Brisbane Bushwalks for Kids

Brisbane Bushwalking

Brisbane Bushwalking

If you’re looking for walking tracks in Brisbane suitable for children, take a look at my article on the Ourbrisbane website.

Each walk has a ‘reward’ at the end – either a playground or nature centre with animals.


South Bank – Cool Pools

If you’ve been walking in the South Bank Parklands, you would have seen the huge lagoon swimming pools and Australia’s only inner-city beach.  These are free and open to the public.  In summer, they’re one of Brisbane’s favourite spots to cool down. Children especially love the “Aquativity” water play area which opens 7am – 7pm.

Mantra Pool

Mantra Pool

There’s a much smaller pool in Grey Street that kids always love to see.  It hangs over the edge of the first floor at the Mantra Hotel in Grey Street (corner of Glenelg St – stand in front of Rydges Hotel for the best view).  If you’re there at the right time, someone might be swimming and you can see them through the glass end of the pool.  

We’ve stayed at the Mantra as a special treat, and my daughter had a great time waving at people in the street through the pool’s glass.

Newstead House

It looks like this weekend is going to be a great one for walking in Brisbane – fine and around 24 degrees. 

Newstead House

Newstead House

If you’re looking for a pleasant Sunday afternoon post-walking activity in Brisbane I can highly recommend Newstead House.  It’s Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence and from it’s wide verandas, there are views of the Brisbane River and Breakfast Creek. 

A tour through the house gives you an idea of what life might have been like for the wealthy when Queensland was a new colony.  The enthusiastic volunteer guides bring the history of the house to life with lots of interesting stories.

Newstead House Veranda

Newstead House Veranda

On Sundays from 2pm to 4:30pm, Devonshire Tea (with real China cups) is served on the veranda. 

The residence sits in Newstead Park which, with its Brisbane River views and shady trees, make it a great picnic spot.  You can also take a stroll along the riverside path, past more modern riverside homes.

Location: Corner Breakfast Creek Road & Newstead Avenue, Newstead
Entry to Newstead House:  $4 adult, $3 concession, $2 child, $10 (2 + school aged children), free admission first Friday every month
Opens: 10am – 4pm Mon – Fri, 2pm – 5pm Sun

Warm Weekend

Sandgate Path

Sandgate Path

The weather forecasters are predicting a warm weekend with 30 degrees for Saturday.  So if you’d like to take a walk in Brisbane, head for the bay where the breezes off the ocean usually make it cooler. 

Manly to Wynnum

The walk from Manly to Wynnum along the bay side path is very popular.  It’s an easy 4.5km one way from Manly Boat Harbour to the Wynnum Jetty.  If you need to cool down at the end of your walk, have a paddle in the Wynnum Wading Pool which has been a favourite with children since it opened in 1933.  I love doing this walk in the late afternoon, finishing with a take-away fish and chips dinner on the jetty or nearby picnic tables.


Brisbanites have been visiting this coastal area in the north of the city since the 1800s to escape the heat of summer.  If you start at Baxters Jetty opposite Allpass Parade and keep the bay on your right, you’ll get great views along Shorncliffe Parade.  A little further on, the track drops down to Bramble Bay at Moora Park.  You’ll find a great adventure playground here, and there are plenty of picnic shelters further on.  Further along the waterside track  is the Sandgate Swimming Pool.

Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary

Lone Pine - Koala & Joey

Koala & Joey at Lone Pine

If you’ve ever wanted to see a koala up close, Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary is the place to go.  Not only was it the world’s first koala sanctuary (1927), but it remains the largest with around 130 of these cute creatures.

You can have your photo taken cuddling a koala at any time during your visit.  The money spent on photos goes to research, planting more eucalyptus food trees and building shelters.

But Lone Pine has a lot more animals to see.  There are dingoes, wombats, Tasmanian Devils, Australian birds and reptiles.  In a big paddock, you can hand feed kangaroos and emus.  One emu was so friendly she followed us around and posed for portraits. Perhaps it was something to do with the paper bags of food we bought for the animals from Lone Pine’s shop, but we like to think it was we humans she liked.



Worth seeing are the shows that are included in the price of admission.  

Koalas:  After learning all about koalas from one of Lone Pine’s knowledgable staff, you have the opportunity to pat the animal’s soft grey fur. 

Sheep Dogs:  Children always enjoy the Sheep Dog show where real sheep farmers guide their dogs, with just a few subtle signals, to herd sheep around and through obstacles. 


Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Wedge-Tailed Eagle

Eagles and Owls:  Birds of Prey show off their skills in the Flight Show, catching tasty morsels mid-flight. At the end of the show, the handlers allow you a close up look at these spectacular birds which you usually only see soaring high above.

Young children will enjoy visiting the Barn where they can feed farm animals and hold chicks and guinea pigs.

There is a lot to see at Lone Pine and you could easily spend the whole day.  One of the best things about this sanctuary is its peaceful, leafy setting right on the Brisbane River.  Even at busy times, the atmosphere is still relaxed with lots of open space.

There is a cafe/restaurant and plenty of shady spots for a picnic if you bring your own food.

Open:  8:30am  – 5:00pm daily

Admission:  $28 Adult, $19 Child (3 – 13), $21 Concession, $65 Family (2+3)

State Library at South Bank

If you’re walking along the river near South Bank’s cultural precinct, be sure to pop into the Queensland State Library (between the Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art).  If you thought libraries were just buildings full of books, you’ll be surprised at what the State Library has to offer.

The first thing you’ll notice is an almost complete lack of books.  Don’t worry, there are plenty upstairs, but the Infozone on the ground floor is filled with computers which are free for public use.  It’s also a free wifi (wireless internet access) zone popular with travellers and students. 

Also on the ground floor is The Corner, a great area for children eight under to play and be creative.  The Parlour on level one is filled with games that older children and adults will enjoy.  These games are the old fashioned type that don’t involve a screen – chess, checkers, Scrabble, backgammon, a giant snakes and ladders board and many more.

Tim Fairfax Newspaper Reading Room

Tim Fairfax Newspaper Reading Room

Upstairs you’ll find exhibitions of artworks, photos, historical documents and objects.  In the Philip Bacon Heritage Gallery we had a look at  Panoramic Queensland.  It was fascinating to see photographic panoramas of Brisbane taken in the 1800s and compare them to the city today.  That exhibition is finished, but there are others to view.

On level 3 is the Tim Fairfax newspaper reading room where you can have a browse through Queensland, Australian and international newspapers.  I love this spot, not only for its cosy design and handy reading lamps, but also for the views of the river and CBD.  In fact, from every floor of the State Library, you’ll be rewarded with great views and peaceful spots to rest. 

Downstairs is an interesting book shop and cafe if you need to re-fuel before continuing your walk.

Open:  10am – 5pm daily (until 8pm Mon – Thu)

The Corner open:  10am – 1pm weekdays
(until 4pm weekends, school and public holidays)

Admission:  free

South Bank & Maritime Museum

Maritime MuseumWe had a walk though South Bank on Sunday after a CityCat ride.  It’s always a great place to visit because there’s always something happening.  The markets were on with live music playing and lots of delicious aromas coming from the cafes and restaurants on Grey Street.  The playgrounds were full of children and lots of people were having picnics and using the free BBQs.

We visited the Maritime Museum which is beside the Goodwill Bridge.  The highlight of the Museum for children (and adults) is being able to explore the HMAS Diamantina, a decommissioned naval vessel in dry dock. With 160 sailors crewing the ship during WWII, you wonder how they all fitted into the cramped quarters.  This is a good attraction to visit during winter because I can imagine it would be very hot inside the ship in the summer months.

HMAS DiamentinaThere are plenty of other things to look at in the Museum including: scale models of famous ships; a room displaying lighthouse equipment; and an area where you can pretend you’re the captain of a ship.  You may even see a diver discovering a chest full of treasure. Take a picnic lunch and eat outside right above the river and enjoy the views.



Admission:  $8 adults / $7 concession / $3.50 children (5 – 16) / $18 family (2 + 3)

Hours:  9:30 am- 4:30 pm (last admission 3:30 pm)


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