Osprey House Environment Centre, just north of Brisbane, offers a lot more for Brisbane Kids than just information about the fish-eating raptor.
Located at Griffin, Osprey House is a true environmental treasure trove of information and hands-on displays set amongst the trees and mangroves and staffed by enthusiastic volunteers.
A visit to Osprey House can see your little (and big) one’s bird watching, walking on the boardwalks, learning about the environment, enjoying a picnic, having a play or even doing an impromptu performance in the amphitheatre. Housed in a timber structure, to blend in with its natural surroundings, the building and boardwalks at Osprey House are easily accessible for wheelchairs and prams and are mostly shaded, making it a perfect destination at any time of the year.
Osprey House Environment Centre
Osprey House takes conservation education seriously and its easy to see why it is one of the most popular Moreton Bay Environment Centres. Visitors can see a variety of displays, read about recycling, and even meet the resident worms in the worm farm. Volunteers show how to live a sustainable life with care for resources and the environment. Upon entering the Environment Centre you will immediately see a large dugong model, and an array of information about this amazing creature.
The centre is designed for active little minds and there is a lot to see to keep the children engaged. You’ll find a range of Australian animals hiding in a tree as tall as the ceiling as well as a collection of snakes and other interesting animals. There are pictures of local wildlife so you can look for them when you head outside.
Be sure to can ask the friendly volunteers for binoculars so you can use them to extend the learning from the centre to the environment outside. It is a great opportunity to have a conversation about the environment, why we recycle, why we need to be careful with plastic bags and rubbish in general.
Hands on activities for kids
Younger kids will love the activity corner with arts and crafts. Make a koala or butterfly to take home or try your hand at the puzzles or colouring-in sheets.
There is also a touch and feel table with a collection of natural artefacts. Examine snake skins, gumnuts, plants, feathers, fossils and shells or use a magnifying glass to examine bugs and insects that have been collected.
Osprey House has its very own, specially designed, Raptor Nest Pole, which you can find down the eastern end of the carpark. The 21-meter-high nesting pole was installed in 2006 and provides the Osprey with a secure and safe nesting site. The nest is home to a pair of adult Osprey, George and Hope. During the breading season eggs often hatch in the nest, with all the action being captured on ‘nest cam.’ The footage from the camera, which has a perfect view of the nest, can be viewed on the screen in the Environment Centre and from the comfort of your own home via Facebook or Osprey House’s webpage.
Ospreys are a medium sized bird of prey, also known as fish-eating raptors. These fascinating birds are dark-brown on the upper parts of their body, with a lighter colour underneath. Despite the size of their body, their heads are rather small in comparison, with a strong, hooded beak. Osprey prey on medium sized fish, plunging down, feet first to snatch their target, before ripping it apart to swallow.
Osprey House is nestled among the trees on the edge of the Pine River and as such is home to many kinds of wildlife. Whilst we can’t guarantee what sort of animals you will see when you visit, but we can tell you the following have been spotted at Osprey House:
- Osprey (the main attraction)
- Birds – Plovers, Curlews, Sandpipers, Godwits and Tattlers
Your Brisbane Kids will love running around the boardwalks built over the Pine River mangroves. There are several bird hides where you can stop and check out the bird and sea life (be sure to bring your binoculars.). At one end of the boardwalk you can find the Fred Dohle Amphitheatre where you can search the mangroves for crabs and small sea animals at low tide.
Look up and you might be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of an Osprey or Whistling Kite flying overhead. Koalas also use the surrounding trees as a resting place, so keep an eye out for them.
You might be curious about the numbered metal plaques located at various points on the boardwalk path. The pictures on these plaques represent the native significance of the local natural environment. The plaques are designed to trace over with a crayon onto a sheet of paper.
Activity Idea: Bring some paper and crayons down from the house to try plaque rubbing which is a great memento of their time at Osprey House, which you can take home with them.
Perfect picnic spot
Once you’ve explored the Environment Centre and the boardwalks, head to the shaded picnic area for a bite to eat. With a BBQ and picnic tables, it’s the perfect way to finish your visit at the Osprey House. Do take some insect spray though, as at certain times of the year the mosquitoes can be rife.
Osprey House Features
- Osprey House Environment Centre is open 6 days a week (closed Mondays)
- The boardwalks, bird hides, BBQ and picnic tables are accessible anytime
- Admission is FREE
- Picnic tables
- Accessible walkways and ramps
- Ample off-street parking with a designated bus zone
- BYO food and drinks (no food outlets on site)
Another wonderful Environmental Education Centre can be found at Caboolture Region Environmental and Education Centre and is well worth the visit. It features an amazing all abilities playground and has a large area to explore. Check out our review here.
Just down the road from Osprey House, you will find the picturesque Dohles Rocks Foreshore. Take a stroll along the foreshore, enjoy a BBQ or picnic, try a spot of fishing, launch your watercraft or let the kids play in the fully fenced playground.
Osprey House is open and welcoming visitors however some activities may be on hold to maintain a COVID safe environment for all.
How to get here
Osprey House is located on Dohles Rocks Road, Griffin, approximately 30km north of the Brisbane CBD.
Phone: 07) 3204 6647