If you grew up in South East Queensland, chances are you visited the Ginger Factory at Yandina on the Sunshine Coast when you were a child.
Still going strong after 40 years, the Ginger Factory has recently undergone some improvements, and now offers a great morning or afternoon for Brisbane kids (and parents) with several rides and attractions sprawling over a nine-hectare site.
The ginger factory itself is just a small fraction of what’s on offer here, and you can easily fill a day here without visiting the factory or tasting ginger if it’s not your cup of tea.
Tour the Ginger Factory
Not only tasty but ginger is also packed full of nutrients and can purportedly relieve numerous ailments – everything from morning sickness to motion sickness.
Purchase a ticket to tour the largest ginger factory in the world (six tours offered daily) and learn about the growing, harvesting and processing of ginger products. The tour is educational (kids are welcome to ask questions), concise and concludes with a tasting plate of ginger products. It also covers the interesting history of Buderim Ginger, the Australian company that owns and manages the Ginger Factory.
Tour the gardens by train
You are welcome to walk through the gardens for free, admiring the tropical and ornamental ginger-themed plants along the way, or you can purchase a ticket to ride the 100-year-old cane train, Moreton. The train leaves the “Ginger Town Station” every half hour between 9.30am and 4.30pm.
There is an educational and entertaining narration, informing passengers about the sites they pass, as well as the history of the train, the Ginger Factory and the local area. The train is over 100 years old and used to work as a sugar cane train, taking cane to the old Nambour sugar mill. It features open-sided carriages. There is only one station so prams and strollers can be left on the platform to return to after the ride.
Super Bee attraction
Four times daily, you can purchase tickets to enter the Super Bee Attraction and learn about the fascinating lives of honeybees. Presented by knowledgeable beekeepers, the presentation is engaging for young and old with lots of bee facts for kids.
The attraction includes a live demonstration, opening a hive and then showing a frame filled with honey. Guests can get right up close to working hives which are built into glass windows of the building. You can get up close with a magnifying glass and watch them dance, make honey and try to spot the Queen Bee.
The bees are free to come and go through the open side of the building and are always separated from visitors by either screens or glass. Finally, the bee keeper leads the group into the gift shop to taste different varieties of honey and other honey products, as well as answering any bee or honey-related questions guests might have.
The Gruffalo Trail
The Gruffalo Trail is a free attraction and is a highlight for any Brisbane Kids familiar with the Gruffalo books or characters. The rainforest environment is a fantastic representation of the Gruffalo’s ‘deep, dark wood’ and features a variety of interactive locations. Your kids can follow the story of the Julia Donaldson classic, and use an app to take photos and videos of visitors and digitally adds in the various characters from the story. There are also other prompts along the trail with entertaining and educational content.
At the end of the trail, there’s a large 3D Gruffalo artwork and a digital interaction with the Gruffalo. There is also a Gruffalo house that visiting kids can play in, which includes an old oven and real pots and pans, and an old piano, a dining table and chairs and even a bed! The giant checkers board on the ground will also entice Brisbane Kids to stay and play under the rainforest trees here.
Overboard boat ride
Running continuously throughout the day is the Overboard Boat Ride – purchase a ticket, hop on board and you will meander through different countries of the world, past different landmarks and sites from the Eiffel tower to Santa’s North Pole workshop, following the story of the Gingerbread Man who is trying to escape the clutches of two hungry chefs. Featuring 200 handmade moving puppets and lots to look at, your Brisbane Kids will want to ride more than once.
Food court, gift shops and playground
The food court is fresh and spacious, offering a café selling light meals and refreshments, and an ice creamery selling ice-cream, parfaits and ginger bread men. There are a host of flavours – several of which feature ginger in the ingredients and plenty of other options. The selection of dairy-free and vegan options was impressive.
Parents will appreciate the large, fenced, covered playground that adjoins the café seating area. The playground has a toddler section on one side and a more challenging playground, suitable for pre-schoolers and primary school-aged children, on the other side. There is also a small jumping castle near the Overboard Boat Ride, which is the perfect spot for kids to burn some energy after sitting on a ride or eating ice cream.
Near the eating area are also six “Ginger Town” retail shops to browse and the main gift shop, selling hundreds of Buderim Ginger products and souvenirs. These products can also be purchased online.
Brisbane Kids will be especially interested in Giuseppe’s Toy Shop, which is a great spot to spend some pocket money or find a unique gift or souvenir. Make some time to explore the grounds – the rainbow umbrella art installation, the Rainbrella Project, is a wondrous site. Turtles and eels are in the pond and my kids enjoyed seeing the water dragons and bush turkeys making the Ginger Factory gardens their home.
School holiday activities
Visit the website for free entertainment and activities available throughout the school holidays. The Ginger Factory is also host to the annual Ginger and Flower Festival.
Ginger Factory at a glance:
- The Ginger Factory is located approximately one hour north of Brisbane.
- Entry to the park is free, but tickets for the tours and rides need to be purchased on arrival or online.
- The Ginger Factory is open daily except it is not open on Christmas Day.
- The Ginger Factory is pram and wheelchair accessible.
- No BYO food or drink, however, there is a licensed café with gluten-free and vegetarian options.
- Birthday parties and group bookings can be arranged.
The Ginger Factory is located at 50 Pioneer Road, Yandina.