We’ve already established that parks serve as an urban retreat. Still, that has never stopped them from hosting interesting events from time to time.
Covering over 16 hectares of Brisbane’s centre, Roma Street Parkland is the world’s largest subtropical garden in such a location. With its well-maintained themed gardens and recreational areas, pathways and boardwalks crisscrossing over outcrops and waterways, and a scattering of artworks by local artists, this modern nature reserve is brimming with life.
More than just another of Brisbane’s lovely sanctuaries where one can snatch a few quiet moments of reflection, this park is also one of the city’s most happening locations. Way before the land was developed into the behemoth garden that it is today, the Aboriginal tribes have been gathering at the site for their meetings and ceremonies. Today, Roma Street Parkland holds some decidedly less sombre (read: fun) events, such as:
1. Guided Walks
These free tours last about an hour and are available every day (save Good Friday and Christmas Day) from 11 am to 1 pm. The park’s knowledgeable and experienced volunteers are in charge of informing visitors about Roma Street Parkland’s history and features, and all of them have their favorite spots that they’ll be more than willing to show you!
2. Parkland Explorer
If you aren’t up for an hour’s walk, you can always take this trackless train on your tour of the park instead. It operates from 10 am to 12:30 pm on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays, and from 10 am to 3 pm on the weekends.
As with the guided walks, a ride on the Parkland Explorer is gratis, but you are also encouraged to donate a gold coin to one of the colorful collection boxes in each carriage.
3. Movies in the Park
Usually occurring on select Saturday afternoons, this event is popular among families due to the film selections being shown and the onsite food trucks catering to all viewers. It’s usually held in the Celebration Precinct in the park, particularly on the Celebration Lawn.
4. Zumba Gold ®
Fans of this upbeat dance workout will be delighted to know that sessions are sometimes held in the park’s Amphitheatre. With lively music, easy-to-follow exercise routines, and a beautiful background, perhaps even the most determined couch potatoes will be tempted to take part on the occasions when the Zumba instructors are onsite.
It also helps that the nearby Parkland Boulevard provides parking, should you feel the need to bolt during an ongoing session.
5. Sprouts in the Park
As though it wasn’t enough to provide the young’uns with a big, wide space for them to run around in, Roma Street Parkland also hosts regular workshops for them. From baby yoga to arts, crafts, and gardening, the Sprouts in the Park events are sure to be a veritable wonderland for any inquisitive and outgoing tot.
6. Drama Workshops.
With all of the park’s fulsome natural beauty as your backdrop, who wouldn’t be inspired to launch into a few of the Bard’s most celebrated sonnets? The Queensland Shakespeare Ensemble encourages exactly that by holding workshops where children get to develop their acting skills. The kids who do manage to participate in all three days of the drama workshop (none of the featured works are Shakespeare-based, mind you) also get to perform in the showcase on the last day of the program.When you’ve got a wide array of lively activities in one of the biggest and loveliest parks in the world, it isn’t too difficult to see why Roma Street Parkland is often referred to as an “inner-city paradise” indeed.