Karawatha Forest Park in Karawatha

child walking through karawatha exhibit

Karawatha Forest Park is not only an important wildlife haven but home to a fascinating Discovery Centre, numerous walking tracks, two picnic areas and an awesome nature play space.

Karawatha Forest Park

Karawatha Forest Park on the southern edge of Brisbane is an important wildlife refuge for a large number of flora and fauna including threatened and endangered species. The 1000 hectares of bush is one of the city’s largest areas of remnant bushland and is home to a Discovery Centre, walking trails, picnic facilities and a wonderful natural play area.

The main entrance to Karawatha Forest Park is on Acacia Road. From here you can access the Discovery Centre, picnic lawn, nature play area and walking tracks. Karawatha Forest Park is beautiful. The scrubby bush around the car park opens up to a large picnic lawn dotted with tall eucalypts that cast dappled patches of shade across the lush green lawn.

There are several shelters, multiple picnic tables and 4 barbecues around the picnic lawn, making Karawatha Forest Park an ideal location for a spot of lunch, a family gathering or party. If you are looking for a tranquil spot to enjoy a meal there is also the Illaweena Picnic Area accessible via Illaweena Street. Relax by Illaweena Lagoon before crossing the bridge and take the trail into the reserve leading to the network of walking tracks.

There are 8 walking tracks in Karawatha Forest ranging from 1 km to 2.5 km in length. All tracks are an easy grade except for the Rocks Circuit, which is graded moderate as it contains steps. When walking in the forest remember to look up, as the hollows in older eucalypts are ideal nesting places for gliders, possums, bats and owls.

The closest train station is Trinder Park and the reserve can be accessed from surrounding streets including Illaweena Street, Garfield Road and Forest Way.

karawatha park picnic area

karawatha walking trails

Karawatha nature space for kids

The architecturally designed Discovery Centre sits at the top of the picnic lawn with covered tables and toilets off to the side. Down the hill, a little from the picnic lawn is the nature play space where you will find a water play feature with a single water pump that flows down a sandy streamlined with beautiful bronze animal sculptures. From here you can follow the paths, or hop across the wood stumps, to the climbing sections with large tree trunks to balance on and artificial rocks and tree stumps to climb. If you follow the paths past the nature play area you will pass more toilets to another picnic area and the start of some of the walking tracks.

nature play at karawatha park

Karawatha Discovery Centre

The Discovery Centre at Karawatha Forest Park is the third Environment Centre in Brisbane and after a visit to the Centre, it’s easy to understand why it is here. Karawatha Forest forms part of the Flinders Karawatha fauna corridor and contains a variety of habitats including eucalypt forest, heathland, wetlands and freshwater lagoons.

The Forest is home to more than 320 plant species as well as over 100 bird species and rare species such as the squirrel glider, greater glider, koalas and the green-thighed frog. Other animals that can be found in the forest are wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos. The Discovery Centre’s interactive self-guided experiences make learning about the Reserve and its residents fun for visitors of all ages.

Not only is the Centre visually engaging, but it’s also packed with information. The displays include an interactive floor projection of hopping frogs, a nighttime theatre room and forest discovery area. The Centre also hosts special activities during school holidays and is well worth a visit.

green environment centre Brisbane

Imagination Factor

The Nature Play area allows children to use their imaginations and create their own games. Whether it’s building dams and creating new streams in the water play area, climbing logs and rocks or exploring the discovery trails, Brisbane Kids are sure to enjoy being outdoors. 

Scavenger hunts are always a fun activity and you can make up your own or download one of ours here. Dotted around the play area are over 20 animal sculptures and artworks ranging from bronze animals to bugs and insects printed onto artificial rocks. Can you find all of them?

Visit the Discovery Centre to learn more about the biodiversity of the reserve and then take a walk along one of the trails to see if you can locate a Koala, see a Sacred Kingfisher or spot one of the 26 frog species that live in Frog Hollow. The birdlife is the most visible in the forest so be on the lookout. Copy birdcalls and songs while trying to identify which bird they belong to.

Accessibility at Karawatha Forest Park

Getting around

The large car park at the Acacia Road entrance has ample parking, as well as three, disabled parking spaces. Wheelchair and pram accessible concrete paths run from the car park into and around the most of the park with some smaller stone covered paths and wooden bridges around the nature play area. The Ironbark Circuit track is a short 1.2 km walk through the tall open forest that is suitable for wheelchairs and prams and takes around 20 minutes to complete.

karawatha discovery centre

Karawatha Forest Park Features

  • Nature play
  • Shade trees
  • Soft fall base around the climbing play area
  • Water pump and rocky stream water play
  • Picnic lawn
  • Rocks and tree stumps climbing area
  • Sheltered tables
  • Unsheltered tables
  • Barbeques
  • Discovery Centre
  • Network of bushwalking tracks
  • Toilets – 2 blocks with accessible toilets
  • Large car park with 4 disabled spaces
  • Gates are open between 6.00am – 6.00pm

Other terrific nearby parks are Ewing Park in Woodridge and Gowan Road Park in Calamvale. You can also click here to view all the playgrounds we have reviewed in southern Brisbane. If there’s a great Brisbane playground that’s not on our list, please comment and let us know.

Karawatha Forest Park is located Acacia Road, Karawatha.

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