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Get out and explore your own backyard

EXPLORE: Ripley has lots of pathways and parklands for residents to discover.
EXPLORE: Ripley has lots of pathways and parklands for residents to discover. Contributed

ALL of us lead busy lifestyles with work, sport or school schedules and the commute to and from each day.

It is important we find the time to connect with one another, and carve out a reliable pocket of time to engage in family fun.

With more families moving to the Ripley region each week, Ripley is fast becoming a destination that is catering for the varied interests and lifestyles of all ages. There are plenty of opportunities for rest, relaxation, play and quality time with family, friends and loved ones.

The picturesque and tranquil landscape of Ripley, with the Bundamba Creek running through the rolling hills that were once farmland, is the perfect backdrop for an afternoon stroll. I often see families, individuals and couples with dogs using the pathways to walk and decompress after a long day, or to start the day with a dose of serenity.

Whilst walking, it is not unusual to sight an abundance of flora and fauna, with kangaroos, brush-tailed rock wallabies and koalas a consistent feature in the region.

Dog lovers can find the newly opened Pebbles Park in their strolls, with park facilities onsite to meet everyone's needs including the region's first dog park, a full basketball court, playground facility, hand-ball court and a lush, green-grassed area perfect to kick a soccer ball or have a game of cricket.

If adventure is more in line with your goals for a weekend activity, White Rock at the Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is a short distance away and offers multiple walking tracks for Ripley residents to explore.

The idea of technology abandonment maybe too much for your teenagers to bear, so why not download the Naeus Explore app, a local initiative designed to encourage visitors to discover natural areas of Ipswich. The app has a built in GPS, with guided maps for walking tracks that includes distance and grading information. Using the app, you can explore the history of White Rock, track your progress and snap and share photos of your trek. Pack a gourmet picnic and turn your trek into a memorable activity that ticks all the boxes.

Continuing along to South Ripley and the Splash 'n' Play Water Park has become a popular activity for children of all ages. The water play features and fountains of the Splash 'n' Play and provide hours of fun. The park includes giant twisty tube slides, a sky tower, a flying fox, an elevated rope walk suspended in mid-air and a climbing net. There are plenty of opportunities for mums and dads to interact with the equipment designed with full family interaction in mind, or they can choose to relax and enjoy refreshments from the Forty West Cafe and Bar next door.

If you are looking for more ideas to help with planning your weekend and holiday travels and activities, Discover Ipswich is a fabulous website that will connect you with all that is happening in Ripley and the wider region.

Take advantage of the beautiful landscape and the mild weather that autumn brings, and get out amongst the many natural, free and fun places to explore in Ripley.

Ripley Today