The Riverwalk overlooks the beautiful Ross River and is a great place to view the prolific birdlife in this area. A 3-metre wide pathway runs along the river and provides numerous opportunities to enjoy its natural beauty.
After taking a stroll, all the family can enjoy the nearby barbecue facilities provided or have a game of footy in the beautifully landscaped open space.
Find out more about the flora and fauna you may see along the walk
The Booroona Trail offers the perfect opportunity for people to get closer to their environment with its attractive boardwalks, peaceful seating areas and harmony with the surrounding environment. The walking trail has improved the local river area dramatically and has also helped to foster a sense of community along the Ross River.
Blending man-made elements into the wetlands environment, the Booroona Trail provides the community with a safe place to experience a unique ecosystem with boardwalks, bridges, seating, plants and trees, overall beautification of the area and importantly, conservation and ongoing protection of native species.
As part of the project, more than 12,000 local native trees were planted to beautify the area, protect the ground, prevent erosion and promote revegetation. The former Thuringowa City Council’s parks nursery grew the majority of the trees planted and seeds were collected from the banks of the river and propagated in the nursery before being replanted on site.
To further protect the natural environment, the council removed noxious weeds and Chinee Apple trees, and used recycled greenwaste, which came from the landfill sites around the region as mulch.
The project received helping hands through the Queensland Government initiative Breaking the Unemployment Cycle, the Federal Government under the Green Corps scheme, the Department of Natural Resources and former NQ Water. The community was also involved in many aspects of the project to ensure that it ultimately reflected their needs. The trail was built in partnership with many community groups, providing them with the skills and training to undertake such a large project.
Residents and visitors can enjoy the walking trail by accessing it from Upper Ross River Road at Apex Park or Loam Island.
Some of the most common animal and plant species you may see on the way include:
- Melaleuca leucadendra - Paperbark or Tea Tree
Large trees with a papery bark growing along the water's edge. When in flower the creamy white butterscotch scented bottle brush flowers are borne in large bunches at the end of each branch. It flowers in autumn and winter. When in flower the trees are a source of food for many of the local birds and animals. Lorikeets and flying fox especially love the nectar-rich flowers. Many parts of the trees were used by the traditional owners of the area. The bark was used for shelter, cooking and warmth and the nectar was added to water for sweet drinks.
- Melaleuca dealbata - Cloudy tea tree - this one has a blue grey leaf
Fine leaf paperbark - Melaleuca fluviatilis - this one has a more weeping form and a very thin leaf. In some places along the river they all grow together.
- Typha sp - Cumbungi, Bull Rush
Look for a tall strap leaf plant emerging from the water in large clumps. It is recognised for its brown “sausage on a stick” flower. The plant is home to many small fish and crustaceans under water as well as food and home for many large and small birds above the water. This includes magpie geese, that flatten rafts to nest on, and sun birds that build hanging nests from the ends of the leaves. The roots, rhizomes, were especially valued for their rich starch, while the young flower spikes were also eaten. The strap leaves also make functional twine.
- Pandanus spiralis - Screw Palm
Look for a small palm like tree or cluster with dark green stiff leathery strap leaves with backward facing short spines. Usually found where water is nearby. The fruit look like large pineapples and turn a bright orange when ripe. They are a favourite food for possums and many birds. The spiny nature of the plant means it provides protection and a home for many birds and small mammals especially possums. The fruit does require some treatment before being consumed. The seeds inside can be extracted and ground to make flour.
- Irediparra gallinacean - Comb-crested Jacana
The Comb-crested Jacana is a medium sized bird with long legs and enormous toes and can be observed walking on floating vegetation.
- Emydurra krefftii - Krefft’s Turtle
The Krefft’s turtle is a short neck freshwater tortoise that is abundant and widespread within the Ross River. Its carapace or shell is oval in shape and varies in colour from pale brown to black. A mature animal can reach 25cm in shell length. This species can be distinguished from other freshwater turtle species by the yellow-green stripe which extends back from the eye. The Krefft’s turtle food source includes molluscs, crustaceans, aquatic insects, tadpoles, frogs, fish, decaying matter and aquatic plants. Nesting occurs along the banks of the Ross River between September and January. Approximately 80 days later, young will emerge and are occasionally found along the walking tracks. They should be placed back into the river as they are independent from the time they hatch. Freshwater turtles can be observed basking on logs or the banks of Ross River during the day.
- Trichosurus vulpecula - Common Brush tail possum
The Brush tail possum is the most common possum species located along the Ross River. This nocturnal species lives in trees and feeds predominantly on the new tips, buds, flowers and fruit of most native trees and plants. They are also known to eat some insects, grubs and graze on grasses. Their preferred habitat is the forest, where they nest in tree hollows. They will also cohabit with humans where they seek shelter, warmth and protection often in buildings and garden sheds. Brush tail possums can be seen about an hour after sunset, when they emerge from shelter to start foraging for food. Brush tail possums are usually solitary animals, but may be seen in high densities in suburban areas.