Animals,  Eating out,  Free to do,  Nature play

The Historic Rivermill

One of our favourite Gold Coast adventures is a visit to the Historic Rivermill! Nestled in the picturesque Mt Nathan Shire, it’s only 10 minutes inland from Nerang and a VERY popular spot with families. The Rivermill is part café, part animal farm and part museum (a small one), meaning it’s a great way to spend a few hours and occupy a variety of age groups.

When you arrive at the Rivermill after the scenic drive, you’ll find there is ample parking and is both pram and wheelchair friendly – everything is on one level, and there are small ramps to help get over any bumps in the old buildings. While it doesn’t look like much on arrival, the back deck of the Rivermill is where you want to be. A huge deck fits a large crowd for breakfast, lunch, coffee or cake, and the views over the river instantly make you relax and smile.

The menu is small, but the food is extremely fresh and tasty. There is also a very popular scones with jam and cream on the menu, and a cake cabinet worthy of a review of its own. While the children’s meals include the usual things like chicken nuggets, they are homemade and very tasty and nutritious. On weekends when it’s busy there can be a bit of a wait for food, but they are pretty good at bringing children’s meals out quickly and there is a children’s corner with some toys and colouring things to keep them occupied.

The animals are definitely what makes this place so popular with the kids though. In the river there are so many little turtles, all of which swim straight over as soon as people appear on the jetty. You can see all their little heads popping out of the water here, there and everywhere! There is also a large enclosure that you are allowed to go into where deer, llamas, goats and a pig live – all of which are very friendly and very hungry! Be sure to look out for the chickens and rooster roaming the premises, they are particularly fond of a hot chip or two straight from the hands of unsuspecting little children – Master A got a fright when one jumped up and snatched it from his hand while he was sitting in his high chair!

With so much open space it is a great opportunity to just sit back, relax in the sun and let the kids run around. The water is open, so supervision is required, but it was lovely to see families sitting in the grass chatting together while kids did cartwheels or hung over the edge of the jetty spotting turtles. Good old fashioned family fun!

We really do enjoy a visit here and it’s a great spot to take out-of-towner’s for something a bit different. I look forward to seeing how Master A enjoys different things each time too as he grows up.

Need to know:


Opening hours: 7 days, 7am to 4pm. Check their Facebook page before visiting as sometimes they are closed for private events (weddings etc.)

Location: 950 Beaudesert Nerang Road, Mount Nathan Qld 4211