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: Mt Samson, Queensland
What's it all about: Situated in the Samford Valley, The Lyell Deer Sanctuary has approximately 20 deer and a small gift shop with tea and coffee.
How can I join in: You can visit the deer farm on the weekends between 10 and 4pm, or through the week if you call ahead to make an appointment. They also cater for group tours or excursions and often have special events.
Tell me more: The kids love checking out animals so we went for a drive out to Mt Samson to have a look at some deer! It's always a nice drive out in the Samford Valley, so close to the city but you feel like you are miles away! The sanctuary has a few different types of deer and you can purchase some food pellets to feed to the deer as well - the kids really liked this! Just a point to note is that you are separated from the deer by a fence, so you have to feed the deer through the fence. You don't get to walk amongst them. The experience here is pretty much limited to this, but this was exactly what we came out here for - to get up close to some deer, and it certainly ticks that box! Overall, we were all quite happy with our visit here to the Lyell Deer Sanctuary, a nice and quiet morning out!
Amenities: A little gift shop and café! 👍👍
Cost: A little expensive for the experience! 👍
Parking: No problems with parking! 👍👍👍
Access: Well maintained and grassy access! 👍👍👍
Entertainment: Just a quiet day out! 👍👍
Best for: Deer loving kids! 👍👍 Wildlife: Not too much native wildlife, but lots of deer! 👍👍👍
Summary: This was a nice, relaxing morning out. The experience was rather limited however the deer are lovely and the kids really enjoyed it! 👍👍
Hints: Might be best for a Mum's or Dad's day out as with two adults the cost may be a little off-putting!
Brisbane Family Explorers