Chermside Hills Reserves

The Chermside Hills Reserves are located 12 kilometres north west of Brisbane's CBD. Chermside Hills Reserves are made up of a network of three natural areas in Chermside West and McDowall. This group of natural areas includes:

The Chermside Hills Reserves are an important part of the Mountains to Mangroves Corridor which is a wildlife corridor that extends from the D'Aguilar Ranges to Boondall Wetlands and Moreton Bay. The reserves are mostly open eucalypt forest with more than 200 native plant species including grass trees, banksias, stringybarks, bloodwoods and spotted gums.

Visitors to Chermside Hills Reserve and Milne Hill Reserve can enjoy birdwatching, bushwalking and using the picnic and barbeque facilities.

Walking track information and track map

Chermside Hills has a range of walking tracks and trails. To see a map of the reserves, track locations, grading and length of the tracks, download the:

Special features

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre

The Downfall Creek Bushland Centre is located at the Raven Street Reserve and has displays, a resource library and helpful staff providing information on bushland and waterways management across Brisbane.

There are many nature-based educational programs and activities, to learn about wetlands flora, fauna, and the importance of preserving the natural areas of our environment.

Located beside the centre is a Mountains to Mangrove playground, sheltered picnic tables and electric barbeques.

Little Cabbage Tree Creek Bridge

The bridge over the creek in the Chermside Hills Reserves is a birdwatching hot spot along the Mountains to Mangroves Corridor. Located off Trouts Road, this rainforest area is the place to see an array of beautiful bird species.

Spider Hill Lookout

This hill is one of the highest within Chermside Hills and has glimpses of Moreton Bay and the surrounding mountains. It is picturesque at sunset and sunrise.

Flora and fauna

The reserves provide protection for more than 200 native plant species from 72 families, representing 25 per cent of the native plant families found in Australia. These include grass trees, banksias, casuarinas, weeping myrtles, blueberry ash, small matrush, comb ferns, bloodwoods, rough-barked apples, stringybarks and sheoaks. The Keraudrenia species, rare in this region, is also found within this reserve.

The primary weeds in the Chermside Hills Reserves have been introduced from people’s gardens through dumping, for example Singapore daisy (Sphagneticola trilobata).

There are 115 bird species that have been recorded in the area. Watch for honeyeaters, treecreepers, pardalotes, fairy wrens, dollarbirds, rainbow bee-eaters, spangled drongos, grey shrike-thrushes, kingfishers, lorikeets, crested hawks and tawny frogmouths flying through the trees or sitting on a branch.

Basking in the sunlight you may see blue-tongued lizards, goannas, water dragons, skinks and geckoes. Look out for turtles and fish in the creeks. Listen for striped marsh frogs which call with a pop, pop, and the scarlet pobblebonk frogs bonk, bonk call.

Chermside Hills is also home to a variety of mammals including swamp wallabies. At night you might see gliders, possums, bats and flying foxes.


Chermside was once known as Downfall Creek, named after the prominent creek running through this area. Dairies, slaughteryards, poultry farms, piggeries, citrus orchards, quarries and even an American army base were all located in the area.

Termed rubbish by the early settlers, the hilly bushlands were left as the surrounding lands with rich alluvial soils were cleared for farms and houses.

The intrinsic natural values of these areas have protected them from residential development and led to the establishment of the Chermside Hills Reserves. They were protected by Brisbane City Council in 1972 and expanded in later years. These reserves together with the Downfall Creek Bushland Centre (established in 1988) provide Brisbane residents with nature-based recreational opportunities.

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Topics: chermside

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