by Victoria McGuin

Usually, Explore covers wilder bush walks, waterfalls and other nature trails to delight those on foot or bike. However, the more sedate Federation Park in Palmwoods deserves its time in the spotlight. 

Tucked away behind the main thoroughfare you will find wide level open spaces to play ball games, an outdoor gym circuit, fenced dog park, children’s play area with the best swing around (it’s flat, not one of those annoying rubber curved seats where you slide into the middle!), and a perfect covered area for a barbecue with facilities recently upgraded.

In addition, you will see a 700m walkway encircling this perfectly proportioned park, which is ideal for young cyclists, kids on scooters and those who like to walk their dog on a lead on firm ground.

But the best part is hidden behind the trees on the far side… step through and you are immediately in another world. The cool shady banks of Paynter Creek await, with slippery slopes and bumpy banks to explore. 

Kids love scrambling down to the creek and crossing to the other side on the fallen trees. The creek has been low for a few years now so, although it’s advisable to have an adult near any water source, the area is not as treacherous as some other hinterland gems. 

Paynter Creek flows from the upper slopes on the Blackall Range around Montville down through this lovely park in Palmwoods, on to Woombye, the flood plains near Diddillibah, the Maroochy River and finally the sea.

Federation Park was once covered in thick forests, and the park has a Heritage Tree Walk to recognise some of these magnificent trees.  

So whether you want to kick a ball, walk the dog, cycle or have a bush adventure, this really is a place for everyone, complete with picnic tables, drinking water, and public toilets on site.

How to get there:

Travel through Palmwoods town centre, turning right onto Lingard Street, then right into Primrose Court. Directional signage will lead you to the park. There is limited parking, so you may need to access nearby on-street parking.