Karawatha Forest


An interesting bit of preserved forest wedged next to the Gateway Motorway in south Brisbane.



In 1991 the Karawatha Forest Protection Society was formed in response to the  groundswell of public opinion which wanted to see this bushland saved from  development. The Brisbane City Council introduced a Bushland Levy in the same year which made the purchase of significant lands possible. The State Government also made valuable contributions to the size of the Forest. Because of its strategic importance, Council has dedicated some adjoining lands to become part of Karawatha Forest. The Forest will be further enhanced through the protection of natural corridors and addition of land through the Bushland Levy.


There's two main entrances: The south side from Illaweena St in Calamvale/Drewvale, or the North side from Compton Road in Stretton.



Walks in Karawatha Forest

2 km return
1 hr

Banksia Track

True to its name this track features a variety of banksia species. Visit in autumn when the banksias are in bloom. The track begins in Frog Hollow where wet heath provides rich habitat for 23 species of frog that call Karawatha Forest home then climbs through eucalypt forest to the crest of the hill and the sandstone boulders of Poet’s Rock. This track connects with the Dianella, Wallum and Dentata tracks for a longer walking experience.

7.35 km return
2 hrs

Brushtail, Maculata, Dianella, Wallaby, Rocks

Trails added together to increase walk time at Karawatha

6.5 km return
84 mins

Brushtail, Wallum, Banksia, Wallaby, Rocks

These are trails in Karawatha Forest added together for a longer walk

3 km return
90 mins

Casuarina, Maculata, Hakea and Wild May trails loop

Combine Casuarina, Maculata, Hakea and Wild May trails to create a circuit from the Illaweena Street picnic area. These wide multi use trails take you through areas of Spotted gum, Scribbly gum, casuarina and paperbark-lined lagoons.

8.03 km return
2.09 hrs

Casuarina, Lomatia, Curtisli, Mahogany, Casuarina Trails

Curtisli is a hard trail in some places as indicated on the maps, but worth it to reach Yagara Rocks Lookout.
Illaweena Street trailhead.

1 km return
20 mins

Melaleuca Circuit

Small freshwater lagoons and eucalypt forest with large scribbly gums along the lagoon edge. This is a great walk for birdwatching. Easily accessed from Illaweena Street picnic area.

4 km
1 hr

Poets Rock

From Stretton Reserve, cross the bridge and head up Casuarina Track. Take the right onto Macaluta track. About a kilometre or so in, right before you hit the join with Hakea track, you'll see a steep track heading to the left. Scramble up there and you've reached the peak of Poets Rock. A good place to think and write poetry.

3.4 km return
45 mins

Rocks Circuit

A good circuit walk. Great view over the bushland. Includes stairs.

8.62 km return
2.27 hrs

Rocks, Dianella, Lomatia, Bracken, Entolasia, Rocks Trails

Trails added together to make walk longer.
Acacia Rd Trailhead

8 km
2 hrs

The Rocks Circuit (from Illaweena Street)

Starting from Stretton Reserve on Illaweena St, head to the far end of the picnic area and across the bridge over the lagoon. Start following the power lines and head slightly up hill. About 700 metres in, follow the sign to the right Dianella Trail. There's an interesting and rather random car wreck in here. Keep following it at any sign posts by heading to the Wallaby track.

When you reach the Wallaby track, head right for 170 metres then left for 120 metres onto the Rocks circuit. Head right (ignore the path in front of you) and keep following it around. Stick to the Rocks Circuit. You'll eventually come to an unsigned junction. Don't go uphill to the left (that will take you back to the Wallaby track) but head right down the gully and then up some stairs. This will eventually take you to an excellent little picnic area at the highest point in the park, with a nice view of the local area.

From the picnic area, head west on the Entolasia track towards the reservoirs and mobile phone towers. After the mobile tower (but before the huge/second water reservoir) head left where the sign says Wallaby track, but don't head onto the Wallaby track. There'll be a green arrow painted on a tree. Follow that arrow and head down the Casuarina track. If you ever wander off track, just follow the main track under the power lines until you get back to the bridge and lagoon.