A Brisbane-based editor and creative communicator who loves free weekends, when they happen! Contact me via https://ellwords.com.au or visit https://bookswordspages.wordpress.com.
Published January 1st 2019
How many have you done?
Beautiful New Farm Park is one of Brisbane's green havens: expansive, relaxing, yet so close to the city. Stretching from the Brisbane River up to Sydney Street and from Brunswick Street across to the Powerhouse, the huge park features jacaranda and poinciana trees, cycling and walking paths, activity facilities and open recreational space.
Locals make good use of New Farm Park for wandering, chilling, playing and exercising, and its riverfront position is something special. Those living further afield might not think of it as an option for a day's outing. If only you knew!
1. Arrive by ferry. Because, why not? Riding the foredeck of a CityCat on your way to anywhere just has to be the best way to do Brisbane's public transport. Plus, there's a newly rebuilt terminal right at New Farm Park. From the city, board a Northshore CityCat at North Quay, Southbank, QUT Gardens Point or Riverside.
2. Have a picnic. There is sooooo much space, you won't feel crowded. There are picnic tables scattered around, but BYO picnic rug or chairs, find a shady tree and you're set.
3. Have a barbecue. BYO everything except the barbie - there are several electric units provided in the park.
4. Have a party. There is sooooo much space for large groups and their balloons, tablecloths, games and laughter. There are four event areas (including the lovely Rotunda) that can be booked via the Brisbane City Council website, as well as the (not bookable) picnic table spots.
5. Have fish and chips by the river. Cross Sydney Street to the New Farm Fish Café and buy some paper-wrapped takeaway, scamper back to the park, then kick back and watch the river flow by.
6. Play ball. Or frisbee. There is so much space, plus basketball and netball facilities and even tennis courts and a croquet club! You could set up just about any game you can think of.
7. Play in the playground. A huge adventure playground with a climbing web, expansive jungle platforms and soft ground below, this facility needs no explanation.
8. Fly a kite. There is so much space … it's not likely to lead to tree tangles.
9. Hire a bike. There's a CityCycle dock right at the ferry terminal, as well as on Sydney Street. Use your current subscription or pay up as a casual, and ride through the park and along the waterfront.
10. Buy coffee or ice cream from the End of the Road café. And it truly is at the end of the road - Brunswick Street, to be exact. This cute little place perched right on the river also does a great brownie.
11. Go to the Powerhouse and have a drink by the river. How many different ways can you sit and watch the river flow by? This one tops them all, either on the upper deck or at the rebranded Proud Mary on the ground level.
12. Lie on a rug under a tree and read. Or sleep. Or snuggle. It all works. Particularly if combined with options 2, 5 or 10.
13. Borrow a book from New Farm Library. You'll need a Brisbane City Council library membership for this one. Then, see option 12.
14. Stop and smell the roses. Really! New Farm Park has gorgeous rose gardens, with huge beds of bushes. The varieties are labelled, for those who are interested, and the sight is amazing when they're all in bloom.
Gorgeous roses, with the rotunda and poincianas behind
15. Catch the CityFerry across to Norman Park and back again. Because you can. And the little cross-river ferries have a different charm to that of the bigger CityCats.
For more information about the park, visit the wonderful newfarmpark.com.au website and the park's Facebook page, both lovingly maintained by New Farm local Chris Derrick.
As well as by CityCat, you can reach New Farm Park on the 196 bus route from Adelaide Street, or drive in and find an on-street or in-park car space - check signage for restrictions or fees. Be warned, though, that car parking is in high demand on weekends in particular (refer to option 1 for an alternative!).