I'm a qualified UK lawyer, who emigrated to Australia in May 2012. I have three small children and we've been getting to know Brisbane and making it our home.
Published May 1st 2013
As winter approaches and the temperature cools, it is the perfect time for a city adventure with your toddler. Free fun for all the family.
Pushchair loaded with the necessary toddler paraphernalia and a packed lunch prepared, our adventure begins with a short walk to the City Cat terminal. We are city bound. (Our journey beginning in Bulimba).
An enjoyable journey along the river, spotting aeroplanes, boats and birds brings us to the Riverside terminal where we get off and walk the short distance along the river to the City Botanic Gardens. The riverside entrance takes you directly to the playground, where my toddler squeals in delight and demands to be released from his pushchair. A lovely toddler friendly playground with lots of shade, where we while away a happy hour.
My toddler is enticed back into his pushchair with the promise of water and snacks. He happily munches away whilst we make our way through the stunning gardens, looking at the flowers, trees, birds and the odd lizard. The Bamboo Grove being one of our favourite attractions.
We make our way to the George Street exit and from there we walk to Stop 114 (near Alice Street), where we catch the free City Loop bus (my toddler clapping in delight) to Adelaide Street (Stop 21).
Off we get and enjoy the short walk to Roma Street Parklands where the next part of our adventure takes place.
We wind our way through the gardens, admiring the flowers, plants, sculptures, water features and more lizards down towards the BBQ and picnic areas where there are fabulously well equipped and clean toilet facilities.
We find a spot for our picnic and chomp away whilst we watch the water spouting out of the fountain and watch the world go by.
My toddler has been known to have a nap in his pushchair at this point whilst I enjoy an hour with my head buried in my book or simply doing nothing, sat on the grass with another opportunity to watch the world go by!)
Next on the agenda is searching for the fish in the lake, huge, great things swimming along the edge of the water. This is followed by a trip to the playground area (this will re-open in June 2013 once the storm damage has been repaired) and then, the most exciting part of our adventure, the Parkland Explorer.
This trackless train is a source of huge excitement to my toddler and to me (reprieve for tired, pregnant legs). It runs Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10am-3pm and stops at three stations within the parkland, so you can hop on and hop off. The cost is a gold coin donation, which is fabulous value. This mini train tour comes complete with an audio presentation to draw your attention to points of interest along the journey.
So completes our adventure (with a bit more energy/time, a brief trip to Southbank could be the finishing touch to your toddler friendly city adventure). We make our way home, a tired but contented toddler back safely in his pushchair. For us, this involves a short walk back to Adelaide Street, bus to Teneriffe and ferry across the river - more toddler excitement and a lovely end to a lovely day!