A mum who uses adventures and outings around town as an excuse to avoid the housework.
Published July 3rd 2016
A great day outdoors and indoors at Karawatha Forest Park
The Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre is Brisbane's newest environmental education centre. The centre aims to educate visitors about local ecosystems, important habitats, and the significant contribution Karawatha Forest plays in maintaining biodiversity. There is something here for all ages and all interests. It's interactive, informative and fun as everything is designed to encourage active participation.
Learn about the local frog populations as soon as you step inside the Discovery Centre. The interactive frog habitat floor projection responds to your movements, leaving ripples across the water's surface and scattering frogs across the pond as visitors walk through.
Identify the calls of the local frog inhabitants, and learn more about their adaptations and life-cycles at the audio visual wall. Test your skills to see if you are up for the frog jumping wall challenge.
Do you know your frogs from your toads?
Venture into the sculptural forest discovery area. Here you'll need to use your sense of sight, touch, hearing, and even smell to explore scribbly gum hidey-holes, empty logs, and termite mounds to discover who lives in the forest. Remember to look up, down, and all around, to learn about forest dwellers and the forces that shape their habitats. You might even spy some well-camouflaged real-life creatures living here.
Inside the sculptural forest discovery area
The forest is transformed at night giving rise to nocturnal animals, as displayed in the night-time audio visual experience room. Visitors can become immersed in a 24-hour period of the forest. From daybreak, to dusk, complete with an evening storm, clearing to a starlit sky. Not only does it look and sound realistic, but it also feels realistic when vents blow cool air into the room during the storm.
Dawn in the audio-visual experience room (much better in person than in photos)
Experience Karawatha Forest from a bird's eye view. Visitors can lie down or sit back to watch the treetops, wetlands, neighbouring roads and visitors in the park.
One of the virtual reality experiences giving you a birds-eye view of Karawatha Forest
It was particularly impressive to see that kids are well catered for at the Karawatha Discovery Centre. We visited during school holidays so there were additional activities running for kids of all ages. Soft toys of native Australian animals and classic Aussie children's reading books filled the nook marked with comfy chairs and spongy bean bags. A craft and activity table beckoned kids to explore their creative side. The computer pod was also popular. Many exhibits were placed low or on the ground inviting youngsters to get up close with nature.
A great place for kids to hang out
Getting closer to nature
Cool graphic designs capture the attention of older kids without them realising they are learning
When you're ready to experience the great outdoors there is plenty to explore in Karawatha Forest Park. Just outside the doors of the Discovery Centre is the Karawatha Nature Play Space where kids are encouraged to run, balance, traverse and climb amongst play structures which are nature-based. The large green space picnic lawn and picnic areas with tables, shelters and free barbecues are a great place to stop for a relaxing bite to eat. For the more active types there are numerous walking tracks throughout Karawatha Forest.
Part of the Karawatha Nature Play Space
The Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre is free to enter and is open to all visitors Tuesday to Sunday from 9am to 4pm. There is plenty of parking available close to the centre along with overflow parking nearby. The Discovery Centre is wheel chair accessible and many of the Forest Park pathways have recently been upgraded to allow access. Toilets, barbeques, and shelters are provided for visitors. For further information about the Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre, including upcoming events, Artist in Residence, school educational programs, or to book a meeting room please contact the centre or check the Brisbane City Council Website.