The volunteers at the Botanic Gardens have completed a major upgrade to one of the greatest attractions, Sooty Owl’s Creekside Trail. A new path leads visitors through this magical space – with NO steps.

Volunteer Ed Turner helped to build the new path.

The initial path continues to be a favourite while the alternate path with a series of timber bridges across Charlie’s Creek allows mums with prams and some of the less abled to enjoy the Trail with much greater ease.

Both pathways have also been upgraded with pavers replacing the bitumen, offering a smoother surface on which to walk.

All of the surprises and activities in Sooty Owl’s Trail, including the “thong gong”, the water pump and mill and the megaphone Q&A are still fully accessible. 

The team is also delighted that the Owl statue or “totem” has been returned to its rightful place at the northern end of the Rose Garden.

Chainsaw artist Matt Bird carved the owl totem.

The work was created by chainsaw artist Matt Bird from a dead tree in 2015. Sadly, the root system and base finally rotted and the sculpture fell recently.

Thanks to local builder Martyn Haynes who came up with an innovative solution to minimise damage and secure the sculpture for the future, plus some deft lifting from the team at Coles Earthworks, it was soon back in pride of place.

When you are next at the Gardens, make a point of visiting both the Sooty Owl Trail and the amazing totem which was carved entirely with chainsaws!