If you’re a parent like me who loves exploring new places, you’ll know that family-friendly spots are the key to happiness. Without them, things become a down-right struggle. Thankfully on a recent family trip to Brisbane, myself, my partner Nikki and my three-year-old Olin discovered such a place near the CBD called New Farm. Here you’ll find GREAT kids’ parks, superb cafes, waterfront strolls, free bike rental and a welcome slice of inner-city hipness.
I’m only just discovering Brisbane and I’m honestly impressed with this city. Coming from Sydney, Brisbane’s always had the reputation as a big, hick country town. Not any more. Strolling through New Farm, we discovered possibly the best kids’ park we’ve ever been to – New Farm Park. Here, there was a ginormous treehouse with long boardwalks next to climbing frames, slides and all manner of rides. There was even a little coffee shop out front for mums and dads.
Olin was almost hyperventilating with happiness and Nikki and I were able to relax a little. After Olin had had enough, we continued across a few lawns in the winter sunshine, past the kid-friendly Brisbane Powerhouse arts centre (which we didn’t have time for) and along the waterfront. Here we strolled past a ferry terminal – where you could catch a ride to several waterfront suburbs – and continued to End of the Road Coffee, which is literally that and a tad more.
A little for the parents
There’s not really much in the way of food here, but if you’re into cakes, snacks and caffeine by the water, this is the spot. There’s also CityCycle bike hire out front, which is free for the first 30 minutes and $2.00 for the whole day. Thinking that now was high time for a café breakfast, we continued (on foot) to the legendary New Farm Deli – an Italian institution that’s been around for years. Here I woofed down a whopping, fluffy omelette, while Nikki had tomato, pesto and poached eggs and Olin continued his heavenly outing with pancakes and ice-cream.
What makes this deli a cut above, however, is its atmosphere, which is bustling and benevolent. There’s also lots of gourmet goodies such as quality olives, fresh pasta, coffee, herbs and giant wheels of cheese which I fantasised rolling down the hill. The service is prompt and friendly in the good old-fashioned way and we’ve already decided we’ll be back for another sitting.
The coffee here wasn’t bad, but if you’re after a slightly better cuppa, stroll just up the hill on Brunswick Street to Death Before Decaf. This uber-hip café, which is open 24/7, is adorned with skateboards, stuffed animal heads and tattoo designs on both the walls and staff.
It’s not really a sit down place. It’s got more of a ‘hide from the sunshine just give me a good coffee now and I’m out of here’ kind of vibe, which is perfect if you’ve got a couple of anxious kids waiting to explore this wonderful part of the city.