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Where are the best suburbs to raise a family in Brisbane?

Ferny Grove in the north-west took the top spot in our ranking of the best family-friendly suburbs in Brisbane.

McDowall, Holland Park, Wynnum and Coorparoo were also high on our list. Our ranking is based on the rate of offences against property, out of 100,000, in the 2016-2017 financial year (according to the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office), as well as the number of state primary and high schools, number of sports grounds and number of playgrounds.

Despite the popularity of independent schools in Brisbane, our top 5 suburbs have enough local state schools that most kids from these areas can go to a state school. According to the Brisbane Times, 67% of secondary school students living in Ferny Grove attend a government school.


Suburb Rate of property offences 2016/2017 No. of state primary schools No. of state high schools No. of sports grounds No. of playgrounds
1 Ferny Grove 1288.3 1 1 2 6
2 McDowall 1644.5 2 1 1 11
3 Holland Park 2741.3 4 3 2 7
4 Wynnum 3026.1 4 2 4 10
5 Coorparoo 3663.8 2 3 2 11
6 Salisbury 3866.7 2 1 2 5
7 Yeronga 4150.9 1 1 4 9
8 Sandgate 4764.6 3 1 1 5
9 Zillmere 4801.6 1 2 1 7
10 Mitchelton 4932.5 2 2 2 5

#1 Ferny Grove


Ferny Grove in the north-west of Brisbane is our top family-friendly suburb. This suburb is great for outdoor activities with a 1.8km bush track, known as the Ferny Grove Rail Trail, several bike paths and the Ferny Grove Aqua Park, due to open later this year.

Ferny Grove is also close to 3 well known kids playgrounds. If you move to Ferny Grove, you’ll be a short drive from the playgrounds at Teralba Park in Everton Park, George Willmore Park in Ferny Hills and Upper Kedron Recreation Reserve in Upper Kedron.

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There are lots of local markets and festivals from the weekly Ferny Grove Markets, where you can pick up some good quality fruit and vegetables, to the month-long Hills Festival in nearby Ferny Hills.

Ferny Grove State High School is one of 11 Brisbane schools offering a language immersion program, where half of the curriculum is taught in a language other than English. At the Ferny Grove school, the second language is German.

#2 McDowall


McDowall, north of Brisbane, also has its fair share of outdoor activities. Raven Street Reserve is home to the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, which runs lots of Nature Ranger programs to teach kids about wildlife, navigation skills and more.

There are some great play spaces in and around McDowall. The Raven Street Reserve has a fun playground right next to the Bushland Centre. This playground has a fort structure and animal decorations, with plenty of space near the playground to run around.

Nearby Chermside is home to Chermside Aquatic Centre, Brisbane’s largest water park. The centre has the usual lap pools for exercise and lessons, but also has over 200m of water slides.

#3 Holland Park


Holland Park, only 6km south-east of the CBD, is the place to go for coffee and food. There’s Stomp Espresso, Classic Cakes, and Pandelyssi cheese shop in Holland Park. Over in neighbouring Holland Park West, there’s Deedot Coffee House, The Rare Pear and Little Hanoi Cafe.

Holland Park has two great parks for families. Glindemann Park has a great playground that even has free Wi-Fi. The playground has lots of equipment, including 5 swings and a flying fox. C B Mott Park is a popular venue for outdoor fitness classes such as outdoor circuit training and Zumba.

For indoor activities, you can visit the Puzzled Room Escape at Holland Park West or attend an event at the Holland Park Library.

#4 Wynnum


Coastal Wynnum is a great suburb for families who love the beach. Wynnum Water Park features a wading pool, whale sculptures and fountains. The Wynnum to Manly walk is one of Must Do Brisbane’s Best Family Bike Rides. This foreshore trail is also ideal for walking your dog, followed by a trip to the dog-friendly Frenchies Cafe.

Other outdoor activities include the Wynnum Mangrove Boardwalk, the themed playground at George Clayton Park in Manly and the BMX track at Kianawah Road Park in Wynnum West.

Wynnum, like Holland Park, has some really nice cafes. The Little Gnome bookshop and cafe, the Dramanti Artisan Roaster cafe and The Rabbit Hole Cafe & Bar are the favourites among locals.

#5 Coorparoo


Coorparoo, adjacent to Holland Park, has a plethora of multicultural restaurants. From Barbacoa Mexican Taqueria, to Mission Vietnamese, to Greek On Cav, you’re sure to find a place with your favourite cuisine.

There’s also lots of places to get a sweet treat, including Cream Patisserie Boulangerie, where you can get high tea, and La Mimosa Gelato. Of course, there’s plenty of spots to grab a good coffee too, such as Cafeine Cafe and Bang Coffee Bar.

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Coorparoo is also a good suburb for some culture. You can take the kids to explore historic Queen Alexandra Home, or enrol the kids in music lessons at the Forte School of Music or acting classes with the Australian School of Performing Arts, Film and Television.

Consider these suburbs if your family is thinking of moving to a new suburb in Brisbane. Read our article on the best suburbs in Brisbane for more inspiration.

Tags: brisbane, family home, relocate, upsizing, first home buyer, education

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