Learn about the Quarry Men of Anstead on a fascinating walk
Anstead Bushland Reserve sits on 80 hectares of land, just 20 kilometres South West of Brisbane's city centre. This 3 kilometre walk combined two of my favourite things: learning and walking. I got to learn a little more about the fascinating history of Brisbane, and the opportunity to walk along some beautiful bushland trails.
We travelled from Brisbane via Moggill Road, then Mt Crosby Road. Shortly after turning onto Hawkesbury Road, we saw a sign for Anstead Bushland Reserve on our right. Inside, there was plenty of off-road parking, as well as picnic tables and barbecues under cover, plus toilets. On our first trip here a couple of years ago, we stumbled across the quarry by accident, and what a lovely surprise it was. Signage still isn't great. There were two small 'Walking Track' markers located fairly close together, near the picnic tables closest to the carpark. We took the track on the left.
We meandered through open bushland, noting that the track ran roughly parallel to Hawkesbury Road. After walking under some power lines, we crossed a small bridge, and continued on until we reached a sealed track. This is shown on the map as Quarry Access Road.
At the bottom, we spent time enjoying the view. Following this, we wandered around the quarry, soaking up history. The area is like an amphitheatre with its high rock walls, and it was easy to feel as though I had travelled back through time to the late 1800s, when Thomas Sugars first started mining basalt. Tragically, he lost his son Frederick in a rock fall here, but fences have been erected to prevent something like that happening again.
We retraced our footsteps, turning left when we reached the sealed section of Quarry Access Road. Shortly after, we spotted a lookout to our left. The viewing platform was more elaborate than the one below, but we actually saw less of the quarry and the river, due to trees which blocked the view. The best thing was the information board covering the history of this area. It had some great photographs. Looking into the faces of the men who worked in the quarry, really brought their history to life.
This track was delightful. There was lots of bird life, and butterflies, with small plaques identifying various plants and what they were used for (food; medicine; tools). At a crossroads, we continued straight (going left will take you on a longer, but less interesting walk). Further along, a wooden bench seat had been thoughtfully placed alongside the track for rest. Eventually, we arrived back at the car park.