Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
Published May 11th 2015
An educational experience for the whole family
One of Brisbane's hidden gems can be located by taking the Dohles Rocks Road exit from the Bruce Highway into the suburb of Griffin on the Pine River where you will find Osprey House Environment Centre. There are signs along the Dohles Rocks Road; however you will come across a cross road that has a sign "No Through Road" and you will need to keep driving straight ahead down Dohles Rocks Road passing beautiful countryside and acreage properties.
Osprey House Environment Centre is owned and now fully funded by the Moreton Bay Regional Council and operated by trained and enthusiastic volunteers. It all began in 1994 when the Pine Rivers Council commissioned consultants EDAW to prepare an Environmental Assessment Management Study over Mango Hill and Griffin. Two councillors Jeremy Ryman and Bev McClymont came up with the idea of an environment education centre not only locals but for visitors as well. The centre was built on a neglected piece of road reserve abutting the Pine Estuary and was opened to the public on 18th March 1996. Funding for the project came from the local Council and Federal Government.
On opening the centre was complete with boardwalks, amphitheatre, bird nesting boxes, hollow log homes and later extended to include BBQ and picnic table and chairs and play area for children. Small plaques along the boardwalks depict the trees in the area, the mangroves and bird species. A large bird watching building is at the end of one boardwalk and it is big enough to hold a group of enthusiasts or school children on an excursion. There is plenty of seating along the boardwalks and at the end of the boardwalks where you can sit for hours soaking up nature at its best.
In August 2006 the Pine Rivers Shire Council installed a man-made nesting platform at the eastern end of the car park. The platform was built on a 21 metre high pole providing a safe nesting place. The platform is equipped with a monitoring camera which allows the public to watch birds in natural nesting roost. A monitor is located inside Osprey House to view the birds or a video is available on their website of recent nestings.
The centre is continually being extended and now is equipped with a 32 seat theatrette for viewing of environmental programs, meetings and workshops with toilet facilities and is wheelchair friendly. The car park is bitumen and can easily accommodate buses and cars.
The centre is open seven days a week from 10.00am to 4.00pm. However it is probably best to ring ahead as the house was not open in the morning of Mother's Day on Sunday when I was there and as it is run by the courtesy of volunteers, you don't want to be disappointed. Minor refreshments are available for purchase.
Numerous bird species can be seen around the centre
Opsrey House are always looking for keen people who would like to become a volunteer. No experience is necessary as training will be provided although you will need to obtain a Blue Card and the centre can assist you with your application. If you wish to become a volunteer you could ring the Volunteer Co-ordinator on 0417 627 039.