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Adventures galore on the Brisbane River

With my eldest son’s 12th birthday fast approaching, I asked him what he wanted to do to celebrate his special day. His response? “I want to do something different. Something adventurous!”

Now if you’ve got younger kids, you’ll know that a trip to the park provides all the adventure they could ask for. But once you’ve got tweens and teens on your hands you need something a bit more exciting to get them away from their screens and out into the fresh air. It was this search for adventure that lead us to Riverlife – and boy did we find it!

Located on the Brisbane River at the foot of the iconic Kangaroo Point cliffs, Riverlife has a smorgasbord of adventures to choose from including kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, abseiling, rock climbing, segway tours, rollerblading and cycling. Hard-core thrill seekers can go rock climbing or abseiling down the 20 meter high Kangaroo Point cliffs or take a spin on a Segway, a zippy electric transporter that you ride standing up. For those who like their adventures on water there’s kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding, or simply hire a bike and go exploring along the winding river pathways. And the best part? All adventures are open to kids eight years and older with no experience necessary! Riverlife’s qualified instructors ensure that everyone has the knowledge and gear they need to enjoy their experience safely.

Jack and his 13 year old cousin Ethan were actually speechless when I showed then all the adventures they could choose from. After much discussion between the two of them they eventually settled on the stand-up paddle boarding adventure. When we arrived at Riverlife the boys joined their fellow paddle-boarders and were given a full safety briefing by the staff. Then it was on with their life jackets and down to the pontoon where their paddle boards awaited. Jack and Ethan found their “river legs” almost straight away. They were both surprised at how easy it was to get started and said the boards felt really stable. As we watched them glide confidently past us on their way up the river they looked as happy as clams!

The lovely Emma who was guiding the group set an easy pace which meant everyone stayed together. The highlight for Jack was paddling under the Story Bridge – apparently it was “so cool” to see the enormous structure above him while he paddled below. Both he and Ethan also loved surfing over the wake of the passing City Cat ferries. And even though they both fell in a couple of times this only seemed to add to their enjoyment! So for anyone with kids aged eight years and over, a trip to Riverlife is a must. And since the boys are already talking about going back to do a Segway tour I’d say we’ll be back sooner rather than later!

Rachel is the editor of Brisbane lifestyle blog, Our Town Brisbane. When she isn't writing she can found dragging her three boys, aged 11, ten and six, around her local farmers markets or attempting to sneak out for dinner with her husband, The Chef.

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