Founder of Your Write, freelance writer, editor, corporate communicator and TV Producer in my spare time, around being a busy mum to 3 little ones and managing our team at Your Write.
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Published February 3rd 2014
King Country has something for everyone. The name itself gives little away and belies a hidden host of wonders. It has a café, playground, petting farm, pony rides, plant nursery, and is even a spectacular venue for a children's party, wedding or other special event.
We visited King Country, (so called due to the abundance of beautiful King Orchids found throughout the rainforest walks within the grounds), when in search of something a bit different to do with friends and our small children. It is located in Brisbane's east, at Thornlands.
We reached the café and adjoining playgrounds via a short walk through the beautiful plant nursery. Past large shady palms and ornamental trees, past small potted flowering plants of every imaginable shape and colour, past large stone works of Buddha and past small water features that would look so beautiful in any garden - there is so much to see. Of course, all of these beautiful plants and works of art are for sale, along with pots of every shape, colour and size.
The café itself is surprisingly well-appointed with a good range of well-priced food for both adults and children. You can see the menu here. Most importantly, they also make a very decent cup of coffee for only $3.50. The menu ranges from delicious smartie-biscuits for morning teas to sandwiches or chicken nuggets for the smaller members of your party at lunch. The café is large and very open, with beautiful views over the gardens.
Nestled alongside each side of the café are two a fenced playgrounds. One seems to be for smaller children, and one for older children. My children all flocked towards the one meant for older children. Some parts of it were quite high, so although my 2 year olds were all over it, it was probably better suited to my 4 year old and his older friends. All the kids, whatever age, seemed to really enjoy it, which enabled my friends and I to enjoy our morning tea in relative peace. I say 'relative peace' because, although our children were well occupied and playing, the café itself was pretty busy and the staff seemed to have a few difficulties in keeping track of orders. This may have been an anomaly - and I will go back soon to try it out again. By late morning some of the larger groups of people had moved on and the café had calmed down and was finally able to live up to its name, Harmony Café. Then the fun really began - it was time for the petting zoo.
You can purchase tickets for the petting zoo and/or pony rides from the café for a tiny, nominal fee. The staff open access to the animal yards at specific times of the morning, depending on demand. Unfortunately, on the morning we were there, the pony rides weren't available, but none of the kids seemed to mind - they loved the petting farm, where they were able to get up close and feed some of the baby animals. These included a beautiful brown, doe-eyed calf, several goats (which had the propensity to jump up to grab at the food) and several different types of chickens. Unlike some other petting farms we have been to, the atmosphere of this one was quite relaxed and we were in no way rushed. We were allowed to take our time to feed and pat the animals.
King Country, and in particular, the café and its surrounds, would make a fabulous venue for a very reasonably priced children's party. All Saturday and Sunday parties run for 2 hours, for a minimum of 10 children and can include a combination of all of the different events and activities offered, as well as others such as jumping castles or fairy floss making. Click here for more details.
King Country allowed us to wander (or run, depending on your age) around amongst beautiful plants and along exotic walks, eat, drink and generally play to my little people's hearts contents. All in all, a wonderful day at a special and mainly tranquil venue.