By Sarah Vercoe
Take a stroll through the countryside in Witta where Berganns Lane Walk will breathe life into your day.
The best kind of nature experience is the kind that sneaks up on you. One where you feel privy to a haven that’s hidden from the masses. This is the sense I get as I wander Berganns Lane Walk.
Carving my way through lush farmland in the country town of Witta, I breathe in the fresh country air. Witta is a blink-and-you’d-miss-it sort of town. But for what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in quintessential country charm.
Sleepy streets lined with blooming Jacarandas and towering fig trees criss-cross the town, enveloping a nature walk that’s inadvertently made space in my day to experience the living, breathing world.
Not your usual trail, Berganns Lane Walk begins on a dirt road that I just happened across after a pitstop in town; with a handful of letterboxes to the left and a Brown Tamarind tree to the right, the entrance looks more like a private driveway than a public walk.
At the surface it’s a repurposed quaint country lane connecting two main roads. But the further I penetrate the forest, leaving the dirt road behind to stroll grassy walkways overhanging with tree branches and traverse root-covered trails through rainforest, I begin to suspect the trail’s hidden charms.
Pausing under the shade of a White Beech tree my senses kick in. In the meadows that flank the trail, the bees, butterflies and birds are a recipe that’s altogether magical for the soul.
The council opened Berganns Lane Walk to the public in 2005 after extensive revegetation efforts.
More than 5,000 plants were planted, the remnant rainforest at the walk’s western end a reminder of the flora that dominated the area before civilisation took hold. It’s like an habitat-alleyway for wildlife to navigate the surrounding farmland.
The trail leads me down a grassy knoll towards a pristine wetland teeming with birdlife, an old wooden footbridge crossing the stream. The area is a known platypus habitat but I’m not lucky enough to spot the elusive monotreme today.
I do, however, encounter one very noisy Black Cockatoo squawking as it flies overhead, more finches than I can count, and a sweet-natured chocolate Labrador out for his daily walk, owner in-tow.
Although the trail is a mere 2.2km return walk I feel like I’ve made the journey to utopia. I guess that’s the magic of a walk through the countryside.
Exploring nature’s bounty doesn’t have to mean a four-hour hike through a national park. It can be as simple as a stroll down a country lane.
How to get there:
Find Berganns Lane Walk in the town of Witta, just 8 minutes north of Maleny. You can start the trail at either end with accesses on both Berganns Road or Witta Road.