Park in Focus – Venman Bushland NP – National Parks Association of Queensland

Park in Focus – Venman Bushland NP

Author: Samantha Smith

Photography: Supplied

Venman Bushland National Park is one of the largest remaining areas of eucalypt forest in the coastal lowlands near Brisbane, making this an important habitat for koalas and other wildlife. The park is located on Mount Cotton on Biripi land and is just 15 minutes drive from either the popular Logan Hyperdome or Capalaba.

Park History

The Venman Bushland National Park was originally used as a logging area before being bought and later transformed by Jack Venman.

Jack grew up in Kingaroy with his 2 parents and 4 siblings. Although he was a qualified engineer, he spent a lot of time working on cattle stations and moving around the Brisbane area. Eventually he set up a shop as a fitter and turner in Upper Mount Gravatt. After working there a number of years, he eventually decided to return to his old love, working on a cattle station.

In 1954 Jack bought a 255 lot of land used for logging in Mount Cotton for 510 pounds to run his cattle farm. Unfortunately, after 5 years of running his cattle farm, he was forced to find work elsewhere. It was during this time that he revisited a lot of old cattle stations he once worked on and noticed the degradation of the areas from poor practices.

After finally being able to settle on this Mt Cotton property In 1970, Jack was offered 48.6ha in Tallebudgera in exchange for his land by a subdivision company. But Jack wanted the land to be restored and protected, not divided up into smaller lots and sold for development. So at the age of 60 in 1971, he sold his land to the local council (Albert Shire) for $1 so it could be managed as bushland and provide a sanctuary for native fauna and flora.

Jack dedicated 12 years as the caretaker of the park before retiring in 1975. During his time as caretaker he created walking tracks, picnic tables, fire breaks and stone barbecues for visitors to use when they came to visit the park. In 1992, the Department of National Parks and Wildlife included the property in a coordinated conservation area that includes Daisy Hill Forest and Corbould Reserve.

The Venman Bushland National Park was officially named in Jack’s honor after he passed away in 1994 at the age of 83 from an extended battle with cancer. The national park is now 415ha and is managed by the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.

Native Fauna and Flora

The Venman Bushland National Park’s defining feature is its abundance of eucalyptus trees and koalas, but it is also home to kangaroos, wallabies, possums, monitor lizards and a wide variety of birds and insects. There are event native fish and eastern water dragons in and around the Tingalpa Creek that runs though the park.

‘The place has generated a peace and tranquility all of its own. People come here to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere—the tranquil bush’ (Jack Venman, cited in Walding 1992).

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