11 Brisbane Heritage Sites To Visit With Kids
Brisbane Kids love getting out and about, visiting new places and learning new things, so why not combine that with a touch of local history and culture by visiting one of these awesome Brisbane Heritage sites?
1. Boondall Wetlands
Long before Brisbane became Brisbane, it was Mian-jin to the original Indigenous inhabitants. Kids can learn more about this amazing Aboriginal cultural heritage by following the Nurri Millen Totem Trail at Boondall Wetlands. Along the trail, kids can spot the cast aluminium totems that reveal how the clans used the wetlands and their amazing array of flora and fauna. They will also enjoy exploring the tracks, boardwalk and bikeway, wildlife spotting and bird watching, going for a picnic at the picnic area and visiting the Conservation Centre for informative displays and activities.
31 Paperbark Dr, Boondall | Open: Mon-Sun, 8.30am-4pm | Cost: Free.
2. Commissariat Store
This is the perfect place for Brisbane Kids to learn about the origins of the city in which they live. This heritage building is the second oldest building (after the Windmill on Wickham Terrace) in Queensland. It dates back to 1829 when it was built by convict labour. Nowadays it has a museum with exhibitions relating to the building’s history and interesting models of the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement, the location of which went on to become the city of Brisbane.
115 William St, Brisbane | Open Tue-Fri, 10am-4pm | Cost: Adults $6, Children over 8 years $3.
3. Fort Lytton National Park
What you should know: Fort Lytton is a coastal fortification that was built in 1881. It served as Brisbane’s first line of defence from 1881 to the 1930s and is widely accredited as the birthplace of Queensland’s military history. What Brisbane Kids need to know: Cannons (and cannon firing on the first Sunday of ever month); grassy knolls to run around on; rooms, tunnels and passages to explore; large military vehicles and equipment; gun posts and more! There is also a museum, a lovely picnic are, guided tours are available and there are often special events and festivals held here.
South St, Lytton | Open: every Sunday and most public holidays, 10am-4pm | Cost: Free.
4. Caboolture Historical Village
Caboolture Historical Village is hands-on history that kids will love! Step back in time to a wonderfully recreated pioneer village set over 12 acres, with historic homes and buildings, from the general store and the village pottery to the old school and hospital — all set up as they would have been in the past and displaying a huge array of genuine artefacts. There are lots of hands-on activities, demonstrations like wood crafting, train rides, vintage cars and trucks, and a rainforest garden.
280 Beerburrum Rd, Caboolture | Open: Daily, 9.30am-3.30pm | Cost: Adults $15, Children over 5 years $5.
5. Brisbane City Hall
Built in the 1920s, this heritage listed building has lots of interesting things for Brisbane Kids to see and do. You can join a free guided tour of the building, take a ride up the City Hall clock tower (note: the clock does not chime at the weekend), visit the Museum of Brisbane and get a snack at one of the hall’s cafes. You could even follow your trip by attending one of the monthly family games nights held in King George Square.
64 Adelaide St, City | Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm and Sat-Sun, 9am-5pm | Cost: Free.
6. Wolston House
Wolston House was built in 1852 and is the oldest surviving farmhouse in Brisbane. It is now a house museum, furnished and filled with authentic early Australian items. For kids, it offers a visual history of the house and era, and a glimpse into the lives of people over 150 years ago. It is set on beautiful grounds by the river and also serves Devonshire teas for a special treat.
223 Grindle Rd, Wacol | Open: Sun 11am-4pm | Cost: Adults $8, Children $4.
7. ANZAC Square
If you are in the city, it is definitely worth a visit to this Queensland heritage-listed square. The square is a memorial to armed service men and women and its main focal point is the Shrine of Remembrance, where the eternal flame serves as an engaging visual symbol for kids learning about remembrance for those who have fallen. There is also a crypt and war-related statues, and kids can practise their counting as they mount the steps to the shrine (19 steps in the first flight and 18 in the second), and the 18 columns of the shrine, both representing 1918 — the year of peace after World War I. The square is also a great place to stop for a picnic and some time out on a busy city day.
Between Ann St and Adelaide St, Brisbane City.
8. St Helena Island National Park
Located in Moreton Bay, just seven kilometres from Manly, this is Queensland’s most historical island, where Queensland’s first high security prison operated for over sixty years from 1867. There are several tour options for visiting the island, where you can visit ruins of the penal establishment and other colonial structures, as well as a museum displaying artefacts and information about the history of the island from its Aboriginal beginnings to colonial Brisbane history. For adventurous Brisbane Kids, there is even a ghost tour of the island, for a spooky night time trip complete with ghost stories and a tour of the ruins and island cemetery by night!
9. Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, Parliament House and Old Government House
The Botanic Gardens are recognised for their historical and cultural significance. Dating back to 1828, they are a living museum of plant collections that can be explored on self-guided walks or guided tours. Kids will love getting out in the fresh air, seeing all the amazing plants, playing in the City Botanic Gardens Playground and feeding the ducks.
While at the gardens, you can also visit Parliament House and Old Government House. Still home to the State Parliament, Parliament House welcomes visitors who want see this historic public building and learn about the history and functions of Parliament, while Old Government House gives us a glimpse back to early colonial times and has a variety of interesting displays and kids can get hands-on with history with the interactive exhibits. Both offer tours, but times and availability need to be checked in advance.
Gardens Point, Brisbane City | Cost: Free.
10. Newstead House
Newstead House is an iconic Brisbane landmark that is rich with stories of our city’s history, including lavish parties and weddings dating back to 1846. It is a “Living Museum” which gives life to our history through activities, education programs, exhibitions and more. Newstead House is currently embarking on a new and innovative period that will help it become a cultural hub for all ages to enjoy and make it a new and exciting place for children and grown-ups alike.
Cnr Breakfast Creek Rd & Newstead Ave, Newstead | Closed Mondays & Saturdays | Cost: Adults $9, Children under 15 years $6, Family $20 | Guided tours $12 per person (min. 20 participants)
We hope your Brisbane Kids love exploring these sites and learning about Brisbane’s rich and interesting heritage!
Feature Image courtesy of Brisbane City Council.
For more heritage places to visit with Brisbane Kids, check out Zoos and Museums for lots of reviews of museums, heritage sites and other awesome attractions!