This place is truly at my back yard. Karawatha forest was here a long time before I arrived but it is only in recent months that I have started exploring and enjoying this wonderful bushland. Initially it was a great area to walk my dog Buddy and for us to enjoy the natural area while both of us enjoying fresh air and great exercise.
Recently, while my friends were visiting, we went to the forest a couple of times to explore plus we joined a 2 hour guided walk through the bush one Sunday morning. These guided walks are conducted regularly. You can find the information on the website. When I was growing up on the northern beaches of Sydney this type of area was “my back yard” and although I had spent many hours there I realised there was just so much more that I learned on this guided walk. Karawatha Forest contains mainly open eucalypt forest with areas of heath, wetland and woodlands.
There are plenty of bushwalking paths which are well-signed making it very easy to explore and design your own walks.
Karawatha Forest Park is about 18 kilometres south of Brisbane’s CBD, is approximately 900 hectares in size and is one of the largest areas of remnant bushland within the city. Karawatha Forest Park has a range of walking tracks and trails and you can download maps from the site of the Karawatha Protection Society to see the wetlands, track locations, grading and length of the tracks.
We were delighted when we arrived at the area known as Poet’s Rock with its sandstone ridges and scenic outlook over the forest and in the distance we could see Brisbane city.
Due to the large size of Karawatha Forest Park, and the variety of habitats it contains,this forest is a very important refuge for over 200 species of wildlife, including a number of threatened or endangered species such as the greater glider, squirrel glider and rare frogs. The forest also supports rednecked wallabies, swamp wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos, possums, bats, parrots and owls. The birdlife is the most visible in the forest – over 100 bird species have been found.
Inside the Karawatha Forest, just off the Acacia Street entrance there is ample parking, which is a few meters from the Discovery Centre which is open Tuesday to Sunday from 9am – 4pm. The Forest Discovery Centre is so well thought-out. Interactive exhibits teach you about the local wildlife – from frog calls, to invasive weeds and a bird’s eye view of the forest. There are books and craft activities for children to engage with, plenty of buttons to press and lots for the older visitor too. They have packed a lot of information into a small space and delivered it in a fantastically accessible way.
Adjacent to the discovery centre there are large picnic areas with free bbq’s, picnic tables and benches, lots of grassy places to relax or play. There are plenty of public toilets and there is an amazing nature play area for the kids.
Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre has been really well planned and there’s something there for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds so whether you’re a young family, backpacker or seasoned bushwalker there’s plenty to enjoy. You could easily bring a picnic and spend all day or just pop in for a quick walk.