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5 Brisbane’s Hidden Gems for Guaranteed Fun with the Kids

ELISA ELWIN reveals some lesser-known places to stay or explore during a family holiday to Queensland’s vibrant capital

1. Albion, Newstead area: emerging neighbourhood with hip cafés and eateries

Newstead Park in Breakfast Creek in Brisbane
Newstead Park in Breakfast Creek in Brisbane

This up-and-coming precinct, just three kilometres north-east of the CBD on the Brisbane River, features a couple of parks framed by Moreton Bay figs, cafes housed in old warehouses and factories, and the heritage-listed Breakfast Creek Hotel. Give the kids an insight into the past by booking a heritage tour of Brisbane’s oldest surviving residence, Newstead House, which was built in 1846. Newstead is also the jump on/off point for Go Boat’s electric picnic boats and the Golden Gondola river cruise. You can also stroll through Newstead Park to the Teneriffe ferry stop and journey along the river into the city from there, or walk to South Bank, which has a fantastic children’s playground. If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, Quest Breakfast Creek has around 90 serviced apartments, including one, two and three-bedroom options that will suit most families, as well as a pool with a a barbecue area, and a gym.

2. New Farm: residential area surrounded by greenery

New Farm Park in Brisbane. Image Tourism and Events Queensland
New Farm Park in Brisbane. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

Known as one of the best spots in the city to see jacarandas in bloom in October and November, this leafy neighbourhood has a beautiful park with riverside barbecue spots, playgrounds and bike and walking paths. It’s also home to the Brisbane Powerhouse performing arts theatre, which is a base for the weekly Jan Powers Markets and hosts live music on weekends. Families love playing barefoot bowls at Merthyr Park Bowls Club, and you can catch a flick at New Farm Cinemas. Kirribilli Riverfront Apartments has one and two-bedroom apartments with balconies overlooking the waterway, fully-equipped kitchens and air-conditioning. It also has an outdoor pool, sauna, heated spa, tennis court and barbecue facilities.

3. Hamilton: exclusive residential area with a ton of fun activities for children

The playground at Hercules Park in Hamilton. Image JMac Constructions
The playground at Hercules Park in Hamilton. Image: JMac Constructions

Another riverside suburb worth checking out is Hamilton. It’s home to the impressive Hercules Street Park, which boasts a state-of-the-art playground with an aquativity play area, a multi-court area and barbecue facilities. Another major drawcard is Portside Wharf, which has a range of eateries, shops and a Dendy Cinema. The fantastic Eat Street Northshore markets are also held here on a disused wharf on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights from 4pm. Stay at the boutique 4.5 star Link Portside Wharf Apartment Hotel, which has one and two-bedroom apartments with separate bedroom, living, dining, kitchen and laundry facilities.

4. Wynnum: Brisbane's family-friendly, seaside suburb​

Bayside in Brisbane. Image Tourism and Events Queensland
Bayside in Brisbane. Image: Tourism and Events Queensland

On the shores of Moreton Bay, Wynnum is one of five suburbs that makes up the area known as ‘Bayside’, along with Sandgate, Brighton, Shorncliffe and Manly. Kids will love fishing from Wynnum Jetty and splashing about in Wynnum Wading Pool, which fills with seawater at high tide. There are steps down into the pool, and a small slippery slide at one end. You can also explore Bayside Parklands, which consists of more than 500 hectares of bushland, waterways and wetlands lined with boardwalks and bushwalking tracks. Wynnum Manly Hideaway offers a choice of five holiday homes in the area. They range from the cute Pine Cottage to the two-storey, five-bedroom Cedar Lookout, which sleeps up to 12 people.

5. Herston: Brisbane's inner-city suburb with a plethora of family-friendly facilities

A family playing Connect 4 at Victoria Park in Brisbane. Image Stephanie Adams Photography sa photography
A family playing Connect 4 at Victoria Park in Brisbane. Image: Stephanie Adams Photography

Around three kilometres north of the CBD, Herston’s biggest drawcard is the Victoria Park entertainment precinct. Play putt-putt at the 18-hole mini golf course, which has epic views of the city, and enjoy lunch at the family-friendly restaurant, The Bistro, which has a kids’ playground with slides, climbing ropes, a rock-climbing wall and several imaginative play areas, as well as a giant games area. There’s also a re-purposed farm tractor and giant wooden cubby house. Trivia nights are held every Wednesday night, with live music on Sunday afternoons. Herston Place Motel offers interconnecting rooms ideal for families, including Queen and Twin rooms with one queen and one single or two single beds.

The writer was a guest of Quest Breakfast Creek.


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