D'Aguilar National Park and Australia Zoo

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November 15th 2015
Published: November 16th 2015
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Around Brisbane there are plenty of National Parks, and most of which we will have visited by the time we leave, but I think South D'Aguilar is my favourite. It has variation in forest type, stunning viewpoints, lakes and small little villages to visit all within 30 minutes drive of the city.

Out day began at the lower end of the National Park at the Enoggerra Reservoir. Here is a small wildlife centre (which we skipped) and an Information Centre which were very helpful in showing us a few walks we could do and providing maps. Out first walk started from the centre, the Araucaria Track winded down to and part way round the Enoggerra Reservoir and at 5km long takes a little over 90 minutes to complete. As we got down to the reservoir we spotted a Monitor Lizard scampering around in the undergrowth and it stopped long enough for us to take a quick picture. And then a couple of steps later, on a log that had fallen into the reservoir a couple of turtles were laying and warming themselves in the sun. At this point of the national park the forest is 'dry' with stands of giant hoop pines and dry grassy scrub on the forest floor.

Driving up further in the National Park we stopped at Camp Mountain for which had different viewpoints looking north to the distant Glass House Mountains and east sweeping down to the city. A little further on we stopped for tea and cake in a café in Mount Nebo for a cup of tea and impromptu parrot feeding session!

Our second walk of the day was Greenes Falls Track, it is a similar length but otherwise completely different. We were now walking through rainforest dotted with eucalypt, palm trees and a think undergrowth of ferns. The canopy overhead was so dense that when a rain storm rolled in we didn't get wet, but instead had that wonderful soothing sound of rain hitting the leaves. This trail takes closer to 2 hours as it descends down into a valley and follows a creek down to Greenes Falls. To be honest the falls were a bit lousy... but the rainforest walk was reward enough!

Our day in D'Aguilar ended at the Westridge lookout. As the name suggests the viewpoint looks west and so was the perfect place to be for sunset, watching the sun go down on what was a wonderful day.

D'Aguilar National Park is split into two sections, south is described above and is awesome. We did also spend a day in the north section of the park and it isn't as good. The main Somerset Walk at 4 hours doesn't really have the same variation, and the lookout isn't as good. Although we did see 3 or 4 wallabies at the short lookout trail. Talking of animals I'll quickly mention Australia Zoo here. Made famous by Steve Irwin, the zoo is excellent for Australian animals - there are plenty of koalas, tassie devils, dingoes etc etc. But its the that crocs are the star of the show with plenty of large beasts on display. The saltwater crocs on show in particular are huge... some as long as 5 metres! All this culminates in the Crocoseum (see what they did there!) for the main show. Here they bring a croc out and show its natural hunting behaviour including jumping out of the water for a pork chop! after this the asia and Africa sections are a bit of an after thought.

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