From the picturesque pocket of green that is Samford, to the cultural delights of Woodford and golden sands of Bribie Island, the Moreton Bay Region is teeming with activities for visitors (and locals) to enjoy.
Open seven days a week (except on Good Friday and Christmas Day), Visitor Information Centres are staffed by friendly locals with extensive knowledge about their community. From helping visitors navigate their way around to helping make reservations and sharing their insider knowledge, the local volunteers are the true hidden gems of Moreton Bay Region.
In honour of their dedication and contribution they make each and every day to our community, we sat down with some exceptional volunteers who shared their stories and love of the region with us.
Carol and Peter Williams first started volunteering at Samford’s Visitor Information Centre in May 2016, welcoming tourists and locals alike to this quaint rural hub.
Residents of Mt Glorious for the past 20 years, as well as keen bushwalkers and glass artists, they give their top tips on things to see and do – from swimming holes and garden centres, to parks and picnic spots.
What are some of the hidden gems of Samford?
What makes Samford such a family-friendly area?
There is a lovely park right in the middle of the village (John Scott Park), which has a good children’s playground and plenty of room to kick a footy, or throw a frisbee. There’s also the local skate park and sporting clubs, dog park, and family-friendly cafes.
Top tips for the school holidays?
Local libraries and art galleries have many activities that children can take part in. Then there is just the fun of playing in the park, having a picnic or BBQ, and going up into the mountains for some bush walking.
Colourful in its art scene and characters alike, Woodford offers plenty to do in the lead up to its most celebrated event, the annual Woodford Folk Festival.
We spoke to Visitor Information Centre volunteers, brother and sister duo Matt and Citta Gibson, who have called this hinterland escape home for the past eight years.
How long have you been volunteering?
Since being out in the Woodford area I have been volunteering for the Woodford Folk Festival for six years and the Planting for four years.
What do you enjoy most about volunteering?
It's been a great learning and discovery process, and gives us a break from the day to day commitments. Being able to give advice that people find helpful is a good feeling.
What are some of Woodford’s highlight events?
For me, one of the things is the music festivals – the most obvious being the Woodford Folk Festival and the Planting. But there also some lesser known ones, like the Neurum Creek Music Festival (great family getaway) and this year for the first time in May 5-7 is the Woodford didgeridoo gathering playing host to some world class acts. And 20 May is the Tough Mudder endurance event.
Top thing to do these school holidays?
The Woodford Railway train rides 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
Sunsets on Sylvan Beach and paddle boarding by the shore, Bribie Island Visitor Information Centre volunteer Rita has plenty to share about Moreton Bay Region’s own slice of island paradise.
How long have you been volunteering?
I have been a volunteer at the Bribie Island Visitor Information Centre for 14 months.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Being able to share my knowledge of our beautiful island with the visitors who come into the centre. I ensure each and every visitor goes away with a huge smile on their face and that they are looking forward to exploring all our island has to offer.
Things to see and do on Bribie Island?
There are countless hidden gems here on Bribie Island – Buckley’s Hole is a beautiful bird sanctuary located at Red Beach, only a short walk from the jetty at Bongaree. Here you will find a huge fresh water lagoon teeming with hundreds of shorebirds and sometimes black swans. Other ‘gems’ of Bribie are the spectacular sunsets at Sylvan Beach and Banksia Beach.
What makes Bribie Island so popular for families?
Bribie Island is always popular during school holidays, and is the perfect safe place to bring your children. Our museum, which is located near the jetty at Bongaree, hosts free self-directed interactive activities for various age groups throughout the school holidays. Water-based activities such as paddle boating, paddle boarding, kayaking and surfing lessons are also available.
Want to find out more about what’s happening in your neighbourhood – just head to your local Accredited Visitor Information Centre and be greeted with a friendly smile and helpful hints!