There are two main entrances to Karawartha Forest. The south side from Illaweena Street in Calamvale/Drewvale, or the north side from Compton Road in Stretton. There are eight walking tracks all together in the forest ranging from 1 km to 2.5 km in length. All tracks are an easy grade except for the Rocks Circuit, which is graded moderate as it contains steps.
We started our first walk from the Karawartha Forest, Acacia Road picnic area, off Compton Road. This area has picnic shelters, tables and barbeques in a large, open, green space. There is a nature play space for families and the Karawartha Discovery Centre here as well as toilets.
It was very beautiful walking through the forest with fog all around us. We joined up a few different tracks and walked a total of around ten kilometres. We started off on the Ironbark Circuit which gave us an overview of the plants in the forest. Then we went on the Wallam track past the Frog Hollow Boardwalk, which is a wetland heath area, which has one of the forest's best frog habitats. We then walked on the Banksia Track and saw some Banksias beginning to flower.
After morning tea we joined the Rocks track and stopped on a high rocky outcrop for a good view. It was cool and fresh.
After this walk, we visited the Discovery Centre which had lots of interesting information about the forest and the creatures that live there. We learned the Forest contains a variety of habitats including eucalypt forest, heathland, wetlands and freshwater lagoons. It is home to more than 320 plant species and over 100 birds. It also has squirrel gliders, greater gliders, koalas and the green-thighed frog living there. The forest is also home to wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos.
Our second walk, a week later, was very different. This time we met at the Illaweena Picnic Area via Illaweena Street. There was a lot of rubbish lying around on the ground in the carpark here and we collected a lot of it while waiting for the rest of our group to arrive.
It was a hot day and we walked along some dirt roads which were more open. I preferred the previous week's walk, where we stayed mostly in the forest. We did see some nice freshwater lagoons with reflections on the water on the Melaleuca Circuit. We climbed to the highest point in the park on the Curtisii Trail with views overlooking the whole area. There were also lots of flowers coming out as spring is only a couple of weeks away.
The bark of stringybark trees is so thick that tree frogs have been known to survive bushfires by squeezing between the protective layers.
Our main walk on this trip was on the Wild May track which winds around the heart of the Scrubby Creek area and the lagoons where the beautiful Wild May shrub is commonly found. We headed towards the heart of the forest, using a network of tracks and through a lot of different vegetation.
Karawatha Forest Park is located 18 kilometres south of Brisbane's CBD adjoining Compton Road at Karawatha and Kuraby. The forest is approximately 900 hectares in size and is one of the largest areas of remnant bushland within Brisbane city.
Karawatha forest is a lovely place for a walk. There is a choice of short or longer tracks. We are very lucky in Brisbane to have such beautiful natural areas to walk in so close to the city. The tracks are well marked and you can combine them to make a longer walk.