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Karawatha Forest Walks

Home > Brisbane > Animals and Wildlife | Health and Fitness | Outdoor | Parks | Walks
by Roz Glazebrook (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published August 21st 2018
Get fit in the bush
Brenda, one of our bushwalking club leaders planned some walks to Karawatha Forest on the Southside of Brisbane. I went on two of these walks early on recent Sunday mornings.

Misty forest trail
Misty forest trail

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.

Early morning cobwebs

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.

Young Banksia Flower
Young Banksia Flower

We stopped for a snack on the Sandstone Boulders at Poet's rock. The bush was very quiet. There were lots of beautiful cobwebs on the ground and in the trees in the early morning mist.

Poet's Rock
Poet's Rock

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.

View from highest point
View from highest point

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.

Paperbark tree
Paperbark tree

There are so many brilliant things in the forest. I saw ant's nests, beautiful flowering plants, gorgeous trees, water holes, cobwebs and spiders and birds.

Busy Ants
Busy ants

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.

Hardenbergia flowering plant
Hardenbergia flowering plant

We saw the successful wildlife movement land-bridge linking Karawatha Forest on the southern side of Compton Road to bushland on the northern side of Compton Road.

Walkers on bridge
Walkers on bridge

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.

Karawatha Discovery Centre
Karawatha Discovery Centre

Interesting Spotty Tree
Interesting Spotty Tree
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Why? Enjoyable forest walks
When: Anytime
Where: Karawartha forest
Cost: Free
Your Comment
Looks really nice Roz
by May Cross (score: 3|8035) 1193 days ago
Lovely photos. Nice walks.
by hdona (score: 2|277) 1193 days ago
What great views Roz. Thanks
by Gillian Ching (score: 3|3590) 1192 days ago
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