Russo Nature Park is an environmental reserve along Stockyard Creek near Childers, Queensland. The park contains a diversity of local native trees, shrubs and wildlife.
The start of the trail begins at an odd place, on the opposite side of a bare field. The estate area around it looks new so it may fill in over time. The start is easily spotted with a large information board near the entry of the trail, providing a basic map and details about the reserve and wildlife.
The information board lists other natural environments in the Bundaberg region. Sharon Gorge Nature Park and The Sloping Hummock are two mentioned that we have visited previously.
It was particularly hot and was quite obvious it hadn’t rained much for quite a while. The grass, trees, shrubs, pretty much everything, looked brown and baked by the sun. I would like to come back to see what it is like after there has been some fresh rain to green it up a little and have flowing water in the creek.
Everything being so dry made it harder to see the trail in parts. Overall, the trail is easy to follow with direction posts guiding the way. The trail reaches a bridge crossing over Stockyard Creek and shortly comes to the first off-shoot track.
The first side track follows left along the banks of Stockyard Creek, with a sign indicating it leads to a big Blue Gum. The track narrows and has a couple of rises along the way. You can see an ancient gum tree ahead but it was a little confusing with no signage and nothing to indicate you had reached it or even if you were at the end of the trail.
We were unsure if we were still following the trail that would take us to a bigger gum and the trail had become less kept or the trail had ended and what we were following is a path created by previous walkers similarly confused the end had been reached. We headed back, coming to the conclusion the big gum tree was meant to be the end of the side trail and is the one signs were leading us to.
We headed back to the main trail and continued further in. The trail came to a more open area and found a picnic table. It is here that we become confused as to where the big tree is meant to be with a Blue Gum presenting itself with an information panel in front of it.
The Blue Gum (Eucalyptus tereticornis) is estimated to be 400 years old. The information board tells of the importance of old Blue Gums as only old trees have the hollows that provide protection for native wildlife such as possums and sugar gliders.
Towards the bottom of the information board, it mentions there is an even larger Blue Gum at the end of a nearby walking track… so our conclusion earlier was correct. One more information board there would be handy.
We continued along the main trail that follows along Stockyard Creek until you reach a fence. The trail takes a sharp left and heads uphill. The hill isn’t overly steep but it is a constant uphill (and some bits are steeper). The heat of the day had us thinking if we should have brought more water with us.
The trail eventually levels out and reaches the edge of the ridge, looking back down toward where we started from. The trees in front are fairly dense so the views are not terrific, definitely not so great for a beautiful scenic photography shot.
There is another picnic table at the lookout which is handy to have a rest before contemplating the trek back down. Having been up there I’d contemplate reaching the trail at the end of the creek and heading back without going up. If you do it for the walk itself then great, the view from the lookout isn’t the reason to go.
All in all, I’m happy we followed the brown sign into Russo Nature Park. I have driven passed it a few times and said one day we’ll have to have a look and now we have. When we are heading passed again after some better weather, we’ll follow the brown sign again.
To get there
From Childers Visitor Information Centre, head east along the main road towards Brisbane for around 1.4km. Turn left into Goodwood Rd towards Goodwood. Follow Goodwood Rd for 5.2km and turn left into Stockyard Rd at the brown sign for Russo Nature Park. Follow Stockyard Rd for 400m and turn right into Rosemont Dr with a smaller brown sign for Environmental Park. Follow Rosemont Dr to the end then turn right into Park Ave. Park Ave has been extended and not recognised on Google Maps yet. Follow Park Ave for around 500m to the end which curves around to the left. At the end of the road, continue straight ahead for another 130m from where you can then walk to the entrance, across the field on the right side.