The Venman Bushland National Park is around 40km south of Brisbane on West Mt Cotton Road. Drew spotted the entrance when running an errand and we added it straight onto our list for closer investigation.
Venman Bushland a block of 415 hectares, a large chunk of which was originally privately owned. The owner was Jack Venman, a local bushman who had planned to farm cattle on the land but after observing the degradation of pastoral properties he worked on around the country he came up with another plan to restore it to how it had been 200 years before.
The Venman Bushlands area had been logged in the early 1900’s so it was a significant task to return it to the beautiful parkland that it is today. Jack also built the walking tracks that double as fire breaks and dammed a small section of Tingalpa Creek to maintain a freshwater supply for the animals during dry season.
As the area around his property developed Jack sought to protect it permanently by selling the land to the Shire in 1971. He sold it for only $1 the lowest value possible to make the sale legal. He continued on as caretaker helping manage the land until he was 73, after his death, it was named in his honour and is now managed by Queensland Parks and Wildlife.
It’s inspiring to see what one man’s vision 40 years ago has achieved, today it is one of the better examples of eucalypt forest supporting a diverse array of wildlife and birds. The Venman Bushlands National Park is also part of a coordinated Koala conservation area but Koala aren’t the only wildlife enjoying the benefits of their habitat being preserved.
There is a diverse range of birds and reptiles here, we were fortunate enough to spot a good size goanna and a Southern Boobook (owl) amongst other things on our walk.
The tracks within the Venman Bushland area join with and cross several other tracts of land acquired at different times and they now form a significant green belt for koalas and other wildlife.
This map of the Koala Bushland Coordinated conservation area shows a number of the walks including the Tingalpa Creek Circuit that we walked on our first visit and the Venman circuit that tackled a few weeks later.