The Ben Bennett Bushland Park is one of the few remaining remnant bushland areas in the heart of Caloundra, with a number of varying ecosystems that can be explored including eucalyptus, heath and rainforest systems.
Little boxes with maps detailing the self-guided walks - Image: Elaine de Wet
I had missed my cycling session at the gym and so decided a meander through the Ben Bennett Bushland Park would more than make up for my omitted exercise time. On entering at the Queen Street entrance, one can find maps detailing the self-guided walks that range from 800m to 1100m return, offering the Rainforest Trail and the Eucalypt Trail. To be honest these were the only two brochures still available. If there are any others, I'm not sure.
Glossy Black Cockatoo Habitat, I only saw Black Crows - Image: Elaine de Wet
This Bushland Park is supposedly a great place for bird watching and even boasts being the habitat for the Glossy Black Cockatoo. As one of my main reasons for walking is to listen to the bird-song, I must admit that we were deeply disappointed. The Park was very quiet - almost too quiet - except for the squawking of the crows. I have never seen such big crows; they could have been black ostriches - over-exaggeration, I know - but I think that perhaps they are fed by picnickers, hence their size.
The Fern undergrowth was pretty impressive - Image: Elaine de Wet
Anyway, we persisted and continued with our walk, determined to do the longest circuit we could find on the map, only to find that this whole Bushland Park is in dire need of some TLC - tender loving care. It's showing serious signs of neglect overall and is very dismal in comparison to all the other bushland parks I have visited on the Sunshine Coast.
The pathways were marked to indicate which trail to follow and I did enjoy the Scribbly Gum Woodland. Did you know that these zigzag tracks are tunnels made by the larvae of the scribbly gum moth and actually follow the insect's life cycle? Some wildflowers were also starting to show themselves, though these were a bit on the scant side as well.
Picnic Spots were in a good condition - Image: Elaine de Wet
The picnic areas were in better shape than the actual bushland, with undercover tables and seating, barbecues and toilet facilities with a good parking area at the entrance. Our furry family members are also permitted here as long as they're on a leash.
The lack-lustre bird life or fauna of any kind would definitely put the brakes on a revisit from me.
I'm not sure what park you visited, but the Ben Bennett Park I went to not long ago was absolutely beautiful, displaying a wide range of natural vegetation just like it used to be way before the coast became developed. The VOLUNTEERS who give up their time to look after this park do an amazing job as I couldn't spot even one feral plant. The paths are so well maintained and so clearly signed. It's an absolute credit to them. Also, crows are native birds to whether you like them or not. Sometimes when they are around other birds make themselves scarce as crows attack them and prey on their nests. As for Black Cockatoos, the season for them on the coast has only just barely started. I saw my first ones for the season yesterday. I can't understand this terribly negative review and such a pity it has been published as other people might believe it's true.