Samford Valley’s past attractions

News from the Samford Museum

An image from ‘Adventureland’ that used to be situated in Samford Valley

Decades ago, Samford was home to a variety of tourist attractions. There was Adventureland, Samford Valley Riding Centre, The Pines, Samford Valley Country and Golf Club, Go Kart Track, Bobsled and Grass Ski.

Samford Valley Riding Centre was in Reiners Road in the late 1980s to early 1990s. Glen Dawson, also known as ‘Smokey’, was the owner and Malcolm Smith was his general hand. Opposite to the riding centre was Samford Valley Country and Golf Club. 

Moonlight rides and two-day Escape Rides through Brisbane Forest Park to Fernvale were very popular. 

‘Smokey” at the Samford Valley Riding Centre

Going on the moonlight rides up House Mountain along the fire trails on full moon nights was magic. You could see the sparks coming from the shoes of horses in front as they climbed. Brisbane’s lights were also very clear from this vantage point.  Back at the centre there was a bar built with bush timber and corrugated iron. Visitors could sit on logs around the camp fire for a sing-along and yarned, sometimes until early morning.  

Well signposted trails within the property ensured a rider could safely take a lone ride.  

Smokey organised an Ironman competition at Samford Show. Each competitor had to lie on the ground in his swag and when it was time to go he had to jump up, put on his boots, catch his horse and then jump two obstacles. There were two stations to get to.  At the first, the competitor had to eat a cold pie; at the second, drink a hot stubbie that had been sitting in the sun, before jumping back on his horse. As they went over the last hay bale they had to crack the whip. Prize money was donated and awarded by Smokey. 

If any readers have memories of visiting or photos of any of the attractions mentioned above, Samford Museum would love to hear from you. You can get in touch via email at or visit the museum on Wednesdays or Sundays from 10am – 4pm.

Subscribe to our Newsletter

Join our newsletter and get news in your inbox every week!

Newsletter SignupDon't miss any of our latest local news again.

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter below and never miss the latest news or an exclusive offer.