Meg Forbes is a mum, freelance writer, and photographer living in the Redlands, South of Brisbane.
Published May 26th 2020
Reconnect with nature and cultural heritage in the Redlands
Pinklands Bushland Refuge in Thornlands is part of a larger wildlife corridor that extends across a large part of Redland City, from Victoria Point to Cleveland. The formation of such corridors is vital to the conservation of South East Queensland's native wildlife during a time when human development is on the rise.
Trail through the Pinklands Bushland Refuge
Parts of the Pinklands Bushland Refuge are protected wetlands and inaccessible to bush walkers. However, there is a fairly large section that runs between the intertidal zone of Moreton Bay, the Pinklands Sporting Complex, and the Waterline Estate that is accessible and has a well-established walking trail.
Just after sunrise is a wonderful time for a walk through Pinklands Bushland Reserve
Although there are three entrances to this trail, none of them are signed. Rather, you know you are entering the reserve when you leave the concrete Moreton Bay Cycleway and turn onto a gravel track. Each of these points leave the Moreton Bay Cycleway as it skirts between the houses of the Waterline Estate and the Pinklands Bushlands Refuge, and being wide fire trails are easy to find.
One of the deviations from the paved Moreton Bay Cycleway into the Pinklands Bushland Reserve
The reserve itself is mostly paperbark riparian vegetation, although down towards the intertidal zone of Moreton Bay it becomes more marshy with some mangrove trees present. It is recommended that visitors who intend walking out onto the intertidal zone, which is quite interesting with the remnants of past farming still present, wear shoes that they don't mind getting wet.
Wallaby tracks with an old livestock fence in the background
The interior of the reserve is a haven for wildlife. Red-necked wallabies can be seen frequently, especially around dawn and dusk. Koalas are present but rarely seen, especially as they tend to sleep so high up in the trees while walkers tend to be looking down at the path. Doing so is wise, since snakes are prevalent across the Redlands, although the only one I've seen in the reserve to date was a beautiful, large carpet python.
Wildlife such as laughing kookaburras call this bushland refuge home
A wide variety of birds call the Pinklands Bushland Refuge home. Within the trees a variety of honey eaters, such as the eastern spinebill, can be seen when trees such as the banksias are flowering. Kookaburras are always present and on the hunt for their next meal. And white-bellied sea eagles are often seen soaring above the intertidal zone beyond the trees.
Many birds call Pinklands Bushland Refuge home and can be seen foraging during the day
The Pinklands Bushland Refuge is on beautiful Quandamooka Country. There are also signs of early farming by settlers in the reserve, such as old fences and the remnants of an old car.
Rusty traces of the Redlands' past are visible within the Pinklands Bushland Refuge
The walking trail is less than 2Km in total but provides a shady alternative to the section of the Moreton Bay Cycleway along the Waterline Estate. A favourite walk for many locals is to do the Moreton Bay Cycleway in one direction and return via the Pinklands Bushland Refuge trail.
Walking in the shade of these trees is pleasant even in summer
Finally, although there are no facilities in the Pinklands Bushland Refuge, part of it runs past the new Thornlands Community Park which has public toilets, water fountains, picnic tables, and BBQ shelters. Dogs are welcome in the Pinklands Bushland Refuge, providing they remain on the leash for the protection of wildlife, and the Thornlands Community Park has facilities such as poop bags and doggy drinking stations as well.
This link between the Pinklands Bushland Refuge and Moreton Bay Cycleway provides a transition from the bushland to the Thornlands Community Park