Charge up your GPS or grab your map and make a note of these top ten walks which all perfectly cater to young families and are easily accessible if you’re in, around or near Brissi!
1. Bunyaville Track (1.65km), Bunyaville Conservation Park
Approximately 15km northwest of the Brisbane CBD and just a hop, skip and jump south of the Snowys Brendale store, is Bunyaville Conservation Park where several short walks are on offer to cater for all ages and fitness levels. The longest is the Bunyaville Track which is a 1.65km loop and ideal for energetic kids. The Tree Discovery Circuit peels off approximately 200m along the Bunyaville Track and offers a shorter alternative at 650m. If you’re uncertain just how much oomph your youngster has on the day, or you’re seeking a quick stretch of the legs while lunch is getting prepped, then the Powerful Owl Track at 560m one way makes a good option, as does the Education Centre Track (241m return) and the Classroom Track (337m one way).
Bunyaville Conservation Park offers a choice of short walks for the family.
With a picnic area, toilet facilities and wood-fire barbecues available, plus a wide range of plants including spotted gums, ironbarks, forest red gums, grey gums and bunya trees, Bunyaville makes for a great morning or afternoon out. The gate to the park is usually open between 7:00 am and 5:30 pm each day so make sure you’ve finished your walk and packed up your gear in time.
The Bunyaville Picnic Area offers plenty of space for kids to run around.
2. Crebra Circuit (700m), Samford Conservation Park
The picturesque and hilly area of Samford is home to Samford Conservation Park and the well-shaded Ironbark Gully Picnic Area, which is approximately 20km north of the Brisbane CBD. There are toilet facilities as well as access to Crebra Circuit – the 900m walking track which loops around Ironbark Gully. Crebra Circuit is well maintained and includes wooden bridges and flights of stairs to keep the terrain interesting. It’s worth noting that this is a shared trail with horse riders and mountain bikers, and although dogs on a leash are permitted within the park, they are not allowed in the picnic area. If you’re keen for something longer you can extend the walk by exploring the network of fire trails within the park (unless signed as restricted access and always find out about the risk if its fire season), or there is a flat and paved track alongside Samford Road which is also partly shaded.
The Crebra Circuit begins at the Ironbark Gully picnic area.
3. Bullocky Rest to Forgan Park (up to 7km), Lake Samsonvale
Lake Samsonvale is located approximately 33km north of the city and includes the North Pine Dam which supplies water to the Moreton Bay region as well as North Brisbane. The area boasts a range of outdoor activities, and despite its popularity, it never feels crowded.
The grass at Bullocky Rest is perfect for relaxing and enjoying the Lake views.
The walk is approximately 3.5km one-way and an absolute favourite of mine with its beautiful views of the water. As you follow the track from Bullocky Rest to Forgan Park, there’s an option to loop back about 2km along if a shorter distance is preferred. The path itself is wide, mostly shaded and flat, however, there is some gentle undulation in parts. It’s also well-maintained, making it easy for strollers. Little ones will get a thrill trying to spot koalas high up in the trees and water birds on the Lake, especially the pelicans. Bullocky Rest is also an excellent place for a picnic with lots of benches, BBQs and toilet facilities available.
The 3.5km walk from Bullocky Rest to Forgan Park is shaded and well maintained.
4. Bancroft Park to Northey Street (approx. 6km return), Enoggera Bikeway
The Enoggera Bikeway follows Breakfast Creek from the Gap to Northey Street in Windsor. It’s paved, flat and a full distance of 13km one way, however, you can choose to break it up into sections. One of my favourite parts of the Bikeway is from Bancroft Park to Northey Street, which is approximately 6km return and is very suitable for a stroller. It is a beautiful walk and passes many parks along the way.
The Bikeway is fully paved and stroller friendly.
5. Bancroft Park to Banks Street Reserve (approx. 5km return), Enoggera Bikeway
Another favourite section of Enoggera Bikeway is the 2.5km (approx.) stretch from Bancroft Park to Banks Street Reserve (approx. 5km return). This track also wraps Breakfast Creek and offers many lovely parks along the way, several of which have playgrounds for the children. A point worth noting, however, is that there are limited toilet facilities, as is also the case with other parts of the Enoggera Bikeway.
It’s a beautiful walk through many parks alongside Breakfast Creek.
6. Roma Street Parkland
Located an easy walking distance north of the Roma Street Station next to the Brisbane CBD is the Roma Street Parkland. The parkland offers nearly 40 acres of green space with walking tracks, barbeque facilities, toilets and playgrounds. You can easily spend an hour walking through the gardens exploring an array of plants including bottle trees, pandanus, ferns, fig-trees, palm trees, frangipani, and many different types of flowers in the Spectacle Garden.
Enjoying a twilight walk through the Parkland gardens.
7. Shaw Park to Amelia Park (approx. 5km return), Kedron Brook Bikeway
Kedron Brook Bikeway is a paved and flat track extending about 20km between Mitchelton and Toombul, and is perfect for not only cyclists and joggers, but is also ideal for walking. The stretch between Shaw Park and Amelia Park is a favourite of mine and is approximately 5km return with many small bridge crossings.
Dogs can have a cheeky swim and enjoy the off-leash dog parks along Kedron Brook.
Several dog parks are also dotted throughout the route, making it a trendy spot to take your pet pooch. Plus, it’s also a favourite area for young families, although toilet facilities are scarce.
Kedron Brook bikeway is flat and paved making it perfect for cyclists and walking with a stroller.
8. Raven Street Reserve
Approximately 10km north of Brisbane City is Raven Street Reserve, one in the cluster of 3 reserves making up the Chermside Hills Reserves. Each area – the third being Milne Hill Reserve – offers a choice of interconnecting walking tracks with Raven Street Reserve boasting the popular Senses Trail – a 400m circuit dedicated to nature-based activities which are an ideal experience for kids.
It is easy to spend an hour along the trails, some of which include the Grass Tree Track (1.7km), the Giwadha Track (2km) and the Xanthorrhoea Track (1.5km). Or even longer with the playground, picnic area and BBQ facilities all available near the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre located at the Raven Street Reserve.
The Downfall Creek Bushland Centre offers nature-based activities including the Senses Trail.
9. Banks Street Reserve
Located just 5km from the city is Banks Street Reserve where several walking tracks weave throughout the 30-hectare area. They are unpaved, so if you are bringing a stroller, it’s best to be sure the wheels are suitable for the terrain. The trails can be steep in parts and are all surrounded by bushland so sturdy footwear is also recommended. Bear in mind, there are no toilets available at this reserve, but if the kiddos can hold on, the flora and fauna are more than worth it.
There are 6 entrances to Banks Street Reserve and a choice of interweaving trails.
10. Billai Dha-gun Circuit (2km), Boondall Wetlands Reserve
Boondall Wetlands Reserve is one of my absolute favourite places to walk on the northside of Brisbane. The wetlands are located 15km from the Brisbane CBD, and the most common walking track is Billai Dha-gun which is a 2km circuit starting at the Environment Centre. An additional 200m leads you to a lookout over the water where, if you are lucky, you may be able to see fish jumping out from the surface.
The path and boardwalks are wide and flat making them easy for parents with children.
The Billai Dha-gun Track has boardwalks over mangroves, and the wide, flat path is well maintained, making it easy to push a stroller. For those who want to go a bit further, you can extend the walk by going along the Boondall Wetlands Bikeway (13km return). The Boondall Wetlands has a picnic area and toilet facilities when the Environment Centre is open.
The boardwalks make it easy to enjoy the mangroves.
When visiting the Wetlands, it is a good idea to wear mosquito repellent but don’t let that deter you from appreciating the many birds and animals around. Migratory shorebirds, ducks, herons, cormorants and ospreys, as well as frogs, possums, squirrel gliders and butterflies, can all be spotted.
Have you got any favourite local walks?
About the writer...
Sabrina is an avid hiker from Brisbane. She hikes as a way to unwind after a busy week working as a Guidance Officer. She’s explored many of the popular tracks around South East Queensland and is always up for a bigger challenge! She has a long list of hikes she would like to do around Australia and overseas in the future.