Writer and fitness enthusiast living in beautiful Redcliffe, Queensland.
Published November 8th 2012
Play or relax in a lovely park by Mooloolah River
The hustle and bustle of the busy tourist town Mooloolaba can be a bit much for some. It's a great place to visit but sometimes you just don't feel like dealing with the large crowds and the busy beach. That's where Charles Clarke Park, just two blocks back from the beach yet still on the river, comes into play.
You'll find the park on River Esp, just at the entrance to the Mooloolaba Wharf. I stopped by recently after going for a walk around town and found it to be a fantastic place to bring the kids for a day by the water. The park isn't the biggest but there is plenty of room available. I noticed plenty of large trees producing plenty of shade (handy for those particularly sunny days), and a small beach area if you wanted to run into the river for a quick dip.
There's a small playground area here with only a swing set and some other bits of play equipment, nothing too special. Don't just let the kids run wild here - the playground isn't fully fenced. Couple other concerns to parents may be the drop of from the walkway to the river (and rocks), plus the road is right there.
Another one of my favourite feature about this park is the wide open space. This is great for a Sunday barbecue - the local council have even made it easier with a couple of electric barbecues set up. You'd have to get in early if you wanted one though, especially on a beautiful day. If you forgot to bring the picnic rug then you'll be lucky to find a couple of tables and benches around with their own shade. The park also has its own public toilets so you won't have to go looking too far when nature calls.
Those interested in a bit of history might be interested to know the park has been a joint effort between the Mooloolaba Lions Club and the local council since 1984. It was developed from a basic land strip to a public open space with a pedestrian linkage into and around the park, playground and BBQ facilities. The park was designed named after Charles Clarke in 1965 for his contribution to the Mooloolaba area. He had been the manager of the Palmwoods-Buderim tramline until 1925 when he purchased land on the Mooloolah River bank, adjacent to the Wharf and established a cafe, a fleet of recreational boats and built the Boondoola boarding house.