Craigie Bushland and Quenda Reserve
Updated: Feb 12, 2020
This piece of bush behind the Craigie Leisure Centre is full of surprises. Easy access is by walking behind the leisure centre and through one of the gates into the Reserve. (recommended access point for wheelchairs, prams or bikes). We entered off Addingham Court in Craigie - a cul de sac with a few parking spots at the top from which you can access the bush. The advantage of coming in this way is that you are at the top of the ridge that encircles the reserve and you have spectacular views over the bush below you. Access is via a staircase built courtesy of the Water Corporation which owns this land. Another access point is via Unicorn Place in Craigie. Park in the cul de sac and head south (turn right) on the limestone path behind the houses and the stairs are about 7 houses along the path. These "Craigie Steps" are often used as a local Jacob's Ladder. Once up was enough for me!
Signage at the Addingham Court Entrance.
The steps leading down from Addingham Court into the Bushland.
Looking up the Addingham Court Steps from the bottom.
The steps from the path near Unicorn Place. Straight up and down and great for exercise!
The flat double gated universal access behind Criagie Leisure Centre.
Initially we followed a limestone path and turned left once we hit the Quenda fence. The fence is purpose built so that foxes are unable to dig their way in and has a loose piece of wire at the top which prevent cats from climbing over the top (cats prefer something solid under their paws!) Whilst the fence is a bit of any eyesore when you understand it's purpose you can appreciate that it is much better than an electric fence. The Quenda Reserve initially had 40 quendas rehabilitated there but the population now stands at 120. Murdoch University is conducting a study of the animals to learn more about them and how they assist the environment. It seems that where they dig there is less leaf litter which reduces the fire load.
The fence enclosing the Quenda Reserve - fox and cat proof.
Information sign at the entrance to the Quenda Reserve.
The paved universal acces path through the Quenda Reserve.
Following along the fence on the limestone path walkers are able to bring their dogs however dogs are not permitted within the Quenda Reserve, When we arrived at the second staircase we also arrived at the western access gate into the reserve. The reserve contains about 6km of pathways which wind through the bush. Some are limestone, others are paved allowing universal access.
At the time we visited the bush was dry but green. There are some magnificent marri and tuart trees through out the reserve. There are also plenty of grass trees which the quendas hide under during the day only emerging late in the afternoon and evening to dig for truffles and fungi under the ground. You can clearly see the marks from their digging.
Holes where quenda have been digging.
Apparently the eastern part of the bush has orchids in late September/October so a return visit is planned - perhaps later in the day so we might catch sight of a quenda.
There are various information signs scattered along the paths giving information about the history of the bushland and also the flora and fauna found here. There are benches located near the signs so you can sit and enjoy the bush. I would say the quiet bush but as the bird life is prolific it is not really quiet! The eastern rosellas have taken over from the native cockatoos and twenty eights and have taken over many of the nesting holes in the trees. We witnessed some cockatoos sitting on a branch while some cheeky rosellas poked their heads out of a hole in the branch a little lower down. A hole further up the branch had been taken over by bees so the poor cockatoos have been booted out by two introduced species!
Spot the cockatoos! In the broken branch below you can just spot a rosella which has taken over the nesting hole.
This nesting hole has been taken over by introduced bees.
Behind the Leisure Centre there is a drainage sump which has been revegetated into a wetlands area where the quendas go for a drink.
What most amazed me about this piece of bush is how it sits behind a high ridge and from the ridge you are looking down onto the forest of trees and bush. Walking down the steps into the forest is a very different experience.
Looking across the bush canopy towards the Addingham Court Steps from the Craigie Steps near Unicorn Place.