John Oxley Reserve

boardwalk through john oxley reserve

John Oxley Reserve is one of those rare gems that offer an engaging playground and a child-friendly walking trail with the chance to spot a koala! 

John Oxley Reserve overview

If you are looking to uncover a new picnic spot then this is the northside Brisbane Park for you. The best thing about this park (other than the awesome playground)  is the short 1.3km bush walk down to the North Pine River.

John Oxley Park spans 10 hectares of public park and nature reserve. The nature reserve features a specially made bush pathway leading to a boardwalk by the North Pine River. Historical and educative information is positioned at the start and along the walk, which although a little bumpy, is accessible with a pram. The nature reserve is home to 242 bird species, 13 mammal species, 8 reptile species and 8 amphibian species. It contains several different ecosystems ranging from dry and wet eucalypt forest to salt marsh meadows and mangroves.


green playground in john oxley reserve

The playground at John Oxley Reserve is suited to both older children and toddlers.  The playground is located under the shade of some beautiful big trees making it an easy choice on a warm day. Children are spoilt for choice with a large fort containing tunnels, slides, climbing opportunities and bridges. There is a separate play area ideal for toddlers. This small, dragon-themed fort includes a slide, tunnel and play panels and is situated on artificial turf. There is a small bank of swings, which includes a standard swing and toddler swing. In keeping with the natural surroundings, the play equipment is mostly green.

Throughout the play area there are wooden poles which have the most gorgeous animal carvings in them. See if you can spot the owls, possum, frog, koala, butterfly and wombat!

I would suggest bringing scooters, bikes and balls to take advantage of the paths and green space that surround this brilliant playground.

Carole Green Walkway

carole green walkway

The Carole Green Walkway is a short 1.3km bushwalk which meanders through a variety ecosystems.  The path is mostly bitumen, though there are some rough spots. There are also portions of the walk which are on a raised boardwalk.  Informative educational panels are located the beginning of the walk, which you will find just to the right of the playground. Be sure to take your time as you walk along the path to read the information boards, and remember to also pause to look in the trees and scrub for wildlife that may be hiding. The walk down to the river is gentle, though the return journey is uphill, so be sure to save plenty of energy and water for this.

John Oxley Reserve is a known koala habitat in the Moreton Bay Region. While you are walking through the eucalypts, encourage the kids to look up and see if they can spot any wild koalas

Imagination Factor

There are many nature based activities visitors can engage in at John Oxley Reserve. Children can listen for birds, trying to guess when they think they are entering a different type of ecosystem or just sit still on one of the many seats provided and wait to see what kind of wildlife comes out.  Don’t forget to look out for koala poo on the ground as there could be one nearby high in a tree. We also spotted a lot of gumtrees with claw marks in them from the koala’s climbing them. 


There are wheelchair-accessible toilets at John Oxley Reserve as well as accessible walking paths, though several areas of the paths are bumpy and would be hard to manage with a pram or wheelchair. The playground is unfenced. Ample off-street carparking is available on site.

John Oxley Reserve features

  • Unfenced playground
  • Bark base (main play area)
  • Artificial turf (toddler play area)
  • Shaded by established trees
  • Separate toddler fort and slide
  • Swings (including a toddler swing)
  • Slides
  • Seesaw
  • Fort
  • Digger
  • Spinner
  • Playing fields
  • Climbing trees
  • Bike and walking paths
  • Carole Green Walkway (1.3km return)
  • Sheltered picnic tables
  • BBQ’s, bins and water fountains
  • Accessible toilets
  • Off-street carpark
  • Adjacent to Community Centre (available for hire)

Another great northside Brisbane Playground is Aurora Boulevard Park.

Local insight: Like many forested areas in Brisbane, mosquitoes are bountiful. Make sure you pack your insect repellent and apply before heading off for a play or nature walk. 

Photos of John Oxley Reserve

How to get here

John Oxley Reserve is located on Ogg Road at Murrumba Downs.

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3 responses to “John Oxley Reserve”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Great park but definitely not for under 5s – the fort is all rope ladders and rope bridges with long spaces between, and tough climbing walls, so little people can’t get to the slides because they can’t get up the fort. That leaves a swing, couple of twirly things and a rocker. Shame as the kids were so excited by the look of this park and were desperate to get on the slides…but had to just stand at the bottom and look at them mournfully because there was no way up. Lots of shade and a lovely park, just needs to be little-kiddified a bit more and then it would be brilliant.

  2. Danielle Baird says:

    The park has just recently been updated with 2 new playgrounds. One would be great for 4 and under and the other one for 4+ or there abouts. All still under the big trees. Nicely done up. Just bring the mossie repellent!

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