Understanding its history Walton Bridge Reserve is an urban rainforest in the heart of The Gap, just 8km west of the CBD. The site has been a Reserve since the nineteenth century and contains an important patch of remnant dry rainforest and large areas of relatively undisturbed dry sclerophyl bush. In times past, Walton Bridge was a meeting place for the local indigenous people as well as a resting area for bullock teams travelling west.
Today, Walton Bridge Reserve offers a number of recreational facilities for a relaxing or perhaps lively day out. The Reserve is described by the Brisbane City Council as being "an ecological and people intersection" On my visit to Walton Bridge Reserve I was joined by pup who was keen to explore the native vegetation and test the well maintained and winding shared walkway and trails. (He was on-lead and respectful of nature, of course).
We noticed that the points of interest are well marked and trees are identified with signage including a short description and by their botanical name. Our visit came after a couple of days of consistent rainfall so the Reserve looked a treat in luscious shades of green. We were surprised to find a small waterfall running swiftly under the bridge.
While we took a gentle stroll across the collection of bridges, serious walkers can challenge themselves to take on the 10 000 Steps Program with maps and signage in the Reserve to trace a walking trail to stretch your fitness goals.
Every Step Counts
After all that exercise, electric and wood barbecues are waiting to be fired up to sizzle the sausages, with picnic areas available on Waterworks Road. For those not wanting to wander, the playgrounds will keep the small kids seriously amused with swings, slides and a climbing fort and a skate and sports facility for the larger ones.
Maintaining the natural environment Being such a natural wonder, committed locals have formed the Walton Bridge Reserve Bushcare Group to help maintain and restore the habitat on the site. The Group is part of The Habitat Brisbane program to help community groups restore natural habitats in parks, remnant bushland, wetlands and along waterways as part of Brisbane City Council's Community Conservation Partnerships Program. Habitat Brisbane groups also help to protect, monitor and increase native flora and fauna populations, especially rare and threatened species. It's great to know that this beautiful natural space is in good hands. More information can be found here.