Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre

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Posted 2024-04-20 by Roz Glazebrookfollow

Wildlife Encounters at Walkabout Creek


Billy the wombat having a drink of water


I’ve been going to Walkabout Creek at Enoggera Dam for many years, but until recently I’d never paid to go down into the Discovery Centre. I went down there last week with a Swiss student who is staying with my friend while she studies English. We had already walked the five-kilometre Araucaria track and had a swim and coffee.

Bush stone curlews

The Enoggera Dam was constructed in 1866, as part of an early scheme of setting up water supply systems in key towns in Queensland. There are only remnants left of the other dams constructed during this era at Ipswich, Warwick, and Maryborough. Enoggera Dam is the only one that remains intact and operational. It is important as the first major dam built in Queensland. The cost of construction was approximately £65,000.

Enoggera dam


Before the dam was built, Brisbane's main source of water was a small and heavily polluted dam across Wheat Creek, which flowed through the centre of the settlement. Enoggera Dam was one of the earliest major dams to be built in Australia. It was a conventional nineteenth century clay cored earth fill dam, designed and built by Joseph Brady. A spillway was added in 1976.

Central netted dragon

People have been going to Enoggera Dam for picnics for a very long time. Way back in the 1880s, they used to go by horse and buggy. Now people go by bus or car, or if they live around the Gap area, they can walk there.

Picnic at Enoggera Reservoir Brisbane 1896. State Library of Qld


The dam is very popular with walkers, swimmers, kayakers, stand-up paddle boarders, birdwatchers and picnickers.

Cunningham's Skink


Walkabout Creek is at 60 Mount Nebo Road, Enoggera Reservoir. You can get a bus close to the area too.

Python


It was wonderful to see many Australian Native animals in the enclosures. Many of the creatures are nocturnal so you wouldn’t normally see them in the wild unless you were out spotlighting. The normal price is around $8 and is well worth it. There are also student and pensioner discounts for around $6 and family prices.

Emus at Walkabout Creek


While we were having coffee on the deck, we were lucky to see Brooksi. The Lumholtz tree kangaroo. I had previously written about him. He was down on the ground eating some leaves.

Brooksi, the Lumholtz tree kangaroo


Downstairs in the Discovery Centre, we saw some really interesting animals including pythons, bearded dragons, Queensland lungfish, Mary River cod, Spinifex hopping mice, Cunningham skink, Boyd’s Forest Dragon, Central Netted dragon and many other creatures.

Spinifex hopping mice


Bearded Dragon


I think the highlight for our Swiss friend was the tree kangaroo, the platypus, the emus, the echidna and Billy the wombat. We spent a lot of time watching Billy dig a hole in his enclosure and settle down to sleep. The emus, echidna and Billy were outside in their own spacious enclosures. Information boards describe the animals with a description of their normal habitat.

Getting to know some Aussie animals


My sister in Tasmania used to raise orphan wombats years ago and I used to spend time with them. She used to release them into the wild after they were big enough. One of her wombats nipped me on the back of my ankle once and another one nipped my baby when I was visiting her. I tell my 37-year-old son now we both belong to a very exclusive club because we have both been bitten by a wombat.

Baby with wombat


Years ago I did see a Boyd’s forest dragon in its normal environment in the rainforest of Far North Queensland. I’d also had some experience with a Queensland lungfish once when one came up beside me when I was kayaking on the dam. It gave me a huge fright at the time with its huge mouth open.

Boyd's Forest dragon


The Queensland lungfish (Neoceratodus forsteri) is native to the Mary and Burnett River systems in southeastern Queensland, but it has been successfully distributed to other, more southerly rivers, including the Brisbane, Albert, Stanley, and Coomera Rivers, and the Enoggera Reservoir in the past century. The Queensland lungfish is one of the oldest living vertebrate genera in the world. This species is a living fossil that first originated over 400 million years ago. Lungfish have lungs as well as gills, which allow them to breathe out of water during times when water resources are deficient in oxygen. They feed on frogs, earthworms, pieces of meat and pelleted food.

Queensland lungfish


Our Swiss student also loved the walk around the Lake and the swimming in the dam, experiencing some Australian bush. We saw some swamp hens and some processionary caterpillars on our walk, but no other wildlife on the track. On other walks there I’ve seen red-bellied black snakes, turtles, pythons, lots of large goannas, and birds including bush stone curlews and large sea eagles when I’ve been kayaking on the lake.

On the track


So if you have any overseas visitors who want to see some Australian wildlife, take them out to the Discovery Centre at Walkabout Creek. It is also a very interesting place for children. The Centre does run educational talks at certain times too.

Brisbane River turtles at Enoggera Dam


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283837 - 2024-04-20 09:08:12

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