Bushcare Volunteering: Preserving Chermside Hills Reserves for the Future

The Chermside Hills Reserves are home to over 200 species of native plants and over a hundred more of bird species. Thanks to dedicated bushcare volunteers, these natural habitats are being maintained for future generations to appreciate and enjoy.

The Chermside Hills Reserves consists of three reserves situated in Chermside West and McDowall, namely Chermside Hill Reserve, Milne Hill Reserve and Raven Street Reserve. Some 200 native plant species thrive in these natural areas including grass skirt trees, stringybarks, bloodwoods and banksia.

These reserves, however, are constantly under threat not only from extreme weather events but from weeds invasion as well. Volunteers are in constant battle with weeds that mostly originate from escaped garden plants. 

Weeds are generally non-native plants introduced mostly through human activities whilst some are spread to nearby areas by flood waters. They are notorious for invading natural ecosystems and altering natural diversity. They compete with native flora for space, water, nutrients and sunlight whilst aquatic weeds block waterways.

Habitat Brisbane Playlist / Video Credit: Brisbane City Council / YouTube
Creek and surrounding vegetation at Chermside Hills Reserve
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /  brisbane.qld.gov.au

Brisbane City Council introduced the Habitat Brisbane program in 1990, that aims to encourage bushcare volunteering. The program supports more than 160 conservation groups, including Little Cabbage Tree Creek Bushcare Group and the Downfall Creek Bushcare group. These groups contribute time and skills to preserve Brisbane’s key waterways and bushlands through revegetation and weeding.

Chermside Hills Reserve bushland
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /  brisbane.qld.gov.au

The Little Cabbage Tree Creek Bushcare Group is a small band of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of Chermside Hills Reserve. According to the group, there are more than 100 species of birds that thrive in the reserve along with bats, gliders, and swamp wallabies.  

Walking track through Chermside Hills Reserve
Photo Credit: Brisbane City Council /  brisbane.qld.gov.au

Coordinator Patricia Geue and the rest of the group meet once a month at the reserve, spending about two hours weeding and saving precious native plants in the area.

If you wish to join the group you may contact Patricia Geue on 0404 869 554 or send them an email at trishgeue@icloud.com.

Downfall Creek Bushland Centre, located at the Raven Street Reserve, also has a dedicated team of knowledgeable bushcare volunteers that manage weed species in the reserve. Apart from weeding, they also collect seeds to breed in their nursery for future planting in areas where revegetation is required. 

For more information about the group, you may phone Sandra on 0412 758 640.

Time for a Hike! Milne Hill Reserve Upgrades Now Complete

The next time you need to take a relaxing and healthy scenic walk in Chermside West, hike up to the Milne Hill Reserve, where a wonderful upgrade of the lookout has been completed.

Constructed in March 2021, the site now boasts of a convenient viewing deck with new seats and paths so visitors can have a better experience looking out towards the breathtaking view. 

“This project is part of Council’s commitment to creating more to see and do in a city that is clean and green, so residents and visitors can enjoy Brisbane’s beautiful climate while connecting with the people and places that make our city great,” the Council stated. 

Councillor Tracy Davis was up on the Milne Hill Reserve lookout to check the viewing deck and shared a video of her visit. 

“I really encourage you to come for the walk up here, to the lookout, and see our beautiful area from this vantage point,” she said.

“Upgrades like this are just one of the many ways the Schrinner Administration is creating more to see and do in our suburbs, and help make sure we can all enjoy our great outdoor Brisbane lifestyle.” 

To get to the lookout, find the signage for the Pomax Track walking trail at the Water Reservoir. New stairs have been installed in the area for easy access. 

Explore Popular Tracks At Chermside Hills & Milne Hill

Escape from the busy city life and take a walk down Chermside Hills and Milne Hill circuit. This 7.1 km two-hour return track will not only refresh your mind, body, and soul, but it will show you wallabies, beautiful wildflowers, and other indigenous flora and fauna.

The Chermside Hills Reserve area is home to the popular Raven Street Reserve, Milne Hill Reserve, & the Chermside Hills Reserve.

Chermside Hills – The Giwadha Track

Photo credit: Aussie Bushwalking

You can access this track via the Chermside Hills Reserve from 420 Trouts Road McDowall. Start at the park entrance and car park.

Explore the open forest with an abundance of wildflowers, grasses, and shrubs. This circuit passes through the thick vegetation use beside the Little Cabbage Tree Creek. If you have a love for birds, you might want to stop by here and do some birdwatching.

Continue on and climb to highest point, which is the Spyder Hill, that will give you sweeping views of Moreton Bay, the city, and the beautiful mountains that surround it.

Milne Hill – Pomax Track

Photo credit: Weekend Notes

An open forest the Milne Hill Reserve goes around the hill. Walk through it and be enclosed in a beauty of wildflowers and shrubberies. During the winter and autumn seasons, you get to see honeyeaters feeding on golden candlestick banksias in flower here.

Before exploring the nature reserves, make sure to prepare and keep safe. Brisbane City Council has put together these important reminders for anyone interested in bushwalking activities::

  • Don’t go alone
  • Always wear a hat, sunscreen, and have water with you at all times
  • Let someone know where you’re going and the time you plan to return
  • Be cautious when on tracks
  • Always take a track map with you
  • Always carry a mobile phone

You can download the track map on the council’s website or you can view it here.