I’d never heard of Karawatha Reserve before I downloaded the geocaching coordinates from Geocaching.com last night. It’s a little embarrassing really because the reserve is only about 30 minutes from my home. The public holiday today seemed like a good time to rectify this oversight. There are thirteen geocaches hidden in the Karawatha Reserve and they are scattered all over the park to make the trip worthwhile.
The council have done a fantastic job establishing a range of walking tracks to cater for most users’ needs. They include fire trail, single track, bridges and boardwalk. Some trails are flat while others climb steep hills or drop into deep gullies.
The trails weave their way through a wide variety of flora and topography. There are wet grasslands where shaggy clumps of paperbarks flourish, their water loving nature guaranteeing strong growth. Creeks course through the wetlands, reeds softening their edges and water lilies adding colour to the brown water. On higher ground the grasses give way to dense pockets of she-oaks, impenetrable to most full-grown adults. Where the ground is rockier, bottle brush and grass trees thrive; the red bottle brush flowers adding colour to the various shades of green that make up the bush.
Near the carparks there are pretty picnic areas for couples, friends and families to enjoy. The picnic tables are covered to provide shelter from both the searing sun and pouring rain that are a part of life here in Brisbane. The mown lawns in the picnic areas provide a cool soft surface for children to play on or for people to sit on if they don’t want to use a table. These aren’t picnic areas developed on the cheap but, rather, they are appealing places to stop and enjoy the stillness of the reserve.
Karawatha Reserve contains a lot of water. The creeks and ponds throughout the reserve contain brown swamp water. While many might think this unattractive, to me it’s the familiar water of home. When the sun is shining the sky and trees reflect off the smooth brown surface, making it prettier than it otherwise would be. Unlike the creeks and ponds, the water on Karawatha Lake can be called blue. It’s not ocean blue but colour is relative. While swimming is not officially allowed in the lake, families and teenagers were making the most of the last warm days.
I ran / walked 16.8km in my attempt to find all 13 caches hidden in Karawatha Reserve. During my hunt I traveled along a mix of trails but also did more than my fair share of bush bashing. At one point I thought I was following the best trail to reach a cache but the trail changed direction. Instead of backtracking I decided to just bushbash the 380m to the cache. I’m comfortable in this type of bushland and don’t fear getting lost. Though if I continue with this geocaching and bushwalking I need to buy myself a proper pair of hiking boots and some gaiters because my legs get quite scratched up when I wear my road running shoes.
When I was within 60m of the cache I came across a swampy creek. I looked for a way to cross without having to wade through but there wasn’t one so I just ploughed on in. The water was thigh-deep. The mud on the bottom of the creek was difficult to walk on in my shoes because I got sucked down in some spots and slipped in others. It was fun to make an epic of an otherwise simple cache (there was a trail leading straight to it from the other side).
Total: 16.8km hike and 12 geocaches (there was a cache I couldn’t find 😦 ).