5 Things you didn’t know about Ipswich’s most popular conservation estate

It might be one of the most visited conservation estates in Ipswich, but the White Rock - Spring Mountain Conservation Estate still has a few little secrets you might not know...
01 Jul 2021
Discover Ipswich, Staff Writer

Thousands of people each month hike, bike and horse-ride through White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate.

The estate, only 20 minutes from Ipswich and 40 minutes from Brisbane, is by far Ipswich’s most popular destination for nature-based recreation.

But even this much-loved area has a few facts about it you might not know.

1.    It’s home to a rare herb

Plectranthus herb at White Rock

Plectranthus habrophyllus is an endangered herb that can be found in White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate. It has delicate purple flowers that bloom in Spring and Summer. It’s not the only wildflower you can find, with beauties such as the Pink Nodding Orchid also found in the area.

2.    It has an explosive history

Gunpit 6 Mile at White Rock

If you see old piles of stones, you might be looking at a former gun pit. White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate was used for military practice for many years, including WW2 and the Vietnam War. Remnants such as unexploded ordnance have been found in recent years – so it’s important not to go off track!

3.    It was saved from development

WRSMCE scenery web

Today White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is the “green lungs” for the City of Ipswich, providing both biodiversity and the benefits of nature-based recreation. But in 1996, when Ipswich City Council launch the Enviroplan Initiative, there were just three small, separate nature reserves in the area. Some of the land that is now conservation estate was already being earmarked for future development. Through Enviroplan, Council was able to purchase more than 2300 hectares and preserve this important area for future generations.

4.    It has stunning features and sacred sites

White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estate stunning features

Some of the most photographed features at White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate are its stunning rocky outcrops. There are many sacred sites within this estate including the caves and outcrop overhangs, providing a link between Country and personal identity and allow the passing on of cultural knowledge. In particular, the Traditional Owners request that visitors respect their cultural beliefs and resist the temptation to climb to the summit of White Rock.

5.    It’s a no go for dogs

Bush walking at White Rock

Your pooch might be well-behaved and on a leash but dogs are banned from high-value conservation areas like White Rock – Spring Mountain. Even good little doggos disturb and cause stress to native wildlife, through their sounds and scents, and also attract predators like wild dogs. There are other places in Ipswich where you can take your dog on a bushwalk, such as Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve, Haig Street Quarry Conservation Reserve and Bailey Street Reserve.

Discover Ipswich Staff Writer
Rocky the Rock Wallaby is a Sagittarius who lives at the Ipswich Nature Centre and often contributes to Discover Ipswich in his spare time. When he's not busy showing tourists around, blogging or hanging out with his cute and fluffy mates at the Nature Centre, he likes to hit the gym for a leg session, graze on quinoa salad and ponder the possibilities of the universe.

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