Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre
The peaceful Boondall Wetlands lie on the edge of Moreton Bay, just north of Brisbane and include over 1,000 hectares of mangroves, wetlands, tidal flats, salt-marshes and open forest. Visiting the wetlands can incorporate many activities, including exercise, education and art and craft and it is a wonderful place to spend time appreciating the great outdoors.
Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre
Start your visit at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, where you can learn and discover all there is to know about the wetland’s environment.
The Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre underwent a $5 million upgrade in 2019, with the inclusion of a state-of-the-art, sustainable environment centre, which now stands proudly alongside the old visitor centre. High ceilings, large windows, air-conditioning and plenty of thought provoking, hands-on displays will be sure to entertain and educate all members of the family when you visit.
There are many interactive displays dotted around the centre. A favourite is the ‘Great Migration Challenge’, where you are required to stand in front of the big screen and flap your arms to soar like a bird, hopefully migrating safely to the Boondall Wetlands.
Budding filmmakers can create an inspiring story at the ‘Animation Station.’ Using the provided props, users can make their very own cartoon animation on how we can best look after the environment, particularly at the wetlands. You can then sit back and watch it play on the screen, showing everyone what you have created.
Kids can also wander around the centre using all their senses to smell, touch, see and hear what life in the wetlands is really like.
Large glass windows and comfortable window seating overlooks the wetlands and is a great spot to sit, relax, or even read a book to your little ones (you almost feel as though you are sitting among the trees).
Friendly staff are always on hand to answer any questions you may have and are a great resource for the surrounding wetlands. Once you have finished inside the centre, grab a map and explore the wetlands on foot, following the well-signposted paths.
Bicycle and Walking Tracks
The Billai Dha-gun circuit starts and finishes at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre and is an easy, flat, 2km track perfect for little ones, prams and wheelchairs. The track is a combination of compacted gravel and boardwalks and weaves through the wetlands, forest and marshlands. There is a bird hide partway through the walk, which gives you views across to Shorncliffe and, depending on the tide, viewing of an abundance of birds and other wildlife.
Turn your walk into an adventure by collecting one of the pamphlets from the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre. Look for creatures hiding in the trees and on paths using the ‘Hidden Creatures’ checklist, tick off items such as butterflies, trees and termite mounds using the ‘Treasure Hunt’ booklet and find out more about the wetlands on the ‘Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail’.
If you are keen for some further exercise and you brought the bikes and scooters, head out for a leisurely ride on the designated Boondall Wetlands Bikeway. The bikeway, which also doubles as a walkway, starts at the carpark and continues all the way to Nudgee Beach, where you can grab an ice cream before returning to the wetlands. Bike racks are situated near the carpark at the Wetlands, where you can also find a free filtered water station.
Activities at Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre
The Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre and surrounding spaces are a hive of activity. A number of family-friendly activities are held at the wetlands throughout the year, many of which are held on a regular basis and are free. Bookings are often required.
Activities range from the energetic to creative and include:
- Bush kindy
- Guided walks
- Wildlife workshops
- Agents of Discovery App
- Art and craft activities
- Volunteering information sessions, and
- Bird watching.
Attending Bush Kindy among the trees at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre is a real treat for littles ones and their carers. Aimed for children aged 3-5 years old, accompanied by an adult carer, Bush Kindy will entertain and educate attendees through a variety of fun, nature-based play activities, bushwalks, story-time, art and craft and more.
Often sessions will be themed, which adds an additional fun element to Bush Kindy. Themes celebrated include World Frog Day, composting, bird watching and more.
This weekly event, held for an hour during school term time only, is a great way for children and their carers to make new friends, enjoy the great outdoors and bond while playing, learning and having fun.
Bookings are required and can be done via the Brisbane City Council website. As this is an outdoor activity enclosed shoes, sun protection and insect repellent is recommended, as is water and a snack.
Agents of Discovery App
Download this augmented reality app (with an adult’s approval) to discover the Boondall Wetlands in a new and fun way. Select your mission (Boondall Wetlands) and accept the challenges to discover and learn about the great outdoors in a way that will have you moving and solving mysteries related to culture, nature and technology.
School Holiday Activities
Visiting the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre during the school holidays is a great way to entertain the family, burn off some energy and also learn something new about the environment. Depending on your mood, perhaps you want to visit the environment centre, wander around the tracks soaking up nature or attend an event or workshop.
Family friendly activities and workshops are on offer during the school holiday and may include guided walks, wildlife encounters, and more. Activities are FREE or low cost and there are no shops onsite, so you won’t have to be digging into your pocket to buy anything. As a bonus, if you bring along your own water and snacks, you can have a picnic too.
Detailed activity information and booking details can be found by visiting the Brisbane City Council website. Many activities do require a booking, so please be mindful of this when wishing to attend an event.
A visit to the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre and surrounding wetlands will have your Brisbane Kids engrossed in nature and all it has to offer.
When you pass by the environment centre, collect a ‘Hide ‘n’ Seek Children’s Trail’ brochure, which lists a range of facts and things to keep an eye out for as you walk around the Billai Dha-gun circuit. It is a great resource to encourage conversations about nature and the environment. It also invites visitors to be present and engage with the surroundings, taking in all the sights and sounds, rather than just getting from Point A to Point B.
Have your little ones come dressed as an explorer or ranger (making sure to pack the binoculars and magnifying glass) and explore the flora and fauna that call the wetlands home. Engage the senses and smell the scents wafting from the native trees, listen to the birds chirping, look at the variety of shrubbery and keep an eye out for wildlife that may pop their heads up to greet you.
For those who love capturing nature and wildlife through a lens, bring the camera and your zoom lens, you just never know what you will find – a tawny frogmouth, butterflies, kingfishers or perhaps even a snake!
The Boondall Wetlands, including the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, are easily accessible, with wide paths and boardwalks leading from the carpark to the centre and beyond. Automatic sliding doors make accessing the environment centre easy, especially if you are pushing a pram or wheelchair. The newly upgraded carpark includes accessible parking and a designated bus drop-off and turnaround area. There are also accessible toilets available at the environment centre.
As you make your way around the wetlands, you will be well shaded by the established trees, though there are sections where there is no shade (on the boardwalk to the bird hide), so make sure you pack a hat and sunscreen.
Just near the carpark and Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, there is a picnic area, complete with picnic shelters and tables and some grassy spaces for a picnic blanket. You will, however, need to bring your own water and food to enjoy.
Mosquitoes frequent the wetlands, so come prepared by wearing long sleeves and pants and using insect repellent (there is often a small amount of insect repellent available at the Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, when it is open, in case you forget yours).
Boondall Wetlands features:
- Picnic tables
- Free filtered water station (near main carpark)
- Wheelchair/pram accessible
- Permanent public art installations (Indigenous Totem Trail)
- Walking tracks
- Boondall Wetlands Bikeway
- Bike racks
- Public toilets (including an accessible toilet)
- Free, off-street parking
- Dedicated bus drop-off and turnaround area
- The Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre, which is open 9am – 4pm Tuesday to Sunday (closed Mondays).
Other popular Brisbane environment centres include Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre and Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, while nearby playgrounds worth a visit are Mulbeam Park or Hidden World Playground.
The Boondall Wetlands Environment Centre is conveniently located just off the Gateway Motorway (exit 117) at 31 Paperbark Drive, Boondall.
Phone: (07) 3403 1490