Karawatha Forest Park

Karawatha Forest Park is 18 kilometres south of Brisbane's Central Business District (CBD), adjoining Compton Road at Karawatha and Kuraby. The forest is approximately 900 hectares and is one of the largest areas of remnant bushland within the city.

Visitors can enjoy birdwatching, bushwalking and using the picnic and barbecue facilities. You can also visit the Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre and nature playground.

Walking track information and track map

Karawatha Forest Park has a range of walking tracks and trails.

To view the wetlands and track locations, grading and length, download the:

Special features

Picnic areas

There are two picnic areas in the forest which open from approximately 6am to 6pm:

  • Illaweena Street picnic area, Drewvale - quiet spot to enjoy a meal beside the Illaweena Lagoon. A bridge and a trail leave from opposite ends of the picnic area leading to the network of trails
  • Karawatha Forest Discovery Centre picnic area, Acacia Road - large, open, green space, located beside the nature play space and discovery centre with barbecues, shelters and tables. There are toilet facilities in the complex. Enjoy the eucalypt forests and use this area to access the forest walking tracks.

Poet’s Rock

Poet’s Rock has a scenic outlook over the forest. Scrubby Creek rises in Karawatha’s sandstone ridges and flows into lush lily-filled lagoons. Sedges, rushes and melaleucas line the lagoons, which fill after heavy rain.

Frog Hollow wet heathland area

This is a small heathland that is seasonally flooded. This area contains the greatest diversity of plants recorded in the forest.

Flora and fauna

Karawatha Forest Park and Brisbane City Council managed bushland to the west, form part of the largest remaining stretch of open eucalypt bushland in South East Queensland. The area is known as the Flinders Karawatha Corridor. This corridor extends from south-west of Karawatha Forest to Flinders Peak in Ipswich. The corridor is 56,350 hectares and 60 kilometres long.

Due to the size of Karawatha Forest Park and variety of habitats it contains, this forest is an important refuge for over 200 species of wildlife. This includes a number of threatened or endangered species such as the greater glider, squirrel glider and rare frogs. Karawatha has the highest diversity of frog species in Brisbane. The forest also supports red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos. Hollows in older eucalypts are nesting places for gliders, possums, bats, parrots and owls. Birdlife is the most visible from of fauna in the forest, with over 100 bird species found.

The Compton Road land bridge connects Karawatha Forest and Kuraby Bushland, allowing wildlife to move safely between these habitat areas. The land bridge is an example of a wildlife movement solution that helps keep native animals safe from busy roads.

Karawatha Forest contains mainly open eucalypt forest with areas of heath, wetland and woodlands. There are over 320 native plant species in Karawatha. The area contains a variety of habitats from freshwater lagoons and sandstone ridges to dry eucalypt forests and wetlands. It also contains some of the last remaining wet heathlands and melaleuca wetlands in Brisbane. 

Bailey’s stringybark and Planchon’s stringybark, which are uncommon in Brisbane, grow on the sandstone outcrops. Look for the flush of wildflowers in spring.

The primary weeds in Karawatha Forest are groundsel bush (Baccharis halimifolia), Easter cassia (Senna pendula) and ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia).

Photo gallery

View the Karawatha Forest photo gallery as a slideshow, or view the photos individually as part of Council's Flickr account.

History

Karawatha Forest Park was protected by land purchases through the Bushland Preservation Levy and is one of Brisbane’s major natural areas. Council has also acquired land to the south and west of Karawatha Forest, ensuring that vital bushland links with Greenbank are maintained to preserve our significant flora and fauna.

The forest’s infertile soils and sandstone ridges were formed by continual cycles of mountain building and erosion over many millions of years. Some of the sandstone outcrops are from the Triassic-Jurassic age when dinosaurs, not wallabies, grazed here.

Last updated:30 October 2019
Topics: karawatha