Kayak the Brisbane River, discover your inner scientist & climb aboard a restored locomotive for Brisbane’s BEST family-friendly holidays.
1. South Bank
Home to the Aquativity Water Park and the Riverside Garden Playground, South Bank is a popular destination for families throughout the year. Learn about edible produce in the Epicurious Garden, explore the Queensland Maritime Museum or soak up the city views from The Wheel of Brisbane. Countless cafes and restaurants dot the tropical-inspired surrounds for when the hunger pangs hit.
2. Sir Thomas Brisbane Planetarium
Forming part of the Brisbane Botanic Gardens/Mt Coot-tha, this iconic planetarium is the place to head for an Earth-based adventure into space. It’s home to the Sundial Courtyard and Galaxy Gift Shop, as well as the Cosmic Skydome, where immersive shows are held. If you’re travelling with young kids, coincide your visit with a screening of Perfect Little Planet, Tycho to the Moon or The Little Star That Could.
3. Riverlife Adventure Centre
Based in Kangaroo Point, Riverlife offers kayaking tours along the Brisbane River, as well as abseiling and rock-climbing lessons. While kids need to be at least eight years old to participate, no experience is necessary, with all equipment and instruction provided by their knowledgeable guides. Water bikes, rollerblades, bikes and electric URB-Es can also be rented for exploring the riverside trails.
4. Eat Street Northshore markets
A former container wharf in the riverside suburb of Hamilton has been transformed into one of Brisbane’s liveliest dining destinations — the Eat Street Northshore markets. Held every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, you can grab a bite to eat from one of the eateries that occupy the repurposed containers, and settle in on the fake turf to enjoy the live music and entertainment. With its colourful artwork and festive string lights, there’s a real buzz that you won’t experience anywhere else.
5. Queensland Museum
In the heart of the South Brisbane Cultural Precinct, the flagship campus of the Queensland Museum explores the worlds of natural history, science and human achievement. Kids will particularly love the interactive Discovery Centre and the Lost Creatures gallery where they can learn about Queensland’s extinct dinosaurs and megafauna. Older kids can discover their inner scientist at the SparkLab, which encourages them to question the world around them.
6. The Workshops Rail Museum
Housed in the old boiler shop of the North Ipswich Railway, this award-winning museum features beautifully restored locomotives and the largest model railway in Queensland. The Day Out with Thomas is a particular hit with families during the school holidays, with plenty of Thomas the Tank Engine-themed activities and an appearance by the Fat Controller.
7. The Jungle Adventure Play
The largest indoor play centre in Queensland, The Jungle Adventure Play is a great option for a rainy day. It’s divided into several zones that are suitable for different ages, including Cub’s Junior Play, Jungle Time and the Jungle Jump. There are climbing walls and a high ropes course to challenge older kids, as well as a chill-out creative zone known as the Rainforest Retreat. Parents are welcome to join in the fun or relax at the fully licensed Base Camp café.
8. Moreton Island
This stunning sand island, located just off the coast of Brisbane, is a place where you can enjoy blissful days on the beach or burn down the dunes on a toboggan. Adventure-loving families can don a mask and snorkel to explore the shallow shipwrecks that dot the coast, or come face-to-face with wild bottlenose dolphins during feeding sessions at Tangalooma Island Resort.
9. Wynnum Foreshore
For a day at the coast, head to the Wynnum Foreshore, which centres around a family-friendly park with a wading pool and playground that have been entertaining kids since 1932. Coincide your visit with high tide, when the pool fills with saltwater, then enjoy a stroll along the jetty or rent bicycles and pedal north to the Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk.
10. Bribie Island
Conveniently connected to the mainland via a bridge, Bribie Island is the most northerly of Moreton Bay’s sand islands. Not only does it boast beautiful beaches with safe swimming waters, but also tranquil lagoons that can be accessed on 4WD tours. Bribie Island provides important habitat for a variety of native wildlife species, as well as featuring a much-loved Butterfly House.
11. Summer Land Camels
Everything from camel milk to skincare products and even vodka is produced at this innovative camel farm, just 45 minutes’ drive from Brisbane. Its guided farm tours are the perfect way to learn about Australia’s centuries-old relationship with camels, and you can also climb on a camel for a ride. Summer Land Camels regularly hosts family-friendly events that range from country markets to Little Humpty Children’s Days.