Only a short drive from Brisbane city and located in the expansive D’Aguilar National Park is the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre – a bushland oasis where you’ll find a modestly sized native animal display, kid friendly bushwalks, freshwater swimming enclosure and rainforest cafe.
While the small wildlife centre is sure to delight mini nature lovers with its reptiles, wallabies and wombat, it’s the gum tree surrounded Walkabout Creek Cafe that’ll get the nod of approval from the adults.
Pack your togs for a refreshing dip in the Enoggera Reservoir and your walking shoes to explore the surrounding trails and you’ll really experience all Walkabout Creek has to offer. Psst! There’s a few hidden gems to be found along the tracks. Head over to our article on Walkabout Creek bushwalks to find out more!
It’s important to note the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre is relatively small which is reflected in the low admission price and also makes it an ideal place to take animal loving toddlers who might not have the stamina for one of the bigger Brisbane zoos.
Once you’ve spent some time admiring the adorable animals, then venture out to the national park to enjoy the great outdoors and turn your visit into a whole day out.
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre
Nestled into the towering trees of the national park, once known as Brisbane Forest Park, is the Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre which houses the small wildlife centre and cafe. Upon entry you’ll find an information desk to purchase tickets to the wildlife centre (you can also prebook online), some interactive, museum-like displays and a small gift shop filled with Aussie essentials.
Here you can check out the detailed map to help ensure your day runs smoothly and take the opportunity to make a toilet stop before starting your encounter with the scaly and furry creatures waiting below.
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre’s Nocturnal Exhibit
Head down the stairs and prepare your peepers for the dark and cave like nocturnal exhibit which kicks off your journey at the Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre. Once your eyes adjust to the conditions, you’ll be met by an assortment of reptiles and snakes whose clever camouflaging skills create a fun game of spot the animal.
As you travel further along the underground pathway, you’ll come face to face with a variety of other creatures including cute spinifex hopping mice, huge fish, eels, turtles and even a freshwater crocodile.
All enclosures are low to the ground, making it very interactive for kids while information screens and a litter exhibit up the education factor. This section of the wildlife centre can also be accessed by a door on the ground level if you’re visiting with a pram or wheelchair.
Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre’s Outdoor Enclosures
Once you’ve wandered through the nocturnal exhibit, head out the back and say hello to the free roaming emus and wallabies, or try to spot the echidna in its open air enclosure. If you’re lucky (like we were!), you might see the resident wombat waddling about his multi-level den but it’s more likely you’ll find him curled up and sleeping in a burrow.
Don’t forget to look up into the leafy canopy for your chance to spot the rare Lumholtz’s tree kangaroo which calls Walkabout Creek Wildlife Centre home.
The outdoor portion is easily accessible for prams with paved footpaths that are easy for little legs to navigate. This nature filled space overlooks the Enoggera Reservoir giving you a little sneak peek into the other activities on offer while visiting Walkabout Creek.
Admission prices for Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre
The centre is open 9am to 4pm every day except Christmas Day and from 1:30pm on ANZAC Day.
There is a small entry fee which reflects the size of the exhibit and best of all children under 4 are free.
There’s also weekend ranger talks plus exciting school holiday programs to suit junior rangers of all ages. See the Queensland National Parks website for current ticket prices, information on any exhibit closures and details on upcoming special events.
Walkabout Creek Visitor Centre
You can pick up a map of the D’Aguilar National Park bushwalking tracks and learn a thing or two about the local flora and fauna from friendly park rangers. Kids will also love the collection of live insects and the virtual lookout which provides stunning views over the area.
There are several trails stemming from the main car park including the popular Araucaria Track which takes you on the easy 5km path around the reservoir. The shorter tracks, which start from the discovery centre, are achievable for even the youngest of legs and are great for beginner hikers.
Nearby is the beautiful Enoggera Reservoir – bring the kayaks for a paddle, the blanket for a picnic, or do some bird life spotting from the water’s edge.
At times, the reservoir is closed to swimmers and recreational water sports (often due to heavy rains making it more dangerous). Before you go, be sure to check the Park Alerts on the Walkabout Creek website to check if swimming is allowed to avoid disappointment.
Walkabout Creek Cafe
This tranquil, open plan cafe is located in the treetops above the wildlife centre and has lovely views that’ll make you forget you’re only 12kms from the city. Its open 7 days a week serving up your morning coffee, lunch after a bit of adventuring or maybe even an ice cream after a long day of swimming. Just keep an eye out for the cheeky, feathered locals who won’t hesitate to steal a chippie off your plate!
How to Get to Walkabout Creek
Walkabout Creek is located at 60 Mount Nebo Road, The Gap QLD 4520.
There is ample on-site parking available and a nearby bus terminal – the Gap Park ‘n’ Ride.
The Walkabout Creek Discovery Centre is both pram and wheelchair accessible.