I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published December 6th 2016
It took me awhile to explore my local area after moving to Brisbane. I was busy working in the city but after getting a lovely old black Labrador, I suddenly discovered a friendly dog park and walking tracks just down the road.
My poor old dog has been dead nearly twelve months but I still catch up with my dog park friends when I'm out walking.
The William Scott dog park at 147-159 Bunya Rd, Arana Hills caters for dogs and their owners with shady seating, solar lighting, water, biodegradable bags, bins and fenced areas. The areas are separated for small and large dogs and there is even a dog obstacle course. They didn't have anything like that when I lived in North Queensland. I had to take my dog to the beach for a run.
Further along across View Crescent, the track continues into Lemm Park and the Luke Whiteway Path beside Cabbage Tree Creek. Cabbage Tree Creek is part of the Cabbage Tree Creek Catchment and covers 45 kilometres through residential and industrial areas and bush from Northern Brisbane to Moreton Bay.
It flows through a lot of suburbs including Shorncliffe, Deagon, Sandgate, Taigum, Zillmere, Fitzgibbon, Boondall, Aspley, Carseldine, Bracken Ridge, Bridgeman Downs and McDowall within Brisbane City, and Everton Hills, Arana Hills and Ferny Hills in the Pine Rivers Shire.
Wightman Reserve along the creek corridor contains important natural vegetation and provides valuable habitat for wildlife.
The whole area is an important recreational area for Brisbane residents and visitors. The path is well used by walkers, dog walkers, bike riders, pram pushers and I even recently saw a young skateboarder zooming along using his phone. I later saw him coming down from the Fernlands shopping centre with a bag of goodies.
The Fernlands shopping centre is just off the pathway and has a coffee shop, grocery shop, chemist, bottle shop, doctor's surgery and baker's shop. I've often stopped on my walk for a coffee there. There is also a toilet behind the shopping centre.
I've seen lots of wildlife and birds along this track including lizards and snakes. I've seen white cockatoos, pink galahs, brush turkeys and chicks, lorikeets, kookaburras, Ibis, ducks, blue and yellow parrots, pheasant coucals, magpies and butcherbirds.
One American woman I met on the track recently told me she was sitting quietly on a seat one day when there was a large plop beside her. A large python wrapped around a possum dropped out of a tree beside her.
A few weeks ago during one of Brisbane's violent storms I got caught out walking along this track and sheltered under a tunnel. Within minutes, water was pouring off the road above like a waterfall and the tunnel started filling with water. I decided to get out when it was up above my ankles. The creek was also up and flowing fast. Luckily there are lots of exits off the track up into suburbia so I got out of the park, dodged all the lightning strikes and got home safely after walking along the side of the road keeping away from trees.
On a recent weekend, I stopped to ask an elderly woman if I could photograph her dogs, Teddy and Bandi. She agreed and asked me if I could give her a copy of the photo. I offered to email it to her when she told me she was on email. When I asked for her email address she gave me her home street address and I realised she didn't know what email was. She said she didn't have any photos of her dogs so I'm getting a print done and will put it in her letterbox. We forget some people don't live in the digital world.