Downfall Creek McDowall | Raven Street Reserve

downfall creek macdowall

If it is nature, bushwalks, environmental education and a playground you are after, then look no further than Downfall Creek. This tranquil bushland is nestled within the Raven Street Reserve, McDowall on the northside of Brisbane and is guaranteed to keep your Brisbane Kids busy. 

Downfall Creek 

The Downfall Creek playground and bushland centre is part of the Raven Street Reserve, which forms part of the Chermside Hills Reserve. Spending time at Downfall Creek is an outdoor adventure that will tick all the boxes.

Bring your binoculars and look for native wildlife resting and feeding within the reserve. If you are lucky you may even spot a wallaby! If birds are more your thing, then enjoy a spot of bird watching, with more than 100 different species of birds having been spotted within the reserve. Don’t worry, if you can’t spot them you will certainly be able to hear them!

The reserve also hosts a variety of activities throughout the year including a regular bush kindy, guided walks, sustainable living workshops, wildlife shows, yoga in nature and even music in the park. These activities are generally free so be sure to check out the Brisbane City Council website for further information. 

There are numerous picnic tables, shelters, gas barbeques and plenty of shady spots surrounding the playground, so make a day of it and bring supplies for an outdoor picnic. 

Within the Downfall Creek area there are several areas to explore:

The Downfall Creek playground

The playground is a traditional fort style – the ultimate in adventure and fun for preschoolers and primary school-aged children. There is also a swing, basketball court and open grassed areas for a variety of play opportunities. The fort is big enough to engage the kids but not too big that you will lose them in the expanse. It features a variety of nets for climbing, a wobbly bridge and a spinning play piece. 

downfall creek mcdowall

net swing in the raven street reserve

The Downfall Creek Bushland Centre

The Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is located within the Raven Street Reserve and is open Monday to Thursday from 9am to 4pm.

Inside you can sit and peruse the books in the reading nook, watch the fish swim about in the fish tank, learn about sustainable living, partake in some art and craft or feel a snakeskin at the tactile table. The helpful staff are always on hand to answer any questions and give you further information about the environment and the surrounding reserve. In the school holidays, the centre’s staff often run nature-inspired workshops for children.

There is a native bee hive box that sits out the front of the centre which is always fun to show the kids, especially on a warm day when they are buzzing around. We have enjoyed pointing the hive out to the kids and then trying to locate flowering natives on the site and then identifying one of their native bees gathering the pollen. Its an important conversation to have, about how bees polinate and this is the perfect real world way of making that happen. 

downfall creek bushland centre

bushland centre in Brisbane

Walking Tracks

Downfall Creek and the surrounding bushland is home to a variety of trails and tracks, used for both walking and cycling. Children are well catered for with the Mountains to Mangroves Senses Trail. The sense trail is an easy 200m walk and is suitable for toddlers, prams and wheelchairs. Along the path you will find numbered plaques which explain the surroundings and invites visitors to listen, smell, see and touch. An audio guide is also available for hire from the Bushland Centre.

You can also pick up a treasure hunt map or a Hide ‘N’ Seek Children’s Trail checklist from the Bushland Centre and have fun spotting various items as you explore the reserve.

walking tracks at macdowall brisbane

Imagination Factor

This is a wonderful place to go to give kids a snapshot of the bush. There are 115 possible bird species to spot, as well as animals such as pademelons and wallabies. The fort playground is decorated with animals, birds and creek life that will encourage imaginative play in children.

Special Needs Consideration

The toilets and Sensis trail are both wheelchair and pram accessible. There are concrete paths connecting the carpark with the picnic area and walking tracks.

Downfall Creek features

  • Plenty of shady off-street parking available
  • Open 7am – 7pm, daily
  • Unfenced playground, but away from the road
  • Accessible toilet facilities
  • Bushwalking tracks
  • Gas BBQs
  • Several shelters
  • Basketball court

Downfall Creek is located at 815 Rode Rd, McDowall.

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