Brisbane is a lovely place to live, but for two months out of the year, the heat is almost unbearable. It’s sticky and humid and just plain horrid. You can tell yourself that its the price we pay for never having winter, but sometimes you just need another way to deal. To help you avoid wandering aimlessly around yet another air conditioned shopping centre or having to sit through Trolls for the fourth time, here are my favourite places to beat the heat in Brisbane.
GOMA is one of my favourite places in Brisbane. There’s always something cool going on for kids, but summer 2017 is a really special one because GOMA is turning 10! GOMA has an entire level dedicated to children in the basement which has currently been turned into a wonderland of underwater indigenous art for the Gabori Sisters Gathering By The Sea craft space. It’s soft and soothing, and I’d never leave if I was given the choice. While I am a big fan of this area, I have to mention the main attraction for summer 2017 – the return of Carten Höller’s beloved Left/Right Slide 2010. Yup it’s exactly what it sounds like, two giant slides spiralling through the gallery that take you down three floors. You have to be over a metre to ride, so sorry toddlers – this one’s just for the big kids.
Picnic Spot: Kurilpa Park or Maiwar Green for those beautiful river breezes. Here’s a map to help you find your way around.
Extra Fun: QAG GOMA’s website features some interactive games and craft activities so you can continue talking and thinking about the pieces at home.
Image Credit: Visit Brisbane
Is there anything better than a water park on a hot day? Maybe a FREE water park on a hot day?
Picnic Spot: take your pick! It’s picnic paradise!
Extra Fun: Southbank is the absolute best place to play Pokemon Go in Brisbane. It’s got absolutely oodles of Pokespots, including several that overlap and are perfect for setting lures.
State Library Queensland
The State Library is the last place you’d expect to find play spaces – but it has two! For little kids, there is The Corner, which is currently setup as a small construction zone complete with foam bricks, dress ups, and a cubby house. For the older ones, there’s Imagination Playscape which is basically a room full of giant foam building blocks where kids can build towers or forts or really anything their imagination can dream up. They are also running a fantastic holiday program until the 20th Jan – including story readings, crafts, family films, and musical workshops.
Picnic Spot: The State Library is host to one of the best (and coolest) places in Brisbane to eat a picnic lunch – The River Deck. I’ve sat out there in 33 degree heat and been completely comfortable, even a little chilly with the cool river breezes. It’s a lovely spot, but lets just keep it our little secret, okay? We don’t want all the riff raff showing up and ruining the serenity.
Extra Fun: Download the Secret SLQ app and you can do a digital scavenger hunt around the Library. If you forget your device, preloaded iPods are available for loan from the Welcome Desk.
Robelle Domain Parklands
Image Credit: YTravelBlog via Discover Ipswich
This is big daddy right here. Robelle Domain is the ultimate location for kids. There’s a playground, water park (complete with tipping bucket and water spray), walking tracks, boardwalks. It has a cafe for parents to chill and even a nightly light show from 7PM.
Picnic Spot: Throw a rock and you’ll find a cozy spot to have some food. Only don’t throw rocks, you might hit somebody.
Extra Fun: Orion Lagoon is situated right next door to Robelle Domain and is perfect for actual swimming rather than just water play.
Roma Street Parklands
Where: Well, Roma Street natch.
Walk through the Parklands to Fern Gully using this map. There’s a bench there near the entrance where they mist water onto the ferns and it is probably the coolest spot in Brisbane on a hot day, plus its a lovely spot to just sit and relax. Super Instagrammable if that’s your jam but mainly just feel the heat roll away.
Picnic Spot: They are everywhere. The Parklands is riddled with tables, chairs and BBQ equipment as well as grassy lawns for picnics. Take your pick.
Extra Fun: Catch a ride on The Parkland Explorer – a miniature train that costs a gold coin to ride and takes a 20 minute round trip through the Parklands. Way nicer than walking and there are several hop on hop off points to get you where you wanna go.
Settlement Cove Lagoon
Settlement Cove is a gorgeous little place, with a large open lagoon for proper swimming and a small semi fenced area just for toddlers and babies. It even has a faux rock pool area to do some rock hopping!
Picnic Spot: Tables and BBQs abound as do lawn areas for picnics. It’s right on the beach too, so you could also take the food down to the sand and enjoy the sea breeze.
Extra Fun: Take a 5 minute walk down the road to find Bee Gees Way. It’s a small area dedicated to Redcliffe’s most famous sons. There’s an audiovisual display, statues and its a great opportunity to embarrass your kids by doing the Saturday Night Live dance in public.
Pine Rivers Heritage Museum
Where: Old Petrie Town
I honestly didn’t know this place existed until around 3 weeks ago when we took my son. It’s a cute little museum, but the major draw at the moment is the cubby house exhibit. It’s an air conditioned room filled with all different kinds of cubby houses for kids to play in. There’s even building materials to make your own!
Picnic Spot: There’s around 50 acres of parkland to choose from, so you won’t lack for spots. Bring a blanket and a packed lunch though – seating is hard to come by, and there’s no BBQ facilities here.
Extra Fun: Take a walk around Old Petrie Town and you will find a coffee shop inside a London double decker bus. The owner is a lovely chap who has no problems with kids climbing up the top and having a look around. Buy yourself a coffee and take a look – the decorations inside are truly amazing to behold.
Have you got a tried and true place to go to beat the heat?