The Samford region lies to the northwest of Brisbane and is made up of Samford Village and Samford Valley. A picturesque and hilly area, Samford was first settled in the mid-1850s and is now a place many hobby farmers call home, being one of the closest semi-rural acreage townships to Brisbane.
It’s located close to the city, but feels a world away with its rolling hills, wide, open spaces and country charm. Samford has managed to maintain a buzz around its café scene, so you’ll find yourself wanting to linger longer for a second coffee before wandering next door to the local produce shop for some of Samford’s freshest food. You’ll be keenly aware of the community vibe in Samford, with real country hospitality around every corner and over every hill.
Samford’s welcoming atmosphere, natural beauty and proximity to both Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast make it a great place to stop for the day, night or even longer. Many a day tripper has found themselves wanting to make a life here with so many eclectic things to do in Samford and its surrounding areas.
A trip to Samford and back can quite easily be done in half a day, but with so much to do in and around the village, solo travellers, couples and families may like to set aside a full day to explore the hidden gems in the area and simply enjoy the scenic, countryside drive. We’ve compiled a few ideas so you can ‘choose your own adventure’…
Samford has got something for everyone. Here’s a snapshot of what you will find in this picturesque little pocket of Moreton bay Region’s hinterland:
The Samford Farmer’s Markets are held every second Saturday from 7am, in the grounds of the historic St Paul’s Anglican Church at 12 Mount Samson Rd. Caffeinate yourself awake with organic coffee and fill your lungs with fresh country air as you make your way through up to 50 stalls. A percentage of stall-holders fees go to a different charity each month, so come and support local growers, producers, bakers and pastry chefs.
For foodie things to do in Samford, The Flying Nun Cafe is an absolute must. This unique café is tucked inside a renovated old uniting church complete with stained glass windows and other vestiges harking back to its original purpose as a place of worship. These days though, the only thing worshipped at The Flying Nun is incredible food. This is a great brekky, lunch and dinner spot and arguably Samford’s top place for affordable gourmet dining. The Flying Nun’s inspired menu serves up modern Australian staples with a twist and a few choice international options, using only the best, fresh local produce.
The Samford Museum is a real treat for people of all ages, providing a truly fascinating look at an era that is all but forgotten now, with its collection of objects from the district’s rural, domestic, educational, railway, timber, transport and village past. The Samford Museum provides a wonderful opportunity for history buffs young and old to truly experience bygone times. You can pop into the blacksmith’s workshop, or check out the diorama of local aboriginal tribes. The kids will be fascinated to see the slab and shingle school, imaging what life was like before computers and iPads as they attempt to use a slate pencil.
Here’s a true rustic experience from days gone by. From the gum tree slab walls to the yellow gum floorboards and corrugated iron roof, when you step inside the Slab Hut Art and Craft Gallery you’ll feel like you’re stepping back in time.
Home to the Samford Art and Craft Association, you’ll be delighted by the array of works including knitted and crocheted pieces, hand painted glassware, pottery, ceramics, jewellery and more.
For things to do in Samford for the kids, make a pitstop at John Scott Park. This grassy expanse is located at the old Samford railway station site (opposite Flying Nun Café). It has a play train for kids to explore as well as a complex climbing structure for the older ones and plenty of space to kick a ball around.
The health, home and garden orientated Lifestyle Centre at Samford is a wonderful indoor and outdoor shopping and dining hotspot perfect for green thumbs, pet owners and families. It is home to a garden centre, plant nursery, florist, gift shop, doggy grooming service, pet accessory shop, pre-schooler playground, artist gallery, and even a café with an exclusive menu just for dogs (Café Lagarto), amongst other boutique shops.
Samford Conservation Park is a pleasant and easily accessible nature paradise for outdoor things to do in Samford. It’s ideal for picnics and BBQs, horse riding, bush walking and mountain bike riding. The park is part of the ‘Mangroves to Mountains’ nature corridor which connects remnant bushland from the D’Aguilar Range through the suburbs into Moreton Bay Region, protecting vital wildlife habitats.
The Samford Valley Heritage Trail is the best way to truly immerse yourself in everything this historical hamlet has to offer. There are 13 sites to visit along the way, including the Slab Hut Art and Craft Gallery, Samford Museum and John Scott Park.
The 8.3km Samford Valley Rail Trail is a shared, North Brisbane bike paths recreational cycling and walking trail beginning at Ferny Grove Railway Station and continuing towards Samford Valley along Lanita Rd. The sealed, mostly flat trail (also known as Samford to Ferny Grove Cycle Link) is well-maintained and clearly sign-posted. Perfect for a cycling adventure, or hike.
Samford Conservation Park’s Lomandra Day-Use Area carpark is an ideal starting point for exploring the Samford Valley Rail Trail.
Check out what’s happening at Samford Commons while you’re in town. The Commons is an emerging creative precinct for the arts and the environment; science and technology; and innovation in business networking, urban farming, health, education, tourism and wellbeing.
Run by a community owned, not-for-profit company, Samford Commons is a provider of hands-on activities for members, and also hosts a few festivals and expos throughout the year for locals and visitors to enjoy.
After you’ve experienced Samford’s delights, hop back in the car and take a drive through the rural and forested areas around Samford to discover more hidden hinterland gems:
For animal-centric things to do in Samford, families can combine a village visit with a trip to Trevena Glen Farm situated on 22 acres of land in the foothills of the D’Aguilar Range, just a 10-minute drive from Samford Village.
You can book in for a horse riding lesson, tailored farm experience or tour and if your child has a birthday coming up, Trevena Glen Farm can even throw you a party!
Call Trevena on 07 3289 4257, or 0413 461 136 to enquire.
Please note: The much loved Farm Open Days have been cancelled as of late February 2017 until further notice, so please check their website for updates.
For splashingly fun things to do in Moreton Bay region’s hinterland, check out Cedar Creek near Samford. This creek is brimming with rock pools, waterfalls and wildlife, just a 20 minute drive from Samford Village.
The winding and hilly Cedar Creek Road runs alongside this meandering creek, criss-crossing it several times. You’ll come across numerous amazing little spots to stop for a picnic and a paddle. You may even spot a platypus if you’re lucky!
A very shallow spot for the little ones to get their toes wet can be found in Andy Williams Park, with another toddler hotspot found at Halls Road Crossing. Deeper rock pools are located further along. You can park at the end of Cedar Creek Road and follow the creek for another 800 metres by foot to discover a few deeper, swimmable waterholes.
Be aware that there are privately owned blocks peppered along the creek south of the car park, which you are not legally permitted to enter. Please abide by the signage and do not trespass.
For those coming from Brisbane city, you can take the longer, but visually spectacular route, driving along Waterworks Road and through Mt Nebo, or the shorter more direct route by taking Samford Road, through suburban Ferny Grove.
If travelling from the direction of the Sunshine Coast, you can shoot down the Bruce Highway, taking the Brendale exit onto Linkfield Rd (last exit before hitting the first set of city traffic lights), through Eatons Hill.
If you’d rather a lengthy scenic drive from the north, then you can spend 2 hours driving through Beerwah, Woodford, Mount Mee, Dayboro, Clear Mountain and a few other hinterland suburbs on your way to Samford.