Where is it: Pelican Park, Hornibrook Esplanade, Clontarf
What's it all about: A fantastic way to see out the end of winter! Redcliffe KiteFest gets you close to the water with a wonderful carnival of flying colour and fun! It's one of Moreton Bay Region's biggest annual celebrations!
How can I join in: On annually around the end of winter / start of spring, keep an eye out on Moreton Bay Regional Council's website for more details!
Tell me more: KiteFest is a truly amazing and colourful event with an amazing carnival atmosphere! Not only are there so many awesome kites from the international and professional kite artists, but there is also an incredible entertainment line-up - like aerobatics, jet ski and flyboard shows, carnival rides, kids zone, and main stage entertainment shows always have some great shows planned. Little kids and big are equally well catered for in the entertainment area! It's also right by the beach which just adds to the atmosphere, and lots of food and market stalls make this a complete event for the whole family!
The very popular public kite flying area lets you join in on the action, and if you can avoid getting your line crossed with the others in this area, you could stay in here for ages! It is a really popular event, so take note of the public transport and parking options - you will be very lucky to find parking around the area. Kitefest is great value too with both family passes and all-day rides passes available, and is a really fun day (or weekend) out by the beach at Redcliffe - we think that it's one of the best family events in the region!
And just when we thought that it couldn't get any better - in 2018 KiteFest added their 'KiteFest after Dark program - the rides and stall continue to operate into the night, illuminated kites fly high and a fantastic fireworks display, including pyrotechnic jetskis, provides the perfect finale!
Where is it: 99 Marine Parade, Redcliffe
Why we love it: Relaxed vibe, wonderful food and fantastic views!
Tell me more: There’s nothing better here in Queensland to be relaxing by the beach. Combine that with a lovely meal and drink and you’ve got yourself a winning formula! And that’s just what you’ll get at Cabana Bar + Kitchen + Garden in Redcliffe with its fantastic relaxed and tropical vibe. Part of the Mon Komo Hotel, it’s the perfect place to enjoy a long lunch or an afternoon drink (or breakfast, if you like) while looking out over Moreton Bay. But it’s not just the atmosphere that makes Cabana Bar special – the meals are wonderful as well! From traditional and super tasty pub-style or perhaps something a little more fancy, or even a special plate to share, you’ll find the perfect meal for your mood here! They regularly host live music and DJs that complement the mood, and add to that a huge range of drinks - including a fantastic choice of cocktails that will definitely put you in holiday mode (be sure to try their Fairy Floss Martini – so good!), Cabana Bar is one hard place to leave! Check it out now!
We don't know any kids who aren't intrigued by shipwrecks! Come to think of it, we don't think that there would be too many adults who wouldn't be interested in a shipwreck! Luckily for us, here in Brisbane, there is a really accessible shipwreck right on our doorstop - just north of Brisbane at Redcliffe! The HMQS/HMAS Gayundah was deliberately beached in the 1950s at Woody Point to act as a breakwater. I'm not sure if at that time the beaching of a vessel was viewed with the same intrigue as it is today, but regardless we thought that it would be worth the short drive north to check it out!
Wanting to know a little more about what we were visiting, we did a bit of a search and found out that the Gayundah (meaning lightning), was a gun-boat and originally operated by the Queensland Maritime Defence Force, which we found interesting in that Queensland had its own defence force! The boat had a sister ship called Paluma (meaning 'thunder') and was involved in a mutiny that took place on the Brisbane River! It was transferred to the Australian Navy after federation and was in service during World War One. After the war it was used commercially until the 50s, during which time it sank and was raised before being beached at Redcliffe. Phew! What a life!
Our visit to the Gayundah was not nearly as adventurous as the little vessel we were off to see, an easy half hour drive up the highway and across the impressive Ted Smout Memorial Bridge to get to Redcliffe peninsular can hardly be described as an adventure, however the kids do love the idea of driving across the sea! The wreck is situated at the southern end of the Gayundah Coastal Arboretum, a nice quiet park with some nice views across Moreton Bay and barbeque facilities. There are plenty of car-parking spaces reasonably close in the arboretum or some street parking on Gayundah Esplanade, so there is no problem with parking.
Depending on where you park, it should only be a short walk on concrete paths to reach the Gayundah, definitely pram friendly and if your only plans are to see the wreck , there should be little need for you to carry anything significant, although a hat is definitely recommended in summer! That said, if you have no other plans you might be wasting a great opportunity to stop off in the park for a relaxing picnic or barbeque! You should also note that there are no toilets in the park(?) but there are a number of other parks in the area (driving) so if you are faced with an toilet-emergency, you may have to be prepared to jump back into the car!
The wreck itself does not seem to have retained any of the boat's features that we had seen in historical photos. This certainly did not disappoint us or the kids, and it is still quite distinguishable as a boat, but the years have certainly taken their toll, so it may only be a matter of time before she disappears completely - but I'm sure it will still be around to bring the grandkids! The kids were suitably impressed, and I think the less of its story explained to the little ones the better - just to let their imaginations run wild with their own reasons as to why the shipwreck was here! I'm sure that in their minds they were picturing that it was a swashbuckling pirate battle or a huge storm beached the Gayundah!
There are signs that tell you, most probably for safety reasons, not to get down on the beach to explore the wreck. I'm sure that this will assist in the preservation of this area as well. You can get a really good view of the wreck from the viewing area, however you will need to check the tides before you visit - at higher tides the wreck is almost completely submerged! The wreck is certainly worth a visit - it is so easy to access and the story behind the HMAS Gayundah is quite intriguing. Hopefully you get the opportunity to see the wreck before it goes the way of the wreck of the Dicky at Sunshine Coast - which deteriorated so much it had to be removed!
Amenities: A nice park is adjacent but no toilets! 👍👍
Cost: Completely free but perhaps some travel costs for those not lucky enough to live in Redcliffe!👍👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of parking around and you can visit whenever you like! 👍👍👍👍
Access: No access to the wreck itself but so easy to get to the viewing area - just remember to check the tide before you head off! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: It's all in the imagination! 👍👍
Best for: Everyone! With a special recommendation for photographers! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Do crabs count? 👍
Summary: A really easy and relaxing way to spend a few hours! Check the tide times and plan your visit, it is such an easy way to get up close to a real shipwreck! 👍👍👍
Hints: Sunrise will give you some amazing photo opportunities!
Photos taken before bow colapse
Where is it: Ferry departs from Redcliffe Jetty – 160 Redcliffe Parade, Redcliffe
Why we love it: We love days at the beach, so of course we will love a 45-minute ferry ride to a beautiful and relaxed island that is all beach!
Tell me more: Just 30 kms off the coast of Brisbane lies the world’s third largest sand islands – Moreton Island! We hopped on board the new Redcliffe2Moreton Express Ferry for a day trip to rival any holiday!
Leaving from the Redcliffe Jetty (about 45 minutes’ drive from Brisbane’s CBD), this pedestrian-only ferry service runs twice a week – on Fridays and Sundays, heading off at 10am and leaving the island at 4pm for a return into Redcliffe by around 5pm, so it’s a perfect choice for quick day trip or weekend getaway! The ‘Supercat’ is comfortable and perfect for the 45 minute trip across the bay and you can grab a free tea or coffee (before leaving), there are snacks and drinks available for purchase and there are toilets on board as well. The fully-enclosed lower deck provides ample and fully weather-proof comfort, while the upper and outer back deck are great for getting some fresh air and provide great vantage points if you are lucky enough to spot some of the magnificent wildlife that inhabit the bay – whales, dolphins or even dugong can sometimes be spotted on the ride over!
Upon arrival at Moreton Island (just near the tiny township of Bulwer), you need to transfer into a smaller tender for the transfer across to the island. It’s only about 30m, but you land directly on the beach and you will get wet feet so be prepared. It might be an idea to bag up any electronics just in case. You can carry one bag of up to 30kgs and you can take a pram if needed, however it is sand everywhere so you won’t really get much use out of a pram on the island.
The arrival point at Moreton Island is right next to one of Bulwer’s most distinctive sights – 3 rusty shipwrecks which were deliberately beached to provide a bit of a break many years ago! The old shipwrecks are now more of a fascination for the tourists and locals alike, and provide beautiful photo opportunities! Transfers to other parts of the island or activities should be arranged to meet you prior to arrival – it’s a short walk (maybe a couple of hundred metres) to Castaway’s Café and Store where you can grab a bite to eat (their burgers are delicious!) and it’s about 1km walk to the closest campsite. Bear in mind that this is a sand island, so the walking can be pretty heavy going! There are no paved roads or footpaths here! Another point to note is the main beach also serves as a bit of a highway – it’s reasonably obvious where the 4 wheel drives run, so make sure that you are aware and try to stay out of their path!
While there are a number of places to explore and things to do here on Moreton, our plan for the day was to do as little as possible! We carried a portable gazebo with us so we could stay a little closer to the water, however there are a few shady spots under the trees to be found. The beach is superb – the sand is beautiful and soft; the water is clear and there are small waves to excite the little kids (but not enough to surf in). The shipwrecks can be explored although they are quite deteriorated and shouldn’t be touched – one of them is totally in shallow water while the other two are about half in the water and half up on the beach. And another joy for us here on the eastern coast is we got to water the sun start to sink across the water in the afternoon, something we don’t always get to see!
We had a fantastic day over at Moreton Island – the trip was comfortable and easy, the staff on the boat were very friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, the beach was absolutely gorgeous and our meal from Castaway’s Café was really yummy! And the day wasn’t too long either – we had about 5 hours on an island beach from a 9:30am start and back by 5pm. Just perfect! But next time we visit we might just have to stop for a night or two!
Amenities: Amenities on the island are limited, however toilets are available for use at Castaway’s Café and you can purchase bottled water as well as prepared meals and general store items! 👍👍👍
Parking: Finding a park in Redcliffe shouldn’t be too much trouble, however take note of market times at Redcliffe – it can be a busy little spot! 👍👍
Access: On the mainland side access is easy! On the island side it’s a little trickier with the transfer vessel and landing directly on the beach – it’s not really that well suited for wheeled use! 👍
Best for: It’s a beautiful beach however it is definitely better suited to those who are more mobile – we travelled with a 2 year old but it might be a little trickier with a younger child! 👍👍👍
Summary: This really is a beautiful spot! The ferry is an easy trip over and the beach is so nice – we had a great time! 👍👍👍👍
Hints: Plan to stay for a couple of days so that you can explore more of the island!
Exploring the island
Walking to the shop
Where is it: Captain Cook Parade, Deception Bay
Why we love it: A library, cafes, playground and beach all in the same spot!
Tell me more: Our little guys love getting to the beach - they love exploring the coastline as much as splashing in the water! A big plus for us here in Brisbane is that most of the local beaches have gentle slopes and few waves, so it's great for the little guys that aren't quite ready for proper swimming to keep their feet on the ground! The beach at Deception Bay is one of those beaches - it's nice and sandy with a gentle slope and small waves - great for the little guys so we love to visit! But we don't get straight into the water, first we check out the library and the park and playground! The library is typical of the high standard of great facilities and activities we've come to expect from the libraries in the area! Heaps to do and really fun activities are put on for the kids!
You head out of the library and you are straight into a park and playground area. Again the playground has very typical play areas and the kids had heaps of fun! You will find an appropriate level of facilities in the park with picnic tables, barbeques and toilets. And finally we get to the beach - it's directly adjacent to the playground and you can get straight into the sand. If anything drags our kids away from a playground it must be good, and that is exactly what this beach did!
The area is complemented by a few shops and cafes so you can really make a day out of it, and on top of that there's even some heritage listed seawater baths (the Bancroft Baths) from the 1880s you can check out! This area of Deception Bay is a really great place to bring the kids for indoor activities, a play in the park, fun on the beach and even a history lesson!
Amenities: The park (adjacent to the beach) has toilets, barbeques and picnic tables! 👍👍👍
Parking: Parking shouldn't be a problem! 👍👍👍
Access: The park has good access and getting to the beach is easy! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: So much to do for the little guys (6 and under) and they will love this beach! 👍👍👍👍
Summary: A really nice (and quiet) spot that's great for introducing the kids to the beach! Along with the other things that we have mentioned, there's plenty of opportunity to run and splash and look for creatures on the beach! 👍👍👍
Hints: Check the tide times before you visit, the gentle slope of the beach means the tide goes way out!
Deception Bay Library and Library Park (Burrajavoiun Park)
Where is it: Suttons Beach, Redcliffe
What's it all about: A dual purpose festival - partly to celebrate Easter, and partly to celebrate the passing of the yachts as they commence the Brisbane to Gladstone Yacht Race!
How can I join in: It's free (some paid events)! So head along (parking is at a premium, so consider your options) at any time throughout the day and prepare to have fun!
Tell me more: Every Good Friday, Redcliffe and the Moreton Bay Region puts on an amazing free and fun event in the Festival of Sails! This beach is a lovely place to visit at Easter time, so to hold a festival here as well means that there's no end of fun things to see and do! Heaps of market stalls, games on the beach for the kids, amusement park rides, live music and heaps more! The highlight (for us, at least!) is the skydiving Easter Bunny! There are heaps of food options as well and as expected there are Easter Egg hunts on all day! There are even watersports activities - paddleboarding and peddle boats. Wow! So much to do. This is one of the few events that we can actually burn up all the energy in our boys. Highly recommended!
Australia Day means different things to different people. For us, we enjoy going out as a family and spending a nice day out together. We always like to get involved in any one of the Australia Day events, complete with all the clichéd stereotypes of what being Australian is all about! It may not always be genuine, but we think that it's fun! Typically, it means going to the beach and having a barbeque, which is not really what either of us (mum and dad) experienced often at all, but we're not complaining! Maybe the little ones will grow up thinking that this is what being Australian means? Who knows, but for now we just want to see them have a nice time, and when they are ready to think about it for themselves, then they can decide what Australia Day means to them!
This year, we went along to the Fish, Fun and Aussie Sun Australia Day party at Sutton's Beach, Redcliffe. Redcliffe is one of our favourite places for dipping or toes into the saltwater - it's great for the little kids as it is generally very calm and the water is warm, although we can see in the oldest boy (he is 5 now) that he is sometimes searching for the excitement of a bigger wave! The foreshore at Redcliffe can get reasonably busy on a warm summer day, so throw in a free festival and you can be assured of some parking anguish – not as bad as Christmas shopping, but be aware! Our kids are early risers (especially in summer...) so we got in early and managed to secure a park.
Things kicked off reasonably early with the all-day program (the official program started at 2pm). We weren't too concerned at getting there early as it's a great spot in its own right with a really fun playground; and it gets warm so early here so it's great for an early dip. Along with the parking, finding a spot on the grass to settle for the day can also be a bit challenging, so again, another good reason to get in early! Summer at the beach generally means plenty of sun! So we were vigilant in slopping on copious amounts of sunscreen and keeping our hats on as much as we could. We also planned on a barbeque lunch, so we packed our little lunchbox barbie and a few snags and drinks. It's amazing what a difference frying some sausages and onion can make to a day out at the beach! There were plenty of food and drink options available, however today we just wanted to cook up our own food.
We've got our event routine reasonably down pat now, we seem to be able to pack up so much onto our pram (sometimes it surprises us how much it can carry)! Swimmers, a change of clothes, towels, a little esky for food and drinks, our barbie and our picnic mat all finds a spot in, under or hanging off our pram. Sometimes we even have space for a baby! Packing up after a day out is at times a little more of a challenge, but we seem to manage (just!). And of course, plenty of sunscreen!
The biggest issue for us on days like toady is deciding what to do first! There was so much going on! As we had to walk past the playground to get into the action, the kids couldn't resist! A quick play and we continued on our way. What to next? Maybe a jump on the jumping castle! Got to get that one out of the way before things heat up too much. Mini train rides, check out some music, climb some trees and then a little bite to eat! Now onto the beach. The beach was generally just fun of our own making, however they did have the Australia Day-standard fare of a thong-throwing competition and some lifesaver challenges going on!
Once again, a great event put on by Moreton Bay Regional Council and partners! We are lucky here in the south east to have such great events teams on all the councils as there seems to be a never-ending run of things to see and do that are planned and put on by the councils! We didn't stay for the afternoon's events (we are not giving up our kids' afternoon nap time - it's too valuable!), and given that the official program didn't open until 2:00pm, we may have missed out on the bulk of the entertainment, but we had a great time anyway! Maybe in the coming years we will stay the night close by and enjoy the whole day!
Amenities: Permanent toilets plus plenty of port-a-loos for the added crowd! 👍👍👍👍
Cost: No cost to enter but hard to resist the food stalls! 👍👍👍
Parking: Plenty of street parking, but plenty of traffic as well - can be a challenge! 👍👍
Access: Concrete paths throughout the park, easy to get around with a pram. Did get a bit crowded at times! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: Heaps of things to do and see! 👍👍👍👍
Best for: Families of all ages! 👍👍👍👍
Wildlife: Not too much here, but this wasn't the place for it anyway! 👍
Summary: A nice day out at the beach with lots of entertainment! We didn't stay for most of the Aussie-themed activities, but had a great time nonetheless! 👍👍👍
Hints: You will have to get in early if you want to lay down your picnic mat!
Where is it: Redcliffe Showgrounds, Redcliffe.
What's it all about: Trucks, trucks and more trucks roaring down the highway and ending up at Redcliffe Showgrounds - all in the name of charity!
How can I join in: Head along to the Redcliffe Showgrounds - your entry fee goes to help out the supported charities and you get to see these awesome machines close up!
Tell me more: If you know someone who loves big, noisy and impressive machines (like most kids we know!), then this might be the event for you! You will see lots of these massive trucks rumble into the Redcliffe Showgrounds - it's a fundraising event put on by truck owners and drivers to raise funds for needy charities, and provides the kids with the opportunity to get up close to these awesome machines! You might even get to have a ride in one! There's lots of food, rides and entertainment on as well - even fireworks on at night! A very impressive event and all for a good cause!
Brisbane Family Explorers