Oxley Common – 10th of August 2013

We’d been doing quick little visits into Oxley Common for years but only saying gidday to the horses at the front, or having a quick look around the creek and picnic area – in fact it became one of my favourite places to write the script for Honeysuckle Way ~ but this was the first time we cycled into the whole of it, and boy oh boy was it wonderful – this was only a few months before we left Brisbane and I really regret we hadn’t done this sooner because it really is a magical place, and I don’t think our photos here really do it justice.

The area is almost opposite the Rocklea Markets – and back in the early 90’s when I lived at Tennyson and worked at the flower markets I used to ride past here a lot – but back then it was farmland and I believe Department of Primary Industries land – so you couldn’t go in – I don’t know when it got opened up to the public – probably early 2000’s?

The cycle path follows the creek for alot of it – but mainly undercover of planted trees – which makes for lovely riding and then it opens out onto the Secret Forest – and what beautiful place that is.

As I said – our photos don’t really do it all justice – get out and cycle it – or walk it or jog it – one day I was cycling there myself and met a very friendly goat who decided to gallop along beside my bike! There’s plenty about the area on the net – including this page – and it is renowned for it’s birdlife – with over 230 species being recorded there!

So the day we went – no goats – just a lot of fun – having a lot of bikes and kids we drove, whilst Dennis, and Anna and Christian road from their house 4 or 5 kilometres away – we’d planned a ride and picnic/bbq so had all the gear ready with us

Once we were all set up we set off – the initial run is quite gentle, running parallel to Oxley Creek

After about a kilometre – we came to a turn off which shot down to Pelican Island – a series of wet lands and billabongs. We went down to have a look and although it doesn’t look picturesque with the industrial area visible further behind it, it serves an important ecological role – and is one of the few remaining wet lands close in to Brisbane. Parts of Brisbane used to be rife with natural springs and water holes and very few remain now. We managed to see one pelican so the place lived up to its name! Note too this litte route isn’t on the KML file as that file was recorded on another days ride here {maybe the one when I found the goat!}

Cycling further on we came to some cattle and then another stretch that ran along beside the creek – it really is a peaceful area, and a canoe trip up the creek would be fantastic as well I think.

From here the path opens up to large and verdent oxbow in the creek which is called The Secret Forest. After cycling through fairly dry stretches next to the creek this really is a site to behold. Everything here now is greener and there is a huge group of Hoop PinesAraucaria cunninghamii which stand magestically and cooly.  These trees were planted in the 1930’s to be a commercial crop – but were never harvested and now create a beautiful still atmosphere in such a wide open space with the creek wrapping around you ~ it really does feel like a secret location!

And what better place to just lie around, have a barbecue and watch time and the clouds slowly float by!

I have no idea how to caption this photo! But Henry had a great day – he looks like he wants to go home now though…..and we eventually did

So rummaging around my files I found the video of the goat – I think I came down here to do some writing on Honeysuckle Way and then went for a ride and she appeared out of nowhere and started running along behind me! I had to film it for my kids to see but then I got a bit concerned – knowing what wild (and domestic) dogs can do to goats – so I rang the Brisbane City Council – and I stayed with her until an animal welfare officer came and got her – but what a character!

The day started off well though even before I found the goat, with this mother and baby Brush-tailed possum having a look around the picnic site – it seemed strange that they were out during in the day – and I worried about them up against the hot tin roof, but they seemed happy enough