The Venman Bushland National Park is around 40km south of Brisbane on West Mt Cotton Road. Drew spotted the entrance last week and we added it straight onto our list for closer investigation. It’s 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’d 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 fresh water 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 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 part of a coordinated Koala conservation area but Koala aren’t the only wildlife enjoying the benefits of their habitat being preserved. There are 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.
There are a range of walks in the Venman Bushland area which also cross several other tracts of land acquired at different times and now forming a significant green belt for koala and other wildlife. This map of the Koala Bushland Co-ordinated 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 we plan to head back and tackle in a few weeks time.