The peninsula of Redcliffe north of Brisbane is home to a number of family-friendly recreational activities, and playgrounds dot the parks that front the water. Today, we met up with another travelling family at Settlement Cove Lagoon — a public pool with water features, playgrounds, barbecues and shelters.

Finding Settlement Cove Lagoon was a bit difficult in the beginning. It’s nestled against the waters of Moreton Bay at the base of the cliff and not visible from Redcliffe Parade. I gambled successfully by parking the car at Charlish Park and then asked a local for directions.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
The pool features sloping entries, shallow pools around the edge and a maximum depth of 1.7 metres in the centre.

Delaney at Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
A separate, fenced toddler pool has mushroom fountains and critters to sit on.

Girls playing at Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
Delaney and Calista explore the toddler pool together. They are pairing up more and more often for games and adventures.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
Smooth rocks line different sections of the pool, providing almost-irresistible jumping-off points that necessitate repeated public-safety announcements.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
Calista uses the rocks as stepping-stones to cross to the other side of the lagoon.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
As we play at Settlement Cove Lagoon, storm clouds start to position themselves overhead.

It was wonderful to see the Mackay family again. We’ve been online friends for a while and then I first got to meet them at Elijah’s unfuneral. We share a common perspective on spiritual matters and gentle parenting (after both transitioning from an initial conservative hard-line). I appreciate having like-minded friends whose children are older than ours — they gives me an example of how to parent teens respectfully.

Australian full-time travellers Mike and Sarah Mackay with their children, September 2012
Mike and Sarah Mackay live on the road full-time with their seven children: Jasmine (15), Jessica (14), Chana (10), Susannah (4), Gabrielle (6), Jireh (2) and Chantel (12).

Chantel Mackay, September 2012
Chantel plays with the waterproof camera.

Chantel Mackay, September 2012
The underwater photos look great!

Calista Mae Fisher, 4yo, September 2012
Calista is gaining confidence in the water and will soon be swimming independently.

Aisha and Brioni feed the ibis at Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
Aisha and Brioni feed the birds (tuppence a bag). I love the way they have developed a caring attitude towards all animals.

Settlement Cove Lagoon, Redcliffe, September 2012
When the lightning and thunder starts, the lifeguards instruct everyone to exit the water.

After the wind blew in from Moreton Bay, the chill overtook our conversation, and we decided to retreat to our vehicles. I envy the Mackay’s bus-life… ours is yet to start!

Mackay's housebus, September 2012
We visit the Mackays in their housebus — it feels like home, and increases my yearning to be on the road.

Sarah Mackay and Lauren Fisher, September 2012
Sarah is such an encouragement to me. She and Mike have lost one daughter after child-birth, and so she shares the pain of the grieving with me.

Settlement Cove Lagoon was a perfect place to hang out as a family. It’s been wonderful to connect with such a lovely family again, and we look forward to meeting up one day further down the road!