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Kalinga Park Memorial

Wooloowin, Brisbane Area

Victoria's Great Ocean Road may be Australia's best known WWI repatriation project but Brisbane families enjoy another year-round: Kalinga Park's unofficial 'Diggers Drive'.

In May 1924, Governor Sir Matthew Nathan opened a 1,200 metre tree-lined roadway from war memorial gates in Park Avenue, following the curve of Kedron Brook, to Sandgate Road.

The road was built and trees planted by 83 unemployed soldiers. After WWI, Australia was awash with grief for its 60,000 dead fighters. Many more returned nursing injuries and needing re-employment. While the Commonwealth Department of Repatriation placed returning soldiers in jobs, progress was slow: community groups like Kalinga Unemployed and Distressed Soldiers Committee formed to provide relief and work. Diggers Drive was its project, commencing in 1922.

Kalinga Park had opened in 1910. In October 1920, memorial gates at the Park Avenue entrance were erected as an everlasting memory of the patriotic services of men who enlisted from Kalinga District. The gates were a venture between the local Ladies Patriotic Club, Kalinga Progress Association and Toombul Shire Council. For a time, the park was even called ANZAC Memorial Park.

Now a popular outdoor play space, it served as a large army staging camp during WWII.

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D'Aguilar National Park

The Gap, Brisbane Area
Free Entry
D'Aguilar National Park is a huge, diverse park of scribbly gums and lush rainforest, sprawling over the hills and Mountains at Brisbane's back door. From the parks information centre join in a fun and informative Connect with Nature activity, or explore the wildlife displays at the South East Queensland Wildlife Centre. Enjoy great lookouts, walking tracks and picnic areas, also remote secluded camp sites for experienced walkers and navigators. At Jolly's lookout (wheelchair accessible), cook a barbecue while taking in the views over Samford Valley and listening to early morning birdsong. At Boombana, take a short rainforest walk among strangler figs and climbing vines. In the northern section of the park inspect the remains of the antique sawmill in the Gantry day-use area. Fit walkers can hike the Somerset trail to enjoy views of Somerset and Wivenhoe lakes. The rockpool at Rocky Hole is surrounded by eucalypt forest and is a great place for a cooling swim in summer. Campers can stay at Neurum Creek or the more remote Archer campground (four-wheel-drive access only). This huge park is a treasure trove close to Brisbane, offering a circuit drive of 90 minutes through a range of natural habitats.

Mt Cootha

Mount Coot-tha, Brisbane Area
  • Free WiFi
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Free Entry
Brisbane will come at you with riverside vistas around almost every corner, but it takes a short drive from the city centre and a few twists and turns up Sir Samuel Griffith Scenic Drive to find the city's best angle. Brisbane Lookout Mount Coot-tha provides a remarkable vantage point to view Brisbane and beyond. Set amongst beautifully manicured gardens and nestled in the natural bushland of Brisbane Forest Park, is the Summit Restaurant and Bar, Function Centre, Kuta Cafe, Gift Shop and Observation Deck. Interpretive facilities pointing out well-known Brisbane landmarks are located on the observation deck. On a clear day, you can take in striking views of Brisbane City and right out to Moreton Bay. By night, the spectacle switches on with the city lights and star-lit skies. There are also a handful of bushwalks around the vicinity of the Lookout. Take the Aboriginal Track down to Slaughter's Falls and keep your eye out for some original Aboriginal art. Mt Coot-tha is also scattered with picnic areas fully equipped with gas barbecues.

Fort Lytton National Park

Lytton, Brisbane Area
Fort Lytton National Park protects the birthplace of Queensland's military history. From 1881 to 1945 this classic coastal fortress was the focus of Queensland's defence activity. One of several built around Australia's coast in the nineteenth century for protection from invasion, the well-preserved pentagonal fort is concealed behind grassy embankments and surrounded by a water-filled moat. Join a guided tour and immerse yourself in the fascinating history of the fort and its restored guns, which were designed to fire and disappear! Learn more detail in the museum. Enjoy a picnic with a background of scenic river views. Fort Lytton is half an hour’s drive from the centre of Brisbane.

Ascot

Hamilton, Brisbane Area
Flowering poinciana trees line the streets of Ascot and Hamilton, providing a canopy of red against a backdrop of gracious old homes with their sweeping verandas and white picket fences. Racecourse Road is the central spine of the area, home to fine dining, sophisticated cafes and boutiques and on race days is a promenade for fashionistas and traditional race-goers as they stroll towards Eagle Farm Racecourse. Towards the river, Portside Wharf Cruise Terminal sits amongst trendy riverside apartments and is a welcome port for world-class restaurants, gourmet delights, designer fashion, weekend markets and an art-house cinema. Ascot and Hamilton are two riverside suburbs with some of the most amazing views over the river and city.

Eagle Farm

Eagle Farm, Brisbane Area
The Brisbane suburb of Eagle Farm is synonymous with horse racing due to the nearby location of the Eagle Farm and Doomben racetracks. During the winter racing season Eagle Farm comes alive with colourfully attired race-goers and jockeys along with frisky race horses and their nervous trainers. The Royal Brisbane Golf Course is nestled on the banks of the Brisbane River on the southern side of Eagle Farm. The course is known as one of Australia's finest and has hosted several Australian Open Championships and Australian PGA Championships. Visitors to Eagle Farm will find good accommodation in the neighbouring suburbs of Hamilton and Ascot. Two of Brisbane's most prestigious suburbs, Hamilton and Ascot are known for their grand hilltop mansions, bustling restaurant precincts and charming leafy tree scapes. Accommodation options include quality hotels, motels, units, bungalows, bed-and-breakfasts and villas. Eagle Farm is situated at the northern end of the Gateway Bridge, approximately 20 minutes drive from the Brisbane city centre and only five minutes drive from the Brisbane Airport.

Chermside

Chermside, Brisbane Area
Chermside is unofficially recognised as the mini central business district of Brisbane's northern suburbs. The suburb is home to one of the largest shopping centres in the country - Westfield Chermside, providing shopaholics with plenty of retail therapy. It was the first shopping mall to be built in Australia and is as popular now as it was when it first opened to great fanfare back in 1957. The shopping centre contains hundreds of speciality stores as well as major national department chains. The latest Hollywood blockbuster can be caught at the huge cinema complex, and for lunch you will be spoilt for choice by a dizzying array of food outlets, restaurants and cafes. Outside of the shopping centre, busy Gympie Road also offers a great range of shops and stores to explore. Chermside locals enjoy a large network of parklands along beautiful Downfall Creek. A system of bikeways and footpaths connect various areas and allow visitors to enjoy the pleasant surroundings at leisure. Picnic and barbecue facilities are provided along with a pool, children's playground and historic war memorials. Chermside is just 10 minutes drive north of the Brisbane city centre with excellent public transport available. Accommodation options include hotels, motels and motor-inns.

Milton

Milton, Brisbane Area
Milton is Icons and Espressos. Park Road is the original cafe strip, one of the first suburbs to undergo an urban revitalisation and credited with igniting Brisbane's love affair with exciting, individual villages. Milton is all about the restaurants and is a little corner of Europe within Brisbane with the iconic La Dolce Vita taking centre stage since 1989. It has the charm and the sophistication but with the everyday casual flamboyant attitude to it. A favourite with the in-crowd, this lively street is characterised by the expensive sports cars that jostle for prime parking positions outside gift shops, fashion houses and restaurants that surround a replica of the Eiffel Tower - now a symbol of Park Road's cosmopolitan nature. Milton is also home to the XXXX Ale House and Brewery where on any given day, the fragrant smell of hops will envelop you. Head towards the river and take a casual stroll along the picturesque riverside walkway to the famous Heritage-listed Regatta Hotel - one of Brisbane's oldest pubs.

West End

West End, Brisbane Area
West End is Left of Centre. The inner city suburb of West End is a lively mixture of cultures and the bohemian heart of Brisbane. The quirky local style can be described as a fusion of multicultural, alternative and vintage and the shops, restaurants and atmosphere reflect this suburb's eclectic personality. Stroll through the weekend markets where aspiring designers peddle their wares amongst organic grocers, cosy bars and coffee houses. The bars and restaurants offer an experience with a twist - cocktails served in a Chinese opium den, or cigar bar, breakfast served in an old gun shop, Turkish delights eaten overlooking the river, a cupcake parlour and the famous Hi-Fi, playing the hottest live music.

Country Valleys

Brisbane City, Brisbane Area
The rolling hills and green open spaces of the Country Valleys provide postcard perfect views of endless horizons, sleepy towns and pristine lakes making it hard to believe you are only an hour away from the lights of the big city. Horse riding enthusiasts will relish the tracks that weave and climb throughout the pastures and hillsides of Esk and lovers of water sports will find it hard pressed to stay away from the lure of the giant lakes within Somerset and Wivenhoe. You can also go hiking, mountain climbing, abseiling and experience some of the best skydiving in the Southern Hemisphere. For those wanting to extend their stay to include the award winning boutique wineries or to sift through the many antique shops, there are a range of beautifully preserved homesteads, Bed and Breakfasts and mountain retreats to relax in at the end of a busy day.

The Gap

The Gap, Brisbane Area
Hidden away on the fringes of Brisbane's leafy outer suburbs lies a secluded community known as The Gap. Surrounded by lush bushland but just 15 minutes drive to the Brisbane city centre, locals at The Gap truly enjoy the best of both worlds. Visitors are drawn to The Gap to enjoy the natural beauty and serenity of D'Aguilar National Park - over 28,500 hectares of unspoiled bushland offering opportunities for bushwalking, mountain-bike riding, horse-riding, bird-watching, picnicking or camping at a remote site in the hills. The rich diversity of birds, animals and plant life in this park is surprising, and after enjoying any one of the picturesque walking tracks, it's easy to see why the locals have preserved this unique part of natural Brisbane. Tuck into a barbecue lunch at Jolly's Lookout and enjoy sweeping views over the Samford Valley. Venture further with a short rainforest walk among strangler figs and climbing vines. Marvel at the sheer size and scale of Wivenhoe Dam on a scenic drive of the area. Back at The Gap, you can visit the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre - a living showcase of the amazing wildlife diversity of south-east Queensland. Get up close and personal with the reptiles, frogs, mammals, fish and birds that call this part of the world home. Accommodation is the area is limited to holiday rentals and homestays, however a good selection of hotels and motels can be found in the suburbs closer to the Brisbane city centre.
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