Tag Archives: bushwalk

Bonyee Walk – Mapleton National Park

This is an easy walk showcasing massive bunya pines, beautiful palm section and lovely mixed forest with a variety of large eucs. Very pretty and good for small children. Its only a 500m circuit. This is a nice morning out when combined with a cruise around the Yandina markets on a Saturday.

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Hello from me 🙂

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We are your tour guides 🙂

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A faery’s house!

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I’m gonna take a step outside, see what’s shakin’ in the real world 🙂

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Violas mean faeries live here 🙂

Hope you have a lovely weekend xx

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Atrax Track, Manorina and Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park

Palm groves make shady umbrellas
Palm leaves make shady umbrellas

The Atrax circuit is a fantastic walk for families with small children. It is only 750 m long with level, wide paths, timber bridges and stone steps.  It is accessed via the Manorina Carpark on the right hand side of Mt Nebo Road, 22 kilometres from the Brisbane Forest Park Information Centre (only 30 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD).

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This track leads through beautiful wet eucalypt forest. The tall, mixed forest offers a diversity of tree species providing dappled light to the rich understorey below. The path winds through little pockets of “fern forests”, past “mossy boats”, trickling creeks, small ponds, through the middle of a burnt out tree, underneath wonderful tree canopies with large epiphytic orchids (Dendrobium speciosum), little palm groves, secret little patches of terrestrial orchids, vines and grassy patches.

This forest offers a wonderful diversity of texture and colour.
This forest offers a wonderful diversity of texture and colour.
What's around the corner?
What’s around the corner?

This is a quality walk with plenty of Nature engagement opportunities. Allowing little people to take their time, run back, run forward, pick up rocks, turn over leaves, balance on fallen logs, play peek-a-boo, make leaf umbrellas, float leaf boats down the creeks, stand in the water, feel the different barks, look up at the sky, walk the brick entrance and jump up the path will have everyone’s heart singing.

The trees seem to reach all the way to the sky!
The trees seem to reach all the way to the sky!
A blackened tree trunk
A blackened tree trunk

There are no facilities apart from a car park, so we teamed this walk up with a picnic at the Jolly’s Lookout picnic area (a couple of minutes in the car back towards the city). The vistas are good out past Lake Samsonvale and beyond. There are toilets and bbq areas (no wood collection from the forest), and one large undercover area at the lookout.

What a Jolly Lookout...
What a Jolly Lookout…
A good spot for lunch
A good spot for lunch

Inormation on D’Aguilar National Park can be found at http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daguilar/about.html

What a lovely morning out on a glorious winter’s day. A family member brought home a leech from this walk so maybe tuck the little peoples’ pants into their socks just to be safe.

Is it a bird, a plane, no, it’s a whistling kite!

Fully adjustable and reversible sun bonnets using classic styling and contemporary, natural fabrics
Fully adjustable and reversible sun bonnets using classic styling and contemporary, natural fabrics

The Whistling Kite has been industrious of late. I have been busy with an infant on one arm, a sewing machine on the other and a toddler wrapped around my legs. Hooray! Welcome to the official launch of the Whistling Kite Collective. I am very excited to open my Etsy store www.whistlingkite.etsy.com

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My store is loaded with some beautiful sun bonnets to suit newborns to children of around 3 ½ years of age. I have also loaded my sun bonnets page with images of my latest custom orders- the “House Party” and the “Super Deluxe”. The jewellery range is coming soon- earrings for mum and a matching bonnet for her baby!

Fancy floral and indigo, stretch denim
Fancy floral and indigo, stretch denim

This blog is being loaded with bushwalk reviews, the Journey of Wellness and a More Natural Life series of posts. The Journey of Wellness series covers my attempts to love myself and those around me completely, without judgement or condition. The More Natural Life series examines how to use nature’s gifts to create a better life.

Cedar Creek is perfect for water play
Bush walk reviews, toddler adventuring and more…

As many of you know, I am a botanist, so there will always be an appreciation of beautiful plants and the natural world. I also love to cook, so frequently upload sweet and savoury recipes.

There are some ultra beautiful locations being reviewed soon- stay tuned!
There are some ultra beautiful locations being reviewed soon- stay tuned!

Want to make contact? whistlingkitecollective@gmail.com

Want to like us on Facebook? www.facebook.com/whistlingkitecollective

We are holding a market stall on 31 August in Brisbane, Australia. The Mathilda Market is a boutique baby, parent, home market with limited run, handmade products. I will have an amazing introductory market special available.

Thank you so much for your support. I really appreciate it. I would love it if you could share widely, tell everyone you know about the Whistling Kite Collective and send me all your good luck vibes!

xx

Xanthorrhoea and Banksia Track Loop- Chermside Hills Reserve

Welcome to the Whistling Kite Collective’s Great Places to Visit series. This is where I review bushwalks and natural areas. Enjoy!

The Chermside Hills Reserve is a great natural area of Brisbane. This beautiful area is only 12 kilometres north of the CBD. Honestly, residents of this city are just so lucky to have such wonderful habitat places on their doorstep.

This wonderful area provides critical habita linkage and a variety of walking and cycling tracks.
This wonderful area provides critical habitat linkage and a variety of walking and cycling tracks.

This important bushland area provides a critical habitat link between the mountains and the coast (known as the Mountains to Mangroves Corridor). The Downfall Creek Environment Centre (open Monday to Friday at 815 Rode Rod, Chermside West) is a good starting and finishing point, as the site also offers a resource centre, track maps, indoor aquariums, activity sheets, touch and feel tables, water, timber playground, undercover bbqs and picnic tables and open grassed areas). The side of the Environment Centre wall is a painted mural of native animals in their habitats. My toddler loves this mural.

Lots of animals and bright colours attract little people to the wall.
Lots of animals and bright colours attract little people to the wall.
The shaded timber playground suits a variety of ages.
The shaded timber playground suits a variety of ages.

This Eucalyptus forest offers a variety of bikeways and walking tracks. The Xanthorrhoea and Banksia Track Loop bushwalk is a good distance for small children (about 1.2 kilometres and also suitable for prams as it is bitumen).  There is a good diversity of vegetation structure and floristics supporting abundant wildlife to engage the whole family.

Wide, sealed paths are suitable for prams in a natural forest setting.
Wide, sealed paths are suitable for prams in a natural forest setting.

Sensory play provided by this forest  include large logs, a timber bridge, small branches, crunchy understorey, rough grass trees, smooth eucalypt trunks and branches, shimmering tree sap from the iron barks, colourful leaves, glistening spiders’ webs and birds’ nests.

In autumn and winter the Banksias are in flower. These large, golden “candlesticks” are full of nectar. Little fingers and tongues retrieved the nectar from these flowers. “Very yummy nectar mummy!” We managed to leave some behind for the sugar gliders! This was a highlight of the walk through the Banksia track section

Banksia nectar is delicious for sugar gliders and toddlers! Photo courtesy of anbg.gov.au
Banksia nectar is delicious for sugar gliders and toddlers! Photo courtesy of anbg.gov.au

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The Xanthorrhoea track runs along the southern section of a small gully where we have seen swamp wallabies on a few occasions. “If we pat him, he might jump away”.  There are also plenty of bush turkeys, lizards and other birds in the area.

This area provides a good half day out when combined with a picnic or bbq lunch afterwards at the Environment Centre grounds. You can build your own adventure in this forest as several tracks can be linked for larger walks. Track maps are available online (http://www.brisbane.qld.gov.au/documents/environment/bushlandandwaterways_chermside_hills_reserves_track_map.pdf) or from the Environment Centre Monday to Friday.

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Sandstone Track, Toohey Forest, Queensland

A nice morning adventure through a quality woodland habitat
A nice morning adventure through a quality woodland habitat

Toohey Forest is just a few minutes’ drive south of Brisbane city and easily accessible via public transport. There are picnic tables, toilets and shady car parks.

The 780 m Sandstone Track is a relatively flat, easy walk with few steps, suitable for toddlers. The path is fine gravel. It comprises a couple of lookouts and a small loop section.

This level and wide walking track good for little feet
This level and wide walking track good for little feet

The beautiful dry woodland habitat provides a good mix of fallen timber for climbing and balancing acts. Exposed bush rocks prove great for jumping.

The woodland ground storey is great for tactile engagement - rough, smooth, prickly, shiny and fantastic!

The woodland ground storey is great for tactile engagement – rough, smooth, prickly, shiny and fantastic!

The vegetation offers various tactile stimulation opportunities with a variety of tree and shrub species, raspy leaves, colourful wild flowers, crunchy ground cover. Many common bird species can be spotted on the walk, as well as small spiders and insects.

Rocks for exploring and attractive lookouts feature in this walk

Rocks for exploring and attractive lookouts feature in this walk

The lookouts are not fenced so we held hands in these areas. We did this walk in Autumn and it was quite dry, however this walk would be especially lovely in Spring when more flowers are in bloom.

Loving the birdsong and dappled light throughout Toohey Forest

Loving the birdsong and dappled light throughout Toohey Forest

A great walk for the family and the length is perfect for little people. My toddler loved balancing on logs, climbing the rocks, finding friendly spiders in holes, bird watching and crunching through the dry understorey! This walk makes a nice morning out when combined with a picnic lunch and snacks on-the-go.

How we rock the forest

You don't need to pack the kitchen sink when rockin' the forest with small children.
You don’t need to pack the kitchen sink when rockin’ the forest with small children.

We love bush walking as a family. We adventure almost weekly. It brings us together and provides for beautiful shared experiences. Our standard kit is shown below. Various items are added to subtracted depending on the conditions and duration of the walk.

Ergobaby soft carrier
What would I do without this carrier? It is by far my best ever baby purchase. Mine has a handy zip pocket that can carry a nappy, mobile phone, small camera and keys. Our infant is carried in this. She can breast feed, sleep, chat and admire the surroundings. Of course, she wears her Whistling Kite Collective bonnet for enhanced bushwalking comfort!
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Kathmandu framed carrier
Our lovely toddler can generally walk great distances for a little person, but sometimes she needs to be carried for a rest.  This carrier is good, but there are many on the market. This carrier also has a zipped storage area that can carry most items required for a half day walk. She is up high and can see over Dad’s shoulders.
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Insulated lunch box
Healthy snacks and more substantial lunch items.  For a half day walk we usually take sandwiches, fruit, crackers, natural yoghurt, crackers, assorted dried fruits and nuts; packed with an ice brick.
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Melobaby nappy change wallet.
There are lots of brands available, but I love this as it has removable microfibre change mats. I holds four disposable nappies, plastic bags for used nappies, small bottle of hand sanitiser, wet wipes and a spare flannel cloth. Now we have two children, we use disposable nappies for bushwalking.

Camera
We have a Sanyo video and still camera, plus the cameras on our phones. My Ergobaby carrier pouch holds this camera for quick access. I find that my Nikon DSLR is too large for on-the-go photography when we are with our children. It only comes on particularly scenic walks or when I know flowers are on display.
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One pair of spare pants for each child.
If we are beach or creek walking, then I pack a whole replacement outfit!

Water- two bottles

30 + Sunscreen
This is applied prior to our walk and we carry some with us. Its absolutely essential for young children in Queensland, Australia.
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Small microfiber travel towel.
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If I am taking the girls for a walk by myself our walks are shorter and our kit is very minimal! We always have suitable footwear for each adventure…

Bellbird Grove – Brisbane Forest Park and D’Aguilar National Park

Quality creek exploration
Quality creek exploration

Brisbane residents are super lucky to have this wonderful place only 25 minutes from CBD.

The Turrbal Loop Circuit is an easy walk comprising a few wide steps, boardwalk and a soft path suitable for toddlers. It is 1.7 km long, so depending on the age of your children, some carrying may be involved (more on how we rock the forest coming soon- stay tuned). From the beautiful Rose Gum Picnic Area, the track winds through flooded gums and continues along Cedar Creek.

The vegetation is beautiful, ranging from woodland with a grassy understorey to wet riparian mixed forest with a shaded, herbaceous ground layer. I even saw basal leaves of ground orchids today (hooray)!

Walk on one track, or both to add distance.
Walk on one track, or both to add distance.

This very nice walk offers small children a range of sensory experiences including steps, boardwalk, bridge crossings, stone paths, pebbly beaches, crystal clear water, tadpoles, insects, fallen debris, colourful leaves, forest fruits (like red lilly pilly berries), bellbirds, birdsong and river rocks.

Cedar Creek is perfect for water play
Cedar Creek is perfect for water play

Facilities include undercover and outdoor picnic tables, bbq’s, toilets, water and open grassy areas.