Mt Gravatt Tracks

Recycle photos

Support our Mountain restoration projects
Recycle your biscuit and lolly bags at Coles

By: Michael Fox

Replas Bollards are to used as station markers for the self-guided walks through Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. So it is inspiring to learn that our plastic shopping bags as well as biscuit and lolly packets can now be recycled at our local Coles store.

Planet ARK blog post An Australian first – Free soft plastic recycling at Coles tells the story and lists the soft plastics we can now recycle rather than throw it in your Red Lid rubbish bin. Red Lid bins are gradually replacing the Green Lid general waste bins in line with the Australian Standard for waste bins.

Soft plastic you can recycle in the new Coles bins includes:

  • Bread bags
  • Biscuit packets
  • Frozen food bags
  • Rice and pasta Bags
  • Confectionery packets
  • Newspaper wrap (plastic)
  • Plastic shopping bags
  • Old green bags

Soft plastics like these cannot be recycled in the Yellow Lid household bins.


GPP storm damage - 5 Feb 13

Storm damage Gertrude Petty Place Bushcare

By: Michael Fox

Over the last two days I have walked the tracks in the Reserve to see what damage was done by last week’s storm. Being a mountain flooding is not a problem however we have lost a significant number of large eucalypts, a number of Casuarinas and a significant number of dead old trees (stags) which are often important habitat because of their nest hollows. A number tracks are blocked by fallen trees which will take time to clear as the Council teams prioritise clean up work.

Mountain Bike tracks

Storm block illegal mountain bike tracks

However, the storm has created some unexpected benefits for the habitat as fallen trees have blocked tracks used by illegal downhill mountain bike riders. We have had a number of reports that mountain bike riders have been seen in the Reserve so I also walked the areas that have been damaged illegal riding. I found some evidence of bike riding including clearing of logs placed by Council contractors to block tracks and minimise further erosion. So I was pleased to find a number of tracks blocked by large branches broken in the storm.

Red-browed Finch - 4 Feb 2013

Red-browed Finch – click to enlarge

I am also heartened by seeing wildlife thriving in the post storm environment.

I found Red-browed Finchs on Acacia Way …






Dragonfly - 5 Jan 13

Dragonfly – Blue-spotted Hawker – beside Summit Track

… and a previously unrecorded dragonfly – Blue-spotted Hawker Adversaeschna brevistyla on the Summit Track. Thanks to Graham McDonald for the id. You can see more info on this and other dragonflies at Brisbane Insects.







Shepherd’s Crook Orchid

I also found the Shepherd’s Crook Orchid flowering again at the Fox Gully Bushcare site. This is particularly important as this beautiful native orchid has been returned to the Reserve as a result of restoration work undertaken at the Fox Gully site.

Media Statement - funding approved for self-guided walks in the bush

Media Statement – funding approved for self-guided walks in the bush – Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve

By: Michael Fox

Support of an Everyone’s Environment Grant will allow us to open Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve to the community in a completely new way.

As the Minister’s media release says, 2013 will be busy as the concept is to duplicate the popular self-guided Summit Track walk for the whole walking track network in the Reserve.

A partnership with Brisbane City Council will see the installation of station markers at points

Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve walking tracks

Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve walking tracks

of interest. Mt Gravatt Environment Group will research the flora, fauna and geology while drawing on the knowledge of groups such as Mt Gravatt Historical Society to present the human story of the mountain.

The first stage of research has already been completed as Jon and Karla Henry have used GPS technology to map the walking tracks including some of the relatively unknown tracks like the link from the Scout Hall on Logan Road.

I acknowledge the strong support of Ian Walker, Member for Mansfield, who has worked with us at Bushcare sites, joined our planning meetings and talked about our work with colleagues and in parliament:

“The degree to which community involvement at a voluntary level enhances the life of the residents of Mansfield is immense. In addition to the P&Cs, Meals on Wheels, Neighbourhood Watch and sporting groups—go the Vultures—are groups like the Mount Gravatt Environment Group, which does a magnificent job looking after Mount Gravatt and its environs …” Ian Walker MP, Maiden Speech to Queensland Parliament

I also acknowledge the valuable advice and support provided by, the often forgotten, department members in both, the state Department of Environment and Heritage Protection, and BCC Local Asset Services.

By: Michael Fox

From Granby Street take Federation Track to Gertrude Petty Place

I joined Sandra, David and Marshall this morning to explore the headwaters of Jo’s Creek: above the timber bridge on the Federation Track. Our aim was to clear a large infestation of Ochna serrulata Mickey Mouse Plant which is currently flowering and getting ready to set seed.

This upper section of Jo’s Creek where the Federation Track crosses is quite special with Coin-spot Treeferns Cyathea cooperi thriving

Marshall clearing Ochna removed with Treepopper

along the sides of the gully even in the very dry weather. When we have good rain the many rock pools fill up and the gully is alive with birds you don’t find in more open forest areas.

Working together we cleared a large area of Ochna, Umbrella Trees Schefflera actinophylla, Lantana Lantana camara and Asparagus Fern Asparagus aethiopicus. Some larger Umbrella Trees had to be cut and poisoned however most Ochna

Sandra (left) and David

was pulled out roots and all with the Treepopper. The Asparagus Fern was lifted out whole with two-pronged hoes.

Still plenty of weeds to be cleared but a good morning’s work so we head home. On the way I show David how to wash his hands with “bush soap” made from leaves of the Soapy Ash Alphitonia excelsa.

“I’m out in the bush and still have to wash my hands!”

Koala near Hillsong carpark. Photo: Craig Byrne

We are learning amazing new information about Koalas and other Australian wildlife every year, as demonstrated by the extraordinary new evidence that Koalas, in at least one location, eat the bark of trees as well as the leaves.

Locally Craig Byrne spotted this healthy specimen this week while walking in the bush near the Hillsong carpark. Sightings like this are an important part of our work in restoring Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve. Detailed records of Koala sightings provided evidence to support the installation of Koala crossing signs in Klumpp Roadafter a Koala was killed in November last year.

Koala Tracker map – 11/8/12 – Red = Dead, Yellow = Sick/Injured

Have you seen a Koala?

Email with photos and location and will add the directly data to the innovative new Koala Tracker database. As Koala Tracker Member we can access maps, detailed data and photographs for our local area.

Please support this powerful community initiative to save our Koalas:

You are a part of the solution. Report every sighting, every death and injury. Tell your friends to do the same. 


By: Michael Fox

Key threats to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:

  • Weeds/Garden Waste/Dumping
  • Downhill Mountain Biking, Trail Bikes & Unofficial Tracks
  • Feral and Domestic Animals

Mt gravatt run – Uploaded by on 17 Aug 2011

2011 Mt Gravatt SHS – National Tree Day Planting

“We felt gutted seeing the damage they had done.  The irony is, that if we, CVA volunteers and Griffith Uni student volunteers hadn’t cleared out the area, they wouldn’t have been able to get through there!”

Susan Jones was talking about finding that mountain bikers have established a brand new trail right through the middle of the area restored by Mt Gravatt SHS students in 2011

No Motor Bikes No Mountain Bikes

and being prepared for our July 25 National Tree Day planting. The action was quite deliberate and systematic as the sign was thrown away and sapling Brush Box, Soapy Ash and Wattles were sawn off as well as broken down.



Biking is illegal in Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve


Mountain biking is not allowed in the Reserve. Signs at the Summit and at Gertrude Petty Place clearly state “No Motor Bikes No Mountain Bikes”.

Rider ignores No Bike sign

The bike in the video above actually leaves the road and takes a track straight past a No Bikes sign. Click on photo to enlarge. v

The mountain biking is not only illegal it is also damaging a unique environment that our community has fought to protect for over one hundred years: Mt Gravatt Historical Society, tells us that up till July 1893 the mountain and surrounds were designated as a railway timber reserve. In response to community pressure the Queensland Government of the time protected this special habitat by declaring the Reserve.

Mountain bike riders are actively destroying mountain habitat

Susan showing cut sapling


I inspected the latest damage this week with Susan Jones. What really stunned us was the systematic habitat destruction with saplings sawed or broken off and used to make jumps for riders. Cut and broken trees included a four metre Early Black Wattle Acacia leiocalyx just about to flower. Early Black Wattle is the caterpillar food plant for Imperial Hairstreak Jalmenus evagoras, a beautiful butterfly which is returning to the mountain with the restoration of our bushcare sites. Other trees destroyed included Soapy Ash Alphitonia excelsa, caterpillar food plant for Small Green-banded Blue butterflies Psychonotis caelius, Brush Box Lophostemon confertus, caterpillar food plant for the

Butterfly trees chopped up for bike jump

fascinating Four-Spotted Cup Moth Doratifera quadriguttata.

Many Lomandras have been destroyed by the action of bikes, including a flowering (male) Many Flowered Mat-rush Lomandra multiflora, caterpillar food plant for Brown Ochre Trapezites iacchus and Black-ringed Ochre Trapezites petalia butterflies: two of forty-five butterfly species found in the Reserve.

Young trees destroyed to make a bike track

It is hard to show the enormity of the damage. None of the trees were very large but the collage of cut stumps gives some idea of the number of trees destroyed to create track for entrainment of a small number of people.

And by the looks of it this is only the start. Following the track down from the Summit we found yellow markers tied to trees, not only along the track but also what appears to be planned as a new track taking off to the south. Trees had been cut or broken and yellow tape tied to others. It seems that this new track planning was only stopped when the tape ran out … evidenced by the empty spool discarded in the bush.

Further evidence of expansion plans is the cache of tools we found locked to a tree just near the path.

Yellow tape marking out track expansion plans

Track clearing tools locked to a tree

Our community investment


Seeing the wanton destruction of our special habitat made me very angry, not just because of the personal impact on me, but also because this action ignores the huge ongoing contribution our community is making.

Conservatively calculated, Mt Gravatt Environment Group is responsible for over $30,000 in volunteer contribution during the 2011/12  financial year.

Over the same period our community has invested $19,905 in grants from Queensland Government, Brisbane City Council and Southside Sport & Community Club.

Donations and direct investments by community members exceeded $8,000.

Ongoing support and investment by BCC Habitat Brisbane program: plants for revegetation, equipment, training and public liability insurance.

Community partners include Mt Gravatt Men’s Shed – nest-boxes, MacGregor Lions Club – native garden restoration Roly Chapman Reserve, Mt Gravatt Girl Guides – planting Pollinator Link garden, Griffith University – student volunteer program, QUT and Australian Catholic University student volunteers.

Sheamus – Young Citizan – Jan 12

Community Recognition


Our contribution has been acknowledged with a number of community awards.

Sheamus O’Connor

  • Young Citizen of the Year 2012
  • 2012 YoungStar Community winner

Michael Fox

  • 2012 Lord Mayor’s Green Heart Award
  • 2011 B4C Environmentalist of the Year
  • Shortlisted for selection for Pride of Australia 2012 – Environmental Medal

Mt Gravatt Environment Group

  • 2011 Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs – Environmental Protections Award
  • B4C Bushcare Group of 2011

Fox Gully Bushcare

  • 2011 Brisbane’s Spotless Suburbs – Partnerships Award

How can you help?


Please express your concerns to Cr Krista Adams as Brisbane City Council is trustee of Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve:


Phone BCC Call Centre: 07 3403 8888

By: Michael Fox

Kathleen Noonan is a regular visitor to Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve and has, in the past, written thoughtful words about the Mountain in her Last Word column in the Courier Mail.

Last Saturday’s column really appealed to me. Particularly her description:

“I’ve returned to Mt Gravatt Lookout because it has a decent scrap of bushland around it to walk in. It’s different from running in city streets. Here, the landscape absorbs you. With each footfall, you return the favour.” Kathleen Noonan

Read Kathleen’s column online

By: Susan Jones

Female Koala at Gertrude Petty Place
Photo by Susan Jones

This afternoon about 4pm we stopped clearing weeds and sat down at Gertrude Petty Place for a cool drink and something to eat.

To my amazement, a female koala jumped to the ground from a sapling gum a few metres away and headed out onto the grass.  I squatted with the camera to take a shot, not realising that the Tallowwood gum I was hiding behind was the koala’s next destination!  It shot up the Tallowwood, only stopping once to look back disdainfully at me.

People sometimes forget that Mt Gravatt Conservation Reserve is an enviromental park where visitors share the habitat with koalas, echidnas and many other species.

It is wonderful to see people enjoying the Summit and Federation Outlook tracks, particularly with the increasing sightings of koalas.  However, many people parking at Gertrude Petty Place then go walking dogs off-leash in our conservation reserve.

The presence of this  koala at Gertrude Petty Place today, is a very good reason why we should be encouraging dog owners to keep their animals on-leash in the Reserve.

Your dog wants to play off-leash? Visit Abbeville Street Park.

By Susan Jones

Worldwide, Lions Clubs are planting 25 trees annually in support their local environment.

MacGregor Lions have chosen as their 2011 project, refurbishment of native gardens on the Roly Chapman Reserve pathway.  These five gardens are in a poor state, with weeds strangling earlier plantings.  BCC Habitat Brisbane and Mt Gravatt Environment Group are delighted to support MacGregor Lions in this venture which will visually improve the Reserve for walkers and provide valuable habitat for wildlife.

Kookaburras welcome the Lions

Saturday 1st October was Lions’ first working bee and the welcoming committee was ready!

Five Lions’ members rolled their sleeves up and tackled a jungle of Cocos/Queens Palm Syagrus romanzoffiana and Elephant Grass Penisteu purpureum.





A large tarp was laid out onto which weeds were piled for mulching and recycling.






A good morning’s effort!


If you would like to help MacGregor Lions with this project, their next working bee will be on Saturday 5th November 8 am – 10 am, at the Hoad Street end of the Roly Chapman pathway.  (UBD 201:A9).

For more information visit Lions MacGregor website at

Explore Mt Gravatt with our new Summit Track self-guided walk brochure.

Park at Gertrude Petty Place picnic area at the base of mountain: off Mt Gravatt Outlook Drive. From the parking area take the concrete path then follow the signs to Summit. The track winds around the northern face providing views of the city, Glasshouse Mountains, D’Aguilar Range, Mt Coot-tha and over Toohey Mountain to Main Range.

Distance:  Two kilometres (return)

Grade:  Easy. Uphill all the way: some steps.

Time: One to one and a half hours, depending on walking rate and time spent exploring.

The self-guide brochure provides details relating to Station markers along the track.

Printing of the new brochure has been supported Cr Krista Adams through the Lord Mayor’s Suburban Initiative Fund and Wishart Ward.

You can collect a copy of the Mt Gravatt Summit Track self-guided walk brochure from Wishart Ward Office, Mt Gravatt Library and Garden City Library or print your own – Summit Track guide.

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