Osprey House at Griffin
Don’t be deceived by the name – the Osprey House just north of Brisbane offers a lot more to Brisbane Kids than just information about the fish-eating raptor.
Located at Griffin, the Osprey House is a true environmental treasure trove of information and hands-on displays staffed by enthusiastic volunteers.
Housed in a timber structure to blend in with its surroundings, the building and boardwalks are easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams.
Osprey House is all about conservation
Osprey House takes conservation education seriously. Visitors can see a solar energy display, read about recycling, and even meet the resident worms in the worm farm. Volunteers show how to live a sustainable life with care for resources and the environment.
The centre is designed for active little minds and there is a lot to see to keep the kids engaged. You’ll find a range of Australian animals hiding in a tree as tall as the ceiling and a collection of snakes and other interesting animals. There are pictures of local wildlife so you can look for them when you head outside and you can ask the volunteers for binoculars you can use to extend the learning from centre to the environment outside. It is a great opportunity to have a conversation about the environment, why we recycle, why we need to be careful with plastic bags and rubbish in general.
Hands on activities
Younger kids will love the activity corner with arts and crafts. Make a koala or butterfly to take home or try your hand at the puzzles or colouring-in sheets.
There is also a touch & feel table with a collection of natural artefacts. Examine snake skins, gumnuts, plants, feathers, fossils and shells. Use a magnifying glass to examine bugs and insects that have been collected.
Learning Idea: Give your kids your phone and let them take a photo record what they are seeing so they can retell their adventure to family members.
Osprey House has its own Raptor Nest Pole which is home to a pair of adult Osprey which can be viewed via the mounted web camera above the nest. Later in the year, Sept/Oct a pair of Osprey are known to use the nest and will have chicks that can be viewed. If you head to their Facebook Page you can often see the nesting in action right through to the hatching and get an idea of what you can expect when you arrive.
Your Brisbane Kids will love running around the boardwalks built over the Pine River mangroves. There are several places you can stop and check out the bird and sea life. It’s a short walk to the Fred Dohle Amphitheatre where you can search the mangroves for crabs and small sea animals at low tide. Look up and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Osprey or Whistling Kite flying overhead. Koalas also use the surrounding trees as a resting place.
You might be curious about the numbered metal plaques located at various points on the boardwalk path. The pictures on these plaques represent the native significance of the local natural environment. The plaques are designed to trace over with a crayon onto a sheet of paper.
Activity Idea: Bring some paper and crayons down from the house to try plaque rubbing and your kids will be able to take a copy of the art home.
Perfect picnic spot
Once you’ve explored the centre and the boardwalks, head to the shaded picnic area for lunch. With a BBQ and tables, it’s the perfect way to finish your visit at the Osprey House. Take some insect spray just incase but on bright sunny days, you probably won’t need it.
You can find Osprey House on Dohles Rocks Road at Griffin. It is 30km (approx. 45 min drive) from Brisbane CBD. Head north along the Bruce Highway and across the Pine River Bridge. Then take the first exit left to Griffin and at turn right at the T-intersection. Follow the signs to Osprey House Environmental Centre.
It is open every day from 10am – 4pm. The boardwalks, BBQ and picnic tables are accessible anytime. Osprey House Environment Centre
If your kids show a special interest in marine conservation then you might want to take a look at the Tangalooma Eco Marines who provide a program for young conservationists. This program is free and you can also join as whole kindergarten, class and or even as a school. Tangalooma Eco Marines
Nearby to Osprey House is Pine Rivers Park which is a great playground to finish up the day with some fun and frivolity. It is fenced, has bathrooms and caters for all ages and abilities of play (also featuring a liberty swing) Pine Rivers Park