating competitions, heaps of strawberries in all different forms (drizzled with chocolate seemed to be quite popular!), and heaps of food options! We had heaps of fun and really enjoyed this event, but we should mention the traffic - even though the venue has heaps of space, the roads around the hotel are not really ready to handle such an influx of visitors! There was huge congestion around the hotel, so be prepared!
Where is it: Heaps of different zoos
What’s it all about: A fundraising fun run to raise money and awareness for wildlife conservation projects.
How can I join in: Have a look out for the next Zoo Run at your closest zoo!
Tell me more: The Zoo Run is a really fun fundraising event. You can register for a 5 or 2 km fun run and all of the registration fee goes to the wildlife conservation. We went along to the run at Sea World at the Gold Coast, and it was heaps of fun! The run takes you through the whole park well before opening time, and for the cost of registration you get full access to the park, including 1 hour exclusive for the Zoo runners! The run itself was really nice - running through the park past all the attractions, so it was really good for us first-timers to Sea World as it gave us a good understanding of the park! We got to run past the Creatures from the Deep exhibit - some giant animatronic sea monsters - some real and some not so real, but the kids were not too sure about them and didn't want to get too close!
The track also took us past the ray tank, the sharks, dolphins and seals! We got a pretty good look at all of Sea World before we had even started - it was almost disappointing when we made it to the finish line, it certainly was a fun run! There were heaps of great costumes too - our little Crabby Fish team even managed to pick up a prize (thanks Zoo Run and Ginger Sports!)! We eventually recovered from our 2 km run (our team did more walking than running) and then we had a full day of fun at Sea World - this was a really great event and for a great cause as well, we will certainly be back again for more Zoo Runs in the future!
Our day at Sea World after the Zoo Run:
Where is it: Brookside Shopping Centre, Mitchelton
What's it all about: To coincide with the Ekka Public Holiday, Brookside Shopping Centre puts on a mini festival of its own - the Brookside Family Fun Day!
How can I join in: This was a free event to get in to, and once you had spent $5 or more at any Brookside Centre store on the day of the fair and you had access to the Family Fun Day activities!
Tell me more: For the Ekka Public Holiday we decided to visit Brookside's Family Fun Day! Any thoughts of a relaxing day off were quickly set aside as there was so much to do and see and it didn’t take long to realise that we would be coming home pretty exhausted! There were heaps of activities to keep the little kids occupied - jumping castle, cup and saucer rides, mini golf, super slide, baby animal farm, face painting and as a nice coincidence for National Science Week, there was even a 'Street Science' display! Add to that a few giveaways, competitions and showbags, this event had no problems with entertainment - particularly for the younger (6 and under) kids! And once we could take no more, it was reassuring to know that we had a few different cafe options within the centre to sit down for a cuppa! This was a really easy and fun day out!
Where is it: Nationwide
What's it all about: Children's Day is celebrated on 04 August every year and is a time for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander kids and families to celebrate their culture!
How can I join in: Keep an eye out for events planned in your area! There are lots of events detailed on the website, and heaps of schools have special celebrations as well!
Tell me more: We attended the Children's Day celebrations at the State Library of Queensland and spent the morning taking part in a special storytime and doing some craft! There are heaps of events on across the nation and it's a great way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children to celebrate and reinforce their connection to society and their culture! We think that it's a great way to bring all cultures together by creating an increased appreciation and understanding of each other's cultures, plus there are lots of fun activities!
Brisbane Family Explorers