If you are looking for a good day trip from Brisbane where the kids can connect with nature, enjoy a good walk without the painful "can we go home now" that makes you realise you picked a walk that was too long, and maybe a picnic at the end, you might like to try Mapleton Falls National Park, and particularly the Wompoo Curcuit.
Mapleton Falls National Park is about an hour out of Brisbane (105ks on the highway). You can take the direct route along the highway or a more scenic route by taking the exit at Steve Irwin way and winding up through some lovely little towns and past Australia Zoo. This way is actually shorter but takes a little longer due to the speed limits, or a lot longer if you stop in Montville for some fudge and a look at the amazing shops in this village, (Article coming soon). Once you get near Mapleton just follow the signs as the way is well marked (you will need to go through Mapleton first if you are coming from the highway).
Parking is a bit strange as it juts out on odd angles from a central point, with the best parks near the info kiosk. The only toilets are also nearby so it's worth reminding the kids if they are little. Take a minute to walk out onto the viewing platform too, it has great views of the falls and Obi Obi Valley, and is a great way to start your visit. To get to the start of the walk, which is also the picnic area, you just need to head down to a walkway across a little creek and then up the other side. The whole site and all along the trail is very well signposted, so you can't get lost.
The Wampoo walk is a 1.3k circuit and it is suggested it takes about 45 minutes (Allow an hour if you are walking with kids or want to stroll, or 30 mins if you are an experienced walker). It winds up and down along lovely walkways through magnificent rainforest and has some interesting facts on signs along the walk. For added interest log onto the website www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mapleton-falls/index.html and you can get a list of wildlife you might encounter along the way. Although it would be a great camping location this is not allowed and pets are also banned from the park.
We went with the grandparents and it does make you notice that it has quite a few steps that could be hard on older people, especially with knee issues. I would not mention this except that the information on the Wampoo walk found at many websites shows a wheelchair icon along with the classification of 'very easy' and I think this is a little unrealistic. This being said Grandpa made it around the track with bad knees but a good attitude, and thoroughly enjoyed the walk with the grandkids, while Nanna guarded the picnic for our return.