ONE of the things I most like about northern Europe is the sheer picture postcard beauty of walks through green glades and forests and beside little streams with quaint bridges.
Australian rainforest walks are also beautiful but with more rugged appeal – towering trees, dramatic waterways, tangled vines and a constant awareness of what creatures may be lurking.
A Dutch friend used to take great delight in calling out “snake” when we were on a forest path, just to see me jump, which of course I always did, even though the rustle was more likely to be a bird or a bunny than anything venomous.
It’s all so serene and gentle compared to the less-travelled tropical Australian bush.
And a bushwalk sounds like something utterly impossible when you live in a city, unless it is in the botanic gardens, right?
But no, within a 10 minute drive of the city centre is Enoggera Creek at The Gap in the “leafy western suburbs”.
This walk has a magic little mix of the European green quaint and the Australian imposing splendid.
If walking’s not your thing, there is also a brilliant cycle path winding adjacent to the creek bank.
Leave the city centre and head west along Waterworks Rd for about 8km, park near the first bridge you come to after Ashgrove Golf Course, head down to the creek and start walking.
The course has a lot of variety in vegetation and heaps of wildlife and birds.
In some parts the creek has huge rocks, in others there are pebbles where the water babbles over them and in other parts, it is deep enough for a swimming hole.
In one memorable scene, there was a bush turkey wandering in the foreground, a frilled lizard lounging on a log behind it and ducks floating happily in the background.
At times, I had to remind myself where I was as it all seemed so remote from downtown Brisbane and yet here it was, so close to the CBD.
Definitely a cool, literally, place to visit.