The Hut Environmental Centre in Chapel Hill
Nestled in the foothills of Mt Coot-tha, in the leafy western suburbs of Brisbane, lies The Hut Environmental Centre. The Hut is run by members of The Hut Environmental Centre Association (THECA) who have a passion for the environment and promoting environmental awareness to the community.
What you will find inside The Hut Environmental Centre
Upon entering the Hut you are greeted with a number of large displays, including local butterfly species, information on the local bird population, and information on plant species in the local surroundings. There is an area for children to explore and investigate items collected in the local bushland, including rocks, feathers, skeletons and snake skins. Visitors are further encouraged to collect and investigate objects they have found while exploring the local walking tracks.
The Hut Environmental Centre for Children
There are endless resources, books, flyers, posters and information sheets on the local flora and fauna to view at The Hut, along with puzzles and games for the kids to play, and a table and chairs on the deck to have a bite to eat while you enjoy the views of the local bushland.
Children of all ages will enjoy pottering around the Hut. On our visit we spotted many different species of birds and we were lucky enough to spot a goanna. It’s a wonderful place to spend a day exploring with the kids.
Educational Sessions for the Public at The Hut Environmental Centre
The Hut hosts many activities and community group meetings, many of which are open to the general public.
Kids’ Time Sessions
‘Kids Time’ sessions are conducted at The Hut and are open to all ages. They are led by experienced teachers, and include both indoor and outdoor hands-on activities. Bookings are essential for Kids Time activities, as places are limited. The cost of the session is $15 per child or $10 for members of THECA (prices subject to change, please contact The Hut to find out more).
School Holiday Sessions
Sessions for kids are run through the school holidays, and focus on different topics each time. One such session is titled ‘Foxes that Fly’, where children can learn about the natural history of flying foxes and their important role in preserving Australian native forests. Through role play, children are able to explore the impact of human activity on these animals, and how we can help to conserve them.
The Hut Environmental Centre Association volunteers hold a monthly open afternoon on the 4th Sunday of each month from 2-4pm, inviting the public to visit the hut and explore the local walking tracks.
When can you visit The Hut?
The Hut Environmental Centre is open to the public on the first and third Tuesday of the month for morning tea. Just bring along a plate to share or a gold coin donation to take part. Throughout the year the Hut also hosts a number of Night Walks and Workshops, and a yearly Art Show.
Native Beehive in Brisbane
The Hut houses a working Native Beehive with native stingless bees producing honey. The Brisbane Native Beekeepers Club meet on the first Sunday of each month, and the general public are encouraged to attend a meeting to learn more about these fascinating creatures. Twice a year the beekeepers open and collect the honey from the hive. This is an exciting meeting to attend with children, as they can see how the hive works and how honey is made.
Walking tracks to explore
While visiting The Hut Environmental Centre why not enjoy some of the many walking tracks up and around Mt Coot-tha. The Butterfly Track and the Reservoir Track start at The Hut and are an easy walk that can be followed all the way up to the summit of Mt Coot-tha. At the top of Mt Coot-tha you will find the Kuta Cafe, where you can enjoy breakfast, lunch or a cold drink or ice cream after your walk. You can find a map of the walking tracks in this area here.
Getting to The Hut Environmental Centre in Chapel Hill
There are 10 parking spaces at The Hut, located just off Fleming Road in Chapel Hill, although it can be a busy place with bush walkers. There is also a cafe and a corner store across the road from The Hut with additional parking. There is ramp access to The Hut Environmental Centre, which also has kitchen facilities and toilets.
It’s best to wear long pants and covered in walking shoes when visiting The Hut, as the gravel walking tracks can be slippery for younger children.
The Hut Environmental Centre is located at 47 Fleming Road, Chapel Hill. To find out more about The Hut Environmental Centre, please visit http://www.theca.asn.au/.