There are “Drives” that we have to do, you know the type, driving to the shops to do some shopping, navigating your way through peak hour traffic, heading to work or running the kids to appointments, sport and the never ending list of after school activities.
Then there are the “Drives” that take us away from the everyday to destinations where around every corner there is something new to discover with places packed full of fun and adventure for the whole family to enjoy. This is one of those drives, the Southern Moreton Bay Tourist Drive where we will kick off our escapade visiting the bayside village of Wynnum.
We’ll be guided by the unique brown and white dugong signs marking your direction, you’ll know your on the right track when you see these sign posts on the side of the road.
Southern Moreton Bay Tourist Drive
Extending only 78 kilometres our journey will take us through the Bayside villages of Wynnum and Manly passing the absolutely stunning parkside surrounds of Lota, then onto Wellington Point, Cleveland and Victoria Point before heading inland through the scenic countryside of Mt Cotton and then arriving at an award winning winery where we’ll be able to excite our taste buds sampling fine local cuisine and wines.
Each place is unique, all set-in remarkable locations offering the area’s most exciting “must do list” while allowing you plenty of time to explore at your own pace. 🔥Tip👉 This trip can also be done in reverse order or make a day of it by visiting just one location.
Heading east from Brisbane, Wynnum Road provides the easiest northern link to the Southern Moreton Bay Tourist Drive. Travelling by car gives you plenty of flexibility to investigate not only the local attractions but also the chance to check out some other interesting spots that might require a little divergence along the way.
A small signpost on the side of the road caught my eye and as it was in my general direction, I thought a quick detour was in order. The gates at the entrance of Elanora Park heralded my arrival to what was to be one of nature’s great walks as we parked the car and set off to fully explore the Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk.
This location is one of the best kept secrets in Brisbane. There is plenty of free parking and Elanora Park is also home to a huge doggy off leash area. There are two, one for little dogs and the second for some of our larger four-legged friends. Under cover picnic tables and seating, children’s playgrounds are all scattered around this expansive grassy recreation ground.
This is also one of the most popular starting points for The Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk. Over half a kilometre long, meandering along a winding path cutting it’s way through mangrove forest along the shoreline of Moreton Bay. The boardwalk will probably take between 30 minutes to an hour to complete only interrupted by the sights and sounds of the eerily quiet Mangrove forest and the occasional viewing platform giving you an uninterrupted views of the sparkling bay and islands stretching to the horizon. ◼The boardwalk is wheelchair and stroller friendly.
Reading like a story book, the signs along the way will help you interpret these natural surrounds as the trail leads explorers through beautiful old trees, over ancient mangroves their roots all filled with all manner of life in this untouched aquatic playground.
Take the time to look up into the lush tree canopy as well as down into the mangroves below as species of birds, lizards, crabs, fish and other sea creatures are known to visit this area. The amazing Dugong, all manner of turtles also like to habitat and play in and around these waters, keep an eye out, you never know what might be about. It is a perfect place for adults and children to fully appreciate what nature has to offer in this very special envoirment.
Best Time To Visit – Any time: Visit at either High or Low tide as each will give you a different perspective of the Mangroves. Pack a hat, water and sunscreen and insect repellent.
◼Cost: Free ◼Hours: Monday-Sunday 5am-7pm ◼Toilets: Yes, at Elanora Park ◼Playground, Tables, Seating-Yes ◼ Parking: There is plenty of spaces in a round Elanora Park. ◼ This walk also links to other bicycle tracks in the area as well as continuing to a boat ramp and further afield to the Wynnum Boardwalk/Lytton Bird Hide. ◼ Visit the link Willy Weather to check tide times.
From the bayside villages of Wynnum and Manly to the Redlands, this drive is a haven for lovers of arts and culture, history, superb calm bay waters with spectacular views and sandy beaches complete with kids playgrounds complimented by the many take-away cafes, restaurants and pubs serving the freshest fresh local food (especially seafood).
Wynnum central is the commercial hub of this area but with ever growing list of activities and café’s to visit we’ve parked up the car and headed to the Wynnum Esplanade with its abundance of waterfront walking and cycle paths, eateries, kids wading pools and the most amazing playgrounds.
The Esplanade and Foreshore are an excellent place to plan your day of exploration. Morning walkers, joggers and cyclists all enjoy the long stretches of walkways and parklands or simply sit with an early morning brew enjoying the expansive views over Moreton Bay.
It’s an ideal spot to picnic and spend some time lazing in the shaded umbrella of huge old fig trees while the kids go on their own day of exploration. This park also has terrific facilities with showers, toilets and change rooms all in close proximity.
There are plentiful BBQ and picnic facilities scattered along the walkways and an abundance of shady trees and grassy areas available for you to throw down the picnic rug to enjoy your own foodie hamper.
The Wynnum Wading Pool built during the 1930’s depression years to create employment for the area, is a magnet for both locals and visitors alike. This large wading pool filling with seawater at high tide from nearby Moreton Bay is a fantastic place for the kids (and adults) to have a splash around and cool down on a hot Queensland day. Access is easy with steps down to the pool around the sides and a small slippery slide at one end. Cook up a storm with the tables and electric BBQ’s that are a stones throw away from the pool with toilets and showers also nearby.
Some things never change, and this spot is a kid’s playground dream. If they can drag themselves away from the wading pool, situated right next door is Whale Park, a themed watery wonderland for little and big kids alike. It’s technically known as “The Water Park – Wynnum” but affectionately known as “Whale Park’ because of the climb-on pod of whales in the centre that randomly burst water from there blowholes to the delight of all.
The fun doesn’t stop here. A short walk along the promenade, across from the car park is another more traditionally themed Playground full of swings, slippery slides and climbing activities. An ice-cream van can usually be found hidden amongst the cars if you are looking for a cool treat and there are Picnic shelters and BBQ’s if you’ve come prepared. Fish and Chips, coffee, drinks and snacks are all available from a number of cafes across the road.
Tucked in behind the Wynnum Water Park complex, nestled between the Wynnum Esplanade Foreshore and the sparkling waters of Moreton Bay is Pandanus Beach, a gorgeous little haven of fine white sand framed by pandanus trees offering protected swimming and water activities in the shadows of the Wynnum Jetty. The bay at high tide is a kayaker’s heaven while the gentle sloping white sandy beach provides plenty of space for sandcastle building and room to run around.
Each week thousands of visitors converge on the foreshore and Wynnum Jetty not only for the parks and picnic spots but to take a walk along the pier for some of the most spectacular views of Moreton Bay and Islands. Extending 240 metres into the deeper waters of the bay with two ideally situated under cover gazebos and the end of your journey, this is a photographers dream location and one of the hottest fishing spots in the area. Catches of Whiting, bream and flathead are not uncommon with tailor making an appearance in late winter and Spring.
Make a day of your visit to the Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk and the sites and attractions of the Wynnum Esplanade. Bring along a picnic spread or some food to BBQ and lay claim to your own special outdoor spot at any number of picnic tables, there are several to choose from.
At low tide when the kids are exhausted from the pools and playgrounds venture onto the tidal flats of Pandanus Beach where you can check out the legions of soldier crabs as they scuttle across the foreshore. Then finish off the day with an ice-crème, some fish and chips and a cold beverage on the jetty.
I’m sure that you’ll agree that a great day trip often comes down to a little pre-planning before you go. A guide of must-see landmarks and things to do with plenty of eateries, picnic areas and enough activities to keep the family entertained. Wynnum, the first port of call on our Southern Moreton Bay Tourist Drive definitely ✔✔ticks all those boxes.
In my next Blog we’ll discover all the allure of Wynnum’s sister bayside village – Manly before following the Dugong signs to Lota, Wellington Point, and then continuing our trek along The Southern Moreton Bay Tourist Drive.
To Be Continued ❗❗❗❗❗❗❗❗