I am a freelance writer and online editor living in Brisbane. Visit my blog/website at www.brisbanekids.com.au
Published November 23rd 2012
With the weather heating up in Brisbane, there's never been a better time to check out some of the fantastic free waterparks with your kids. Pack a picnic, lather on the sunscreen and plan a fun day out to cool down.
Set on the Brisbane River on the former site of the Queensland Cement and Lime facility and surrounded by industrial and commercial businesses, Rocks Riverside Park is an award-winning recreational zone. Spread over a massive 26 hectares, the park was greatly affected by the floods in early 2011, but has now been completely restored and revamped.
The water-play area of Rocks Riverside Park is a major drawcard on hot Brisbane weekends, with kids packing the shallow waters of the meandering concrete river bed, kept safe from the sun by the huge shade sails. Spraying fountains also provide lots of entertainment.
On top of the very cool water-play area, the park has a flying fox, climbing web, sandpit and basketball court for active Brisbane Kids and masses of open grass or shaded spaces for a little time out. Given the sheer size, there is always plenty of space to set your family and friends up for a day at Rocks Riverside Park. Shelters and gas BBQs are scattered throughout and there are many paths to explore either by foot or on bike. Free carparks are generally readily available.
For kids on the north-side searching for things to do in Brisbane while keeping cool, check out the extremely welcoming Settlement Cove Lagoon in Redcliffe. Featuring a large wheelchair accessible pool with areas for wading or swimming, the beachside lagoon additionally has a fantastic playground for younger children with water jets and fountains to entertain for hours.
Shelters and BBQs are provided, though the park is becoming very popular in the summer months when lifeguards are also on duty. Surrounding grassy areas are perfect for picnics and the beachside bike and walkways have lovely views across the bay. Play equipment, showers and toilet facilities complete the accessibility of this recreational zone, providing day-long enjoyment for families. Carparking can be difficult when busy, especially in summer and over the school holidays.
Robelle Domain 155 Southern Cross Circuit, Springfield Central QLD 4300
Another immense park to check out is Robelle Domain, located in the middle of Springfield Central Parklands and officially opened in mid-2011. Perhaps the most exciting area in the park is the water-play area. Featuring jet sprays and a huge bucket that dumps 700 litres of water repeatedly over squealing Brisbane Kids throughout the day, the waterpark is always popular.
You could definitely fill a whole day out with your kids at Robelle Domain, exploring the very cool electronic interactive playground or the many kilometres of boardwalks and cycling tracks. Shelters, toilets, fresh water and BBQs are easily accessible for self-catering, or try out Robelle Café in the park for a tasty meal or snack. Open grassy areas provide great spaces for children to burn off some energy, though be aware that shelter from the sun is fairly limited until the trees in the park become more established.
Markets are currently held at Robelle Domain every Saturday morning. Free parking is quite limited at any time, however 'pay and display' parking can also be found nearby.
Just a bit further over, in Ipswich, is an awesome new water park for kids, just opened last month. It has a heap of fun play areas for toddlers right up to older kids in the cubby houses. Find it in King Edward Parade, Ipswich. Worth the drive for a fun day out!!!
Was just going to mention the Riverheart Parklands "Bob Gamble Park" water play area in Ipswich. It's awesome!!! So pleased you listed Robelle Domain Water Play area - but this is in Ipswich too (not Brisbane!). Gotta mention that some of these awesome places belong to our Ipswich!!