Bushwalking, Birds, and Quiet Contemplation in Forestdale
When you need to recharge your batteries, but lack of time, or hot summer temperatures, make long hikes in nature unrealistic, why not consider a shorter bush walk? Greenwood Lakes at Forestdale, 32 kilometres south of Brisbane City, has a walk that is rather special. For nature lovers, there is a raised area for viewing wildlife, but a bit further along the trail, those in search of peace, will find an area that is perfect for quiet contemplation.
Greenwood Lakes - Looking towards Contemplation Point
We always start this walk from Forestdale Drive (near the corner of Paradise Road). Wandering along the concrete path through the trees, it doesn't take long to reach the first lake. The water may be muddy brown in colour, but from the raised platform, we often see birds, and on one occasion, a turtle, happily sharing the tree branch that juts out of the water. It is times like these, I wish I'd remembered to bring my binoculars.
Moving further along the path, there is a choice to be made. You can continue along the concrete path which will take you back to Paradise Road (about half a kilometre), or you can take the unsealed track that goes off to the left.
I recommend you take the unsealed track that veers off to the left. Go through the gate, and follow the track, until you come to another intersection. Turn right onto the concrete path, and head towards the water.
The stillness and serenity of the landscaped area overlooking Oxley Creek never fails to draw me in. There is a covered picnic table, along with other seats where you can sit and think, but my favourite spot is a seat at the end the boardwalk, next to a large rock bearing a plaque, with a verse by an unknown author. I call this place, Contemplation Point.
From Contemplation Point, we usually choose to prolong our bush experience, by retracing our footsteps back to where we parked the car. The total distance of this walk is around 2.3 kilometres. However, you have the option of doing a circuit, by following the mown grass path that continues past where the boardwalk ends. This will take you to a large open area of parkland, bordered in part by peoples' houses.
Please note that a section of Paradise Road (between Gardens Drive and Radius Drive) is closed to through traffic until February 2017, so access to the open part of Paradise Road near Greenwood Lakes may best be achieved by travelling along Johnson Road.