Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published May 25th 2020
Beautiful family-orientated parklands west of Brisbane
Undambi Rotary Reserve sits alongside the South Pine River in the picturesque Samford Valley, just west of Brisbane. This spacious reserve is easily accessed from Mt O'Reilly Road, is well signposted, and provides off-road parking.
The entrance to Undambi Rotary Reserve off Mt O'Reilly Rd, Samford
The Undambi Rotary Reserve was designed with families of all ages in mind. As you enter the parklands from the carpark, there is a lovely children's playground surrounded by a bike track.
Climbing frame in the Undambi Rotary Reserve playground
The playground includes a climbing frame with steps, a climbing wall, a lookout, slide, and a small imaginary shop play area. In keeping with the bike track theme, there is also a small bike wobbler in the playground. Beyond these is a separate shaded area nearby with a large swinging basket that allows 2 or 3 children to swing together at a time.
This swing allows multiple children to play simultaneously
The bike track encircles the playground area and includes a "big dipper" and slalom poles for kids to learn to steer their bikes and scooters around.
Big dipper on the bike track around the playground
At one end of the playground, there is a shaded BBQ and picnic area adjoining the bike track with two separate picnic tables. This thoughtful design allows multiple families to simultaneously enjoy the facilities. There is also a small amenities block just beyond the picnic shelter.
There is a shaded picnic and BBQ area adjoining the playground via the bike track
Beyond this, and heading down towards the South Pine River, which is still a small creek at this stage, is a large grassy area. There are multiple flat areas ideal for group and family ball games, as well as a small hill that children delight in rolling down. For older kids and teenagers there is a basketball hoop and half-court.
Basketball half-court between grassy playing areas
The grassy field leads down to the South Pine River, through a shaded area of fantastic climbing trees and roots. These trees are ideal for children to engage in imaginative play or build forts in.
Fig tree roots towards the river are ideal for imaginative play
There are also a variety of bird and possum nesting boxes in this area of woodland. Samford Valley is known locally as the "Home of the Powerful Owl". These large, usually nocturnal birds can be heard at times during the day with their very deep and distinctive "woo-hoo" call.
Nesting boxes in the woodland alongside the small river
The South Pine River is lovely for rock hopping and splashing about in here, with small sandy embankments and little pools to cool off in. There are often dragonflies and butterflies hanging around the water, and the waterway is rumoured to have platypus when visitors are quiet and still.
The South Pine River is still small enough at this point for children to play in under adult supervision
Useful things to bring to Undambi Rotary Reserve include
Sunscreen, a hat, and insect repellant
Meat to BBQ and a picnic
A towel and change of clothes for children who enjoy swimming
Binoculars and/or a camera with a telephoto lens for the birdlife
The Undambi Rotary Reserve in Samford is perfect for a family day out