The Grand Opening Event is to be rescheduled again. Unfortunately parliament will be sitting on Dec 3rd so our officiating guest is now unavailable.
The new date is expected to be March 4th 2023 but will be confirmed closer to the date.
Please join us for the offical grand opening of the walk.
Officiated by Elizabeth Watson-Brown MP Greens Member for Ryan
10 am – 12 pm
Book your free ticket through Eventbrite
A new attraction in the Moggill Creek Catchment has been the result of the foresight and hard work of Gordon Grigg who lives next door to where the Gold Creek Sawmill operated from 1919 to 1923.
Gordon began the project about two years ago and it is already a very pleasant walk that will appeal to native plant enthusiasts and bird watchers. The area is remnant Dry Rainforest and Vine Scrub and retains many of the species common to this fast-diminishing landform that used to be prevalent in the Moggill Creek Catchment.
The Walk is an easy stroll and is located just before the entrance to the Gold Creek Reservoir at the top of Gold Creek Road and access is from the parking area.
Gordon was aware of the area which has an amazing range of trees, some of considerable size, and so far, 100 species have been identified and 200 of both saplings and mature specimens labelled. Previously the area was difficult to access with heavy Lantana undergrowth until Gordon and Andrew Ness developed a sinuous track through it and employed some contract weeders to ‘break the back’ of the clearing job. Subsequently Robert James and Keith Rickart have become regular contributors to maintaining the track and clearing the worst of the weeds. The mulched pathways have been located around the few remaining remnants of the sawmill and through the forest, some of which was planted by Gordon’s Upper Gold Creek Bushcare Group (Section 9) about 20 years ago. There are a lot of mature trees, which were there before the sawmill was operating in the early 1920s and there is a lot of regrowth, including some surprising finds including a beautiful unidentified fern that cropped up in the middle of one of the paths after the recent rains.
Unidentified fern growing after recent rains at the Sawmill Walk
While there is little recorded about the sawmill, it employed about 12 men and contributed to quite a sizable community and a school was established at the end of Gold Creek Road during this time. By 1923 the immediate area had been logged out of suitable trees and the sawmill was moved on to another area. Now the main evidence is the large concrete platform for the steam engine that operated the mill and some smaller relics scattered around the site, including a huge flywheel thought to be a governor for the sawmill engine.
Gordon was able to secure a grant of $10,000 which was used for Lantana clearing and labelling of specimen trees. Gordon has worked closely with Andrew Wilson, who has identified the tree species and helped with the labelling. High quality aluminium labels have been used for many of the trees and further temporary labelling has been used which will be replaced with permanent labels when funds are available.
Birders can expect to see some interesting birds in an early morning visit to the Sawmill Walk. Rarities such as the Black-breasted Button Quail and the White-eared Monarch have been found in the area and Spotted Quail-thrush and Wompoo Fruit-doves are relatively common. Swamp Wallabies, Pademelons and Mountain Brushtail Possums are known to frequent the area. It provides such excellent habitat, that as more people visit the Sawmill Forest Walk more interesting animal and plant species are sure to be found.
The Gold Creek reservoir is a well-known birder and bush walker location and as the Sawmill Forest Walk becomes better known it will be a valuable extra attraction for visitors thanks to Gordon and his helpers.
Gordon Grigg and a very old Foambark (Jagera pseudorhus) growing in the Old Gold Creek Sawmill Walk
Words and photos by Ed Frazer