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
Where is it: Various locations, Moreton Bay Region
What's it all about: A free event put on by Moreton Bay Regional Council - just for fun!
How can I join in: Come along to the park with your favourite teddy bear and be prepared to have fun!
Tell me more: Moreton Bay Region's Teddy Bears Picnic is a really fun and popular event for little kids! Aimed at kids under school age, there's lots of entertainment and activities on offer - it's a great way to get your little ones out and about in a safe and relaxed setting. The jumping castle was hard to get past - so much fun and it was great for the little kids to have one all to themselves without sharing with the older kids! There was more than just that on offer with a baby animal farm, face painting heaps of art and craft and of course teddy bears were everywhere, including a nice little teddy bear parade! There was even free teddy bear biscuits and fruit for our picnic! This annual event takes place in different locations so make sure you check out the details of the event - and make sure you check out what the theme is for the day! A really nice day out for the little ones!
Norfolk Lakes Park, Narangba 2019
John Oxley Reserve, Murrumba Downs 2018
Pine Rivers Park, Strathpine 2017
Jamieson Park, Scarborough 2017
Pine Rivers Park, Strahtpine 2016
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
Where is it: About 30 minutes' drive past The Gap, Brisbane
What's it all about: A relatively easy bushwalk through some amazing forest - and so close to Brisbane as well!
Tell me more: Pitta Circuit at Boombana is one of the many walks throughout D'Aguilar National Park! It's an easy walk but a lovely little break from the city and it's so close, you really do feel like you've left the city for good when you are walking around this short, 1 km trail. It's a small loop which starts in eucalypt bush before slowly the forest changes into a temperate rainforest and it really is a lovely spot. Although it's a short walk and it would not be classed as challenging by any means, it did take us around an hour to complete as we were forever stopping to marvel at the amazing trees, searching for beautiful fungi, or trying to spot some wildlife in the dense forest!
Amenities: Picnic tables and barbeques at the start of the walk! 👍👍👍
Parking: Free parking! 👍👍👍
Access: It's a walk but not too challenging - not for wheeled devices! 👍👍
Best for: A great start for families to experience hiking in this wonderful national park! 👍👍👍
Summary: Pitta Circuit is a great introduction to bushwalking! Not too long or difficult, but great for a bush escape! 👍👍👍
Hints: Jolly's Lookout is not a far drive from here and has some magnificent views over the city!
Where is it: All over the world!
What's it all about: A day for all Star Wars fans! Probably the most popular film series ever, and most likely with the most passionate fans, Star Wars deserves its own special day!
How can I join in: Look for events around your local area! We've been along to events at Dreamworld and libraries previously, so theme parks and libraries are likely to have something planned, as are cinemas and shopping centres!
Tell me more: May the Fourth (Star Wars Day) is a special day for all fans of this awesome series of movies! For those that don't understand, Jedi knights often sign off from their conversations by saying "May the force be with you…", so May the 4th has been claimed by Star Wars fans as their day all over the world! So you can expect to see lots of stormtroopers, jedis, a few Sith Lords, jawas and any number of Darth Vaders! A lot of events double as fundraisers for various charities, but more importantly, it's great fun watching the little kids trying to work out whether they should trust all these people in costume! Keep an eye out for Star Wars movie marathons as well! Always a fun day!
May the fourth be with you, Ashgrove Library 2018
May the fourth be with you, Arana Hills Library 2017
Star Wars Day / Stormtrooper Weekend, Dreamworld 2015
Star Wars Day 2014
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!
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 surprising piece of Queensland's history tucked away in the mangroves at Deception Bay!
Tell me more: Bancroft Sea Baths are man-made tidal baths that would fill with water as the tide came in. The baths were cut into the tidal sandstone at Deception Bay in the late 19th century and are a historical reminder of Australia's connection with the ocean! It's quite interesting to see these historical baths (they may be the only surviving examples in Queensland!). If you are ever in Deception Bay (check out our blog of Deception Bay here) - you must check out these heritage listed baths! They are very interesting and are an important part of Queensland's history!
Amenities: The park (adjacent to the beach) has toilets, barbeques and picnic tables! 👍👍👍
Parking: Parking shouldn't be a problem! 👍👍👍
Access: Getting to the beach is easy, but you might have to look for the baths! 👍👍
Best for: It's an interesting side-visit for the adults while you get the kids to the beach! 👍👍
Summary: It's a nice little visit to see these interesting sea baths, and a heritage listed structure at that! 👍👍👍
Hints: Check the tide times before you visit or else you may not see anything!
Where is it: Centenary Lakes Park, Caboolture
What's it all about: It's an inexpensive alternative to Brisbane's Ekka for public holiday fun!
Tell me more: Many local communities around Brisbane have family activities planned to coincide with Brisbane's Ekka celebrations and they are a great option for those not willing to brave the crowds, want something a little smaller for their little guys, or simply those looking for something a little different! And often these are events can be enjoyed at a fraction of the cost of a full family day out at the Ekka. Caboolture's Family Fun Day is really enjoyable day out held on Moreton Bay Region’s show day holiday! It has a huge array of entertainment including the expected carnival rides, side show alley and show bags as well as special guest performers, magicians and animal shows! So much fun and amazingly the whole day can be enjoyed for free!
Brisbane Family Explorers