A freelance writer living, working and mostly playing in Brisbane and wherever the action is.
Published February 24th 2015
Get back to nature with a bushwalk in the burbs
Living and exercising in suburgatory can sometimes get you down. Your daily walk is comprised mostly of rows of houses and concrete paths leading to more rows of houses and concrete paths. But sometimes you stumble upon a hidden natural gem like Belmont Hills Reserve.
Located on the western side of the Gateway Motorway in Carindale, Belmont Hills Reserve consists of over 80 hectares of quintessential Aussie bush land. Stringy barks, gums, tallow woods and iron barks line the easy to navigate and user friendly hiking trails.
These trails have remained practically undiscovered due largely to limited public access points. Option one is a small carpark located next to a power substation on Scrub Rd near Winstanley St in Carindale. Option two is on Greendale Way near Empress Dr, also in Carindale.
Vickerman's Trail connects the two access points and offers a scenic and, at times, strenuous hike of 1.6 km one way and 3.2 km return. Fire trails and other paths also meander through The Reserve, but Vickerman's is the most appealing and clearly marked option.
No matter which access point you start from, your hike begins with a reasonably steep ascent to the top of what I presume is Belmont Hill. It's not Everest but gets the heart rate up and certainly raises a sweat. Once over the top, it's smooth sailing down the other side.
If you can ignore the distant traffic noise, it's amazing how peaceful the surrounds feel. City glimpses emerge and disappear through the eucalypts. There's a comforting feeling of being at one with nature and it's easy to imagine how the suburbs around The Reserve once mirrored its bushland aesthetic.
A few timber seats are available if a rest is required along the way. Keep an eye out for wallabies - they are a relatively common sight in The Reserve. Also, listen carefully for the wide array of birdlife.
While no formal facilities are available, it's a great place for a peaceful bush picnic. The feeling of earth beneath your feet and the refreshing smell of eucalypts certainly makes Belmont Hills Reserve a great change from your regular suburban footslog.