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Bluewater Festival is Good Friday Fun in Shorncliffe

Looking for family fun over the Easter holiday? Look no further than Shorncliffe’s Bluewater Festival! Perfect for the entire family – including your furry friends – it is a great day out on the Shorncliffe waterfront filled with food, markets, performances, and rides.

Run by the Sandgate Camber of Commerce, 2024 is the 75th annual Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race, with the first being held in 1949! The Bluewater festival has been running since 1997 and has grown to be a beloved Good Friday event.

In brief:

  • Thursday 28 – 4pm – 8pm & Friday 29 – 9:30am – 8pm
  • Moora Park, Shorncliffe
  • Food and market stalls
  • Rides and workshops for kids
  • Child and dog friendly
  • Free

What do I need to know about the festival?

Bluewater Festival sideshow
Bluewater Festival sideshow

From Thursday 28 to Friday 29 March, the Bluewater Festival is located in Moora Park, Shorncliffe – just across from St Patrick’s College in the northern, bayside suburbs of Brisbane.

Use our handy map to navigate your way to Shorncliffe and the festival.

Thursday’s festivities kick off at 4pm and finish at 8pm, with a focus on live music, good food, and even better company!

Friday has an earlier start at 9:30am to an 8pm finish with fireworks. Friday has performances, market stalls, kids workshops, and rides along with food.

It’s definitely recommended that you get there earlier in the morning, or later in the afternoon, since parking is a bit scarce. If you don’t mind a walk, you can park near the Sandgate Pool and walk down lover’s walk on the waterfront.

To get from parking to the festival itself is quite a steep hill, or stairs, so if you have a child in a pram or use a mobility aid, it is recommended that you take the waterfront path as it is flat and easy to get through.


There are quite a few amenities located in Moora Park which are very helpful to know about!
Public bathrooms, and portable toilets.

  • Benches and tables – though, they fill up quick, so camping chairs or a picnic blanket is a must!
  • Taps, showers, and bubblers.

Food and fun

The Bluewater Festival has plenty of food stalls, markets, and activities! Some of the highlights are:

The yacht race


Marking the start of the Brisbane to Gladstone yacht race, the Shorncliffe pier is the perfect spot to watch the start of the race, with it officially kicking off at 11am.

Carnival rides

Dodgem cars, haunted house, games and more: the rides are great fun for older kiddies who like a bit of a thrill!

The park and playground

Moora Park has a wonderful playground, with climbing, swings, slides, and obstacle courses, perfect for kids who love to play! Just be careful of all the sand and bark. We wrote a detailed review about the Moora Park playground here.

The beach

Bluewater Festival train
Bluewater Festival train

Right across from the park, next to the pier, is a beautiful beach. The calm and mellow water makes it perfect for kids, just make sure you bring a towel and spare clothes. This beach even made our ‘Best Beaches of Brisbane‘ article!

And of course, who can forget about the most important part:

The food!

There are plenty of amazing choices to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters – with the Sandgate famous London Spuds, potato twists, and what’s a festival without dagwood dogs? With savoury lunch foods, sweets and desserts, snacks, and drinks like iced tea and slushies, there’s plenty of options with a range of flavours and ethnic origins so leave those lunchboxes at home.

Families tip: make sure you bring a water bottle and make ample use of the water bubblers around Moora Park.

Official program for the Bluewater Festival

Bluewater Festival water view

Friday sees nine fantastic performances along with the official opening of the festival! These events start at 11:30am and the festival comes to a close with fireworks at 7.30pm.

10:45 – 11am Pier Gathering
11:00 – 11:30am Race Starts
11:30 – 11:40am Official Opening – including:- Head of Chamber of Commerce: Bill Gollan, Town Cryer, Pete Vance: Opening Song and the Easter Bunny
11:40 – 12pm Dublin Rose
12:10 – 12:45pm Harry Phillips
12:55 – 1:35pm Ange Whitley
1:45 – 2:45pm ABBA Girls
2:55 – 3:55pm Aussie Aussie Aussie
4:00 – 4:40pm Nik Phillips: 70’s Unplugged Show
4:50 – 5:50pm Rock Godz & Mirror Ballz
6:05 – 7:30pm Creedence the John Fogerty Show
7.30 – Bayfire Full Moon Hotel Fireworks

Families tip for parents

If you are heading to the festival this year, we have some insider tip for you!

The festival gets very busy, with crowds of people and dogs, so make sure you keep an eye on your little ones. Also, make sure they have a hat! There are large trees which provide shade, but those spots fill up very quickly. While talking about the trees – please keep your kids off them – there is enough space to climb on the playground!

Are you coming this year?

The Bluewater Festival is a great way to spend time with the family on Good Friday and starts off the Easter Weekend with a bang. It’s definitely worth checking out and spending the day at!

Photo of author

Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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