For anyone wishing to enjoy some down-time in a charming natural environment, learn about Burpengary’s unique local area, or take the kids somewhere special, then the CREEC (Caboolture Environmental Education Centre) is definitely the place to go.
Set amongst 18 hectares of diverse native vegetation near Burpengary Creek, the CREEC harbours plenty of wide open spaces, as well as shady, tucked away areas offering a more intimate experience. With its manicured greens, playgrounds, BBQs and other family-friendly facilities, a nursery, and lovely forest trails, the iconic CREEC has been a nature-hub for locals since its establishment in 1999.
Considered one huge outdoor entertainment area with a central, multi-purpose building, the CREEC provides great value for families on a budget.
From its brightly coloured, sheltered playground to a larger-than-life bike track alongside it, the CREEC’s facilities are a great drawcard for children of all ages who love to climb, play and zoom around on their two-wheelers. Open 7 days a week, this fully fenced playground and accompanying bike track have become popular with parent groups who want their little ones to exert a bit of energy in a safe area.
Clean and well-maintained, the kids’ area also adjoins some free, push-button BBQs, picnic shelters and separated toilets, great for birthday parties and social gatherings.
A second playground under construction nearby will open around Christmas time, catering for kids with disabilities. This ‘All Inclusive Play Space’ will be one of the few places north of Brisbane where children with disabilities can play unhindered, surrounded by a natural, tranquil landscape.
Established to provide Australian native plants for revegetation programs within the Moreton Bay Region, local council, and other community environmental programs, the CREEC Community Nursery is also open to the general public.
Producing a 200+ selection of natives and endangered species, the nursery has become many locals’ first port of call when seeking advice, or purchasing a plant that will best suit their home.
Run by volunteers who are both passionate and informative, it’s open to the public every Monday, Wednesday and Friday 7am – 3pm. Pop in for a warm chat and be amazed by the spectacular display of natural vegetation that both come from, and befit, our local area.
Particularly lovely when the sun is high and the breeze gentle, the CREEC’s forest walks make day trips from Brisbane worth it, offering up an experience of pleasant discovery.
These self-guided walks, which are both easy on the feet and pleasant to the eyes, are available to those wishing to while away an hour appreciating and learning about our regional ecosystem.
Pick up a brochure at the CREEC’s centre to decide between the 400m or 1.5km track and see if you can identify all the native flora and fauna. Along the way you’ll encounter a purpose-built frog pond, bats, fig trees, macadamia trees, a fire tower, a windmill, a sensory garden and stingless bees, and if you keep your eyes peeled you might even spot a koala, or platypus.
You also have the option to book guided walks if you’re keen to learn more about our unique natural environment, or sign up for specialised activity walks where even owls can be held, koala habitats planted and sausage sizzles enjoyed.
The specially-built Education Centre hosts key environmental education programs for children, students and adults. With a variety of topics available including exploring habitats, learning about the Burpengary Creek catchment, threatened wildlife and sustainability, both young and older nature lovers can soak in the words and wisdom of knowledgeable specialists.
The Education Centre is housed in a welcoming and comfortable building. It even boasts a kiddy corner for parents with young ones to pop in and read books, colour in, admire scale models of the area and check out butterfly collections.
Also within this centre is a cute, little nocturnal room which plays night creature sounds and gives people a rare opportunity to view a hive of stingless bees sheltered behind glass.
Open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4.30pm, the Environmental Education Centre also hosts multiple school holiday programs and workshops, details of which can be found on the Moreton Regional Council website.
Nestled away within one section of the CREEC grounds is a sensory garden. Providing delectable smells and unusual textured leaves, the sensory garden is a lovely little private enclosure where you can sit eyes closed as your senses tingle, absorbing all the sensory gifts provided by the natural surrounds.
Once you’ve had your fill, take a stroll to the large shade-sail area, or one of the many lookout points dotted around the grounds and along the walking tracks.
There are no cafes, or food shops on the CREEC grounds, but about a kilometer up the road is a quiet, unassuming tavern, serving both meals and drinks.
Located at 150 Rowley Rd, Burpengary, opposite Burpengary Meadows State School, the CREEC is just a short 5-10 minute drive from all of west Moreton Bay Region’s residential areas, making it a popular central point for families.
Outside of peak traffic hours, it’s common to see families from the Narangba and Burpengary suburbs ride their bikes to the CREEC. Bus routes tend to only cater for the local school run, so it’s best to make your own way there. The CREEC is a 50 minute drive from Brisbane city and a 45 minute drive from the Sunshine Coast.