There’s nothing like a three year old with a transport obsession! Plane, ship and train spotting is an excellent way to encourage your child’s interests whilst creating an engaging, contextual learning experience that can connect their early learning centre activities to the real world. Your child’s interests in transportation and machinery will have been noticed by their early education teachers and encouraged. You can expand on their excellent work by crafting a family day out that everyone will enjoy.
Train Spotting Brisbane and Gold Coast
Here are the best places to go train spotting in the South-East Queensland region. Train spotting in Brisbane isn’t just limited to the electric train system. The Caboolture line especially boasts a broad variety of freight trains, long distance passenger trains and even the odd diesel. Anyone with a Thomas obsessed kid will know all about diesels! Thomas lovers may also enjoy a day trip out to the old turntable in Imbil. If you want to take the train spotting experience further, you can always book a Steam Train Sunday ticket or ride the Valley Rattler historical park in Gympie.
- Yeerongpilly overpass
- Moorooka, Rocklea and Salisbury Stations
- Acacia Ridge (on the road bridge)
- Roma Street – both above the busway and in the station itself. You can also get a great view from within the Roma Street Parklands.
- Wooloowin Station
- Virginia Station – Take the bike path between Brickyard Road Dog Park and Norths Junior Rugby League to see trains pass just meters above your head! The rail overpass is so close you could almost reach up and touch it.
- Dakabin Station
- Morayfield Station
- Chelmer, Graceville, Sherwood and Corinda Stations
- Wacol, Ebbw Vale, Wulkuraka, Karrabin, Walloon, Thagoona Stations
- Pedestrian bridge at Strathpine Station
- Toombul, Clayfield and Eagle Junction Stations. Your little one can also sit under the Toombul rail overpass and see the trains from beneath. Enter via Parkland Street at Toombul.
- Darra Station
- Dutton Park Station
- Varsity Lakes Station
Best Spots for Little Plane Spotters in Brisbane
Got an eagle-eyed toddler in love with planes? Here is where you can take them to spot planes near Brisbane.
- Acacia Street Loop (Brisbane)
- Boronia Road (Brisbane)
- Da Vinci Boulevard (Brisbane)
- Redciffe Aerodrome (Brisbane)
- Caboolture War Plane Museum (North of Brisbane)
- Adina Avenue (Gold Coast)
- Diamond Betty Park (Gold Coast)
- Tugun Seahawks (Gold Coast)
Don’t forget the wonderful Sir Charles Kingsford Smith Memorial near Brisbane Airport. The memorial features The Southern Cross aeroplane, carefully preserved for eager aviation enthusiasts, displayed in a giant hanger. It’s open 24/7 and is completely free. Learn more here.
Ship Spotting Ahoy – Brisbane
There are a number of excellent vantage points from which young learners can see enormous ships. Any coastal point that you can find is going to offer many opportunities to spot a variety of ships. A fun idea for Brisbane families is to head to the P&O Docks at Hamilton to see the huge cruise liners come in to port. Imagine the look on your child’s face as they are completely dwarfed by the ship of their dreams! This spot offers a plethora of family-friendly dining and activity options in the surrounding areas to cap off a wonderful family day out.
Anywhere along Bramble Bay and on the Redcliffe Peninsula will offer little ship spotters great views of cruise ships and freighters coming in and out of port. You can also take a drive out to the Port of Brisbane to see these giants up close.
To truly pique little interests, toddlers love a visit to the Queensland Maritime Museum where they can get up close and personal with a variety of different vessels.
Plane, ship and train spotting Brisbane and Gold Coast
Becoming involved in, and planning activities around, your child’s interests is not only an excellent way to connect their learning between home and school but to create special moments together that can sometimes be lost in the grind of the day-to-day.
Looking for other great ideas for your toddler this weekend? Check out our guide to toddler friendly bushwalking!