Behind the camp sites there is a huge grassy area, with the central feature being a purpose built fire pit. The evening cooled off just enough for us to be able to enjoy a small fire. You will need to bring your own wood, but you won’t have to walk far to gather some kindling to get it going!it’s worth it if you like to cook in your camp oven, boil the billy and roast some marshmallows.
The only noise that you may hear whilst camped at Hardings Paddock is that of the occasional plane taking off and landing at the nearby Amberley RAAF base. The camp ground has no lighting and is nicely secluded, so the night skies are dark and at night time you will be able to enjoy a spectacular star show.
The Milky Way, Southern Cross and ‘The Saucepan’ were clearly visible in the night sky. Try laying out in the open on a blanket for a while and you might even be lucky enough to see a shooting star.
If you need a freshen up and have your own shower bag, there are three shower cubicles available. There are also three long drop toilets, one of which is suitable for disabled use.
If you are a horse rider, then Hardings Paddock is the perfect spot for you. It is one of the few spots where you can enjoy a trail ride and then camp for the night with your horse. There is a designated area for horse float parking just outside the campground. There are also holding yards and a water trough. Horses are not permitted in the Campground area.
Harding’s Paddock costs just $14.00 per site, per night with a maximum of 6 people allowed on each site. Stays are capped at three consecutive nights. The Campground has a locked gate at the entrance, and you will be given a code for the lock when you book. The entrance to Goolman Conservation area is locked between 6pm and 6am each day.
If you want to explore the area a little further, I can highly recommend the Flinders Plum Picnic Area. A further five kilometres down the Ipswich-Boonah Road, from the turn off to Hardings Paddock, you will turn onto Mt Flinders Road. The first part of this road is sealed but after that you will find yourself on a narrow and windy gravel road. I would suggest that this road is not suitable for small vehicles.
Care should be taken on this road and it could be challenging in wet weather as it crosses a creek several times. But at the end you will find a beautiful picnic area with large shady trees, a barbeque, picnic shelter and toilets. There are also three more walking tracks that can be accessed from Flinders Plum including the highly regarded hike to the summit of Flinders Peak.