Think of Daisy Hill and koalas come to mind! At Daisy Hill you can get up close to koalas and learn more about their conservation, as well as spot for them amongst the gum trees in this important koala habitat.
But did you know that Daisy Hill is also a hub for outdoor recreation? Collectively known as the Koala Bushland Coordinated Conservation Area, Daisy Hill Conservation Park, Venman Bushland National Park and several council-run reserves and conservation areas are all connected for easy access. This means a swag of recreational opportunities, and a whole lot of fun, for you and your family!
And, even better, it’s only 25km south-east of Brisbane City, or 50km north of the Gold Coast!
Gather the kids, their mates, family friends, extended family members, anyone and everyone for a great day out at Daisy Hill. Spend the day refreshing in nature, exploring walking and mountain bike trails, discovering different animals and plants and making use of fabulous picnic facilities! All this in one place—you really can’t ask for more!
1. Kids love koala spotting
First things first! The kids will get to see koalas, if not ‘in the wild’, then definitely up close and personal in the Daisy Hill Koala Centre, with an outdoor enclosure and interactive display centre. They'll also learn heaps about koala conservation here.
Koalas aren’t the only wildlife you’ll see! Daisy Hill is also home to possums, wallabies, birds and reptiles. In the early mornings and late afternoons, you might be lucky to see red-necked wallabies and swamp wallabies in the day-use areas. You’re also bound to see familiar ‘backyard birds’ such as such as pied butcherbirds, pied currawongs, magpies, sulphur-crested cockatoos and laughing kookaburras. Along the tracks you might even spot pretty little fantails and fairy-wrens.
2. Fabulous family picnics
After the koala fun, spread out on the grassy expanse under the shade of gum trees in the Daisy Hill day-use area, and graze on your picnic, while the resident red-necked wallabies graze on the grass nearby. Sizzle a snag on the wood and electric barbecues and lay out your gourmet spread on the picnic tables or in the shelter sheds. If you plan to use a wood-fired barbie, make sure you bring your own clean-milled firewood (as you can’t collect any from inside the park!)
If you have wheelchair-enabled visitors, or if you travel with strollers, you’ll love our specially-designed wheelchair-accessible picnic tables, barbecues and toilets as well as the wheelchair-accessible path linking car park one and the day-use area.
Perhaps you have a family of keen mountain bikers and travel with a fleet of bikes? If so, you might prefer to set up your picnic in the Daisy Hill trail hub, where you’ll find picnic tables, wood barbecues and toilets, as well as a water station, gathering area, warm up track and mountain bike service area. Yep, we’ve thought of everything!
You’ll be set for a relaxing few hours under the gum trees, reconnecting with family and friends, refreshing in nature and, importantly, making the most of that limited free time that never seems to stretch far enough!
3. Walks for everyone, even pooch!
You’ll find a bundle of choices for easy strolls and longer walks at Daisy Hill—there’s something for everyone! So make sure the gang has hats, sunscreen, water bottles, comfortable walking shoes, and lots of enthusiasm, then get exploring!
- Wheelchair-enabled visitors and families with strollers will enjoy a stroll on the 450m Paperbark trail from the day-use area. Follow the trail as it winds through cool melaleuca wetlands fed by a natural spring. Be sure to stop and read the interpretive signs along the way to find out why melaleucas are marvellous!
- If you’re up for a longer stroll, try out the 800m Tree discovery trail from the day-use area. Meander through open eucalypt forest and discover why eucalypts are extraordinary!
Perhaps a longer walk appeals to your crowd? You can also explore the many shared trails through the parks and reserves (keeping an eye out for mountain bikers and horse riders!). And the best thing? Pooch can come along too (on a leash at all times) so you don’t need to leave the most important family member at home! (Just remember that while pooch is welcome in conservation parks, he can’t tag along with you to national parks).
- Explore the Spotted gum circuit (5.2km, with gentle hills and some steps), as the trail follows a gently-undulating ridgeline through eucalypt forest dominated by spotted gums.
- Set out on the slightly more difficult Stringybark circuit (5.7km, with short steep hills and steps) as it meanders through the Buhot Creek catchment. Look for red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies and different birds along the way.
4. Nature play makes kids happy
Kids need nature and kids need nature play! Daisy Hill is the perfect place to let the kids run free in nature and engage all their senses in outdoor play.
You’ll love the Nature Play ideas we’ve presented in the day-use area. You’ll find two options—Wild Nature Play and Indigenous Games—to engage your kids with the nature around them.
At the Wild Nature Play area, you’ll discover tall wooden animal carvings where the kids will be asked to imagine they are ants, flick their tongues like goannas, and listen for all the different bird sounds they can hear. Make sure you check out the audio wheel and get the whole family involved in guessing the different animal sounds. Who knows which creature makes a ‘creaking call’ or, perhaps, a ‘raucous racket’? Who will win the guessing game—you or the kids?
Then let the kids burn off their energy playing Indigenous Games in the spacious, grassy day-use area. They’ll discover a new (old) version of hide-and-seek with Koabangan, enjoy chasing each other around as Edor and find out how many kolaps they can land on their mat. Look for the Nature Play sign near the animal carvings and spin the box to get the game’s instructions. Have fun!
5. Mountain bike trails for everyone
Whether you have a bunch of skilled mountain bike ‘shredders’ for kids or you’re simply happy to trundle your family fleet of bikes along easy trails as a way to open your kids’ eyes to the wonders of the natural world, you’ll find a trail to suit you at Daisy Hill.
While most shared trails are intermediate-standard mountain bike trails, all are wide and easy to ride. The kids even have a chance to warm up at the trail hub then set out on a trail that suits your skill levels.
The Stringybark circuit is a good family option, and beginner riders can avoid the steep section by taking the easy Glossy black trail, which links two sections of the Stringybark trail.
Park Ranger’s tip: With so many trails to choose from, make a copy of the trail map (or take a photo on your phone), and carry it with you to avoid becoming lost. And, when you’re out there, at each trail entry check the sign indicating whether the trail is for walkers, horse riders or mountain bikers!
Happy two-wheel adventuring!
Daisy Hill is just too good to miss!
So don’t wait any longer to check out this family-friendly recreational hub close to the city. Grab some snags and a bag of wood for the barbie (or use an electric one), pack the picnic basket, bundle the kids and bikes in the car and get out to Daisy Hill. Happy koala spotting!