Secret Brisbane – 5 Places or Activities You’ve Never Heard About!
With a population of more than 2.1 million and growing, you could be excused for thinking that there are no “secret spots” left in Brisbane. However, we’ve uncovered five hidden gems that you probably don’t know about, and are perfect destinations or activities for Brisbane families.
1. Bunya Crossing Reserve – Secret waterhole and picnic area
Just past the northern Brisbane suburb of Ferny Hills, is the Bunya Crossing Reserve at the end of Dugandan Road, Bunya. This is a great spot for a swim or a canoe in this accessible patch of the South Pine River. Kids will also love catching little fish in nets and running around in the open green spaces. There are picnic tables, a gas BBQ, a toilet and plenty of car parking space. You can also take a walk up or downstream of the river along the recreational trails. The reserve is closed at sunset and open again at sunrise.
2. Teneriffe Park – Tucked away inner city park and playground
Many of the inner city parks in Brisbane get pretty jam packed on weekends and holidays, but Teneriffe Park is a quiet secret Brisbane oasis in comparison. Sitting on top of a hill, the park has views to the Brisbane CBD and plenty of open space for a game of cricket. There is an electric BBQ, undercover shelter shed, but no toilet. For the kids, there is a shaded playground with a range of swings and climbing equipment. There is even a bushland walking track. Access to this charming park can be gained through Little Chester, Ellis or Mackellar Streets or Teneriffe Drive.
For more local parks with playgrounds, check out our Directory of Brisbane playgrounds.
3. Coochiemudlo Island – Brisbane’s secret island getaway
Day trippers and holiday makers regularly visit the islands off the coast of Brisbane, especially the popular Moreton Island. A lesser known, and lesser frequented one is Coochiemudlo Island. With three sandy beaches and calm, clear water; this island is a quiet haven for families. Simply take a ferry from the Victoria Point jetty (running every thirty minutes from 5am until 11.30pm) and 10 minutes later you’re landing on Coochiemudlo. The fare is only $4 each way for adults, $2 for children aged between five and 14, and children under five are free.
A regular barge service is also available if you wish to take your vehicle or boat across the bay. However, there is really no need as the island is only about a kilometre across and the beach areas are next to the jetty and barge ramp. Instead, take bicycles and cycle your way around the small island to find a secluded spot to call your own, or hire bikes or a tinnie or BBQ boat once on the island from Coochie Boat & Bike Hire. Take a picnic or purchase food from the Coochie Kiosk or the Coochie Island Resort Restaurant. The three beaches also have barbecue, toilet and shower facilities, and the main beach is patrolled by the Surf Lifesaving Association. The island is also a great spot for fishing, with species such as Bream, Whiting, Flathead, Flounder, Tailor, Cod, and Snapper found in the surrounding waters.
4. Brisbane Public Harvest – Secret spots for foraging free food
Here’s a unique idea for a weekend activity with the kids – foraging for free food in Brisbane’s public spaces. Don’t be concerned, we’re not talking about going through rubbish bins for leftovers. A Brisbane local, who goes by the user name of ‘Horst’ has created a google map called Edible Brisbane that shows the location of edible fruit trees on public land. It provides an extensive list, with directions, to hidden Brisbane locations where you can find mangos, guavas, avocados, passionfruit, mulberries and many more fruits that are begging to be picked and enjoyed. You can also add to this list if you stumble across something edible growing in your local area on public property. Falling Fruit, is another web site which lists free food that can be foraged in urban areas(search under Brisbane) and also has an excellent list of fruit trees that can be accessed by the public for free.
5. Dragonfly Café at Eden Gardens, Carseldine – The secret garden (centre) café
Driving past, you would never guess that Eden Gardens nursery in Carseldine sells more than just plants and pots. It also has a gift shop and large outdoor café with a children’s menu; as well as a small, fenced playground within view of the dining area. Open from 8.30am until 4.00pm daily, the café serves breakfast, lunch and morning/afternoon tea. On school holidays, Eden Gardens runs kids’ craft and gardening workshops.
Now that we’ve uncovered Brisbane’s best kept secrets, they might not stay secret for much longer! Add to our list and share your family’s secret spot with us. You may also like to take a look at our Fun Activities in Brisbane for Kids for further inspiration , including 10 Brisbane Heritage Sites to Visit with Kids or the Brisbane Kids guide to Plane Spotting in Brisbane.