Less than one hour from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, the Ipswich region has over 550 public parks and conservation reserves, making it just the place for nature-based family holidays.
White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
The White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is known for its distinctive, sculptured rock outcrops, forested ridges and escarpments that drop deep into the valleys below. Within the park, unique ecosystems, sandstone ridges and bluffs form a habitat for over 600 plant species and 150 animal species. Some of those identified in the park include a handful which are listed as threatened or endangered, such as the powerful owl, peregrine falcon and the plunkett mallee which is featured as the Council’s floral emblem. Walking, mountain bike and horse riding trails are one of the parks main attractions.
*As per Cultural Protocol the Traditional Owners have requested no one climbs White Rock.
Denmark Hill Conservation Estate
Denmark Hill Conservation Estate has an intriguing history including the discovery of fossils that precede 19th century coal mining activity. Triassic Park offers the opportunity to explore replicas of fossils found in the area while short walks around the pond are good for bird watching and learning more about the park’s mining history.
There’s a selection of easy walking trails. making it a perfect destination for families with young children or walkers that are short on time but still want to enjoy nature trails. The highlight is the stunning view of Ipswich city and surrounding countryside on the Denmark Hill Water Tower* circuit. On a clear day you may be lucky enough to see the Brisbane city skyline far in the distance.
*Note the water tower is periodically closed for maintenance work.
Haig Street Quarry Reserve
The Haig Street Quarry Reserve is a suburban oasis providing splendid views of Cunninghams Gap, the Great Dividing Range, Teviot Range and striking Flinders Peak. Popular with bird watchers thanks to an abundant water supply that attracts wildlife, Haig Street Quarry is ideal for active families with easy to moderate walking trails. The Bearded Dragon Circuit winds its way gently up to the water tower and the Willy Wagtail Circuit weaves along the shore of Quarry Pond.
Plane spotters won’t find a better location to watch planes taking off and landing than at Amberley RAAF Base, while flower lovers will adore the impressive wildflower displays during Spring.
Purga Nature Reserve
The highlights of the Purga Nature Reserve include the largest protected area of endangered Swamp Tea-Tree forest in the world. If that’s not incentive enough to get out into nature, the park is a wallaby and koala habitat and is home to flowering orchids that pop up amongst elegant, weeping foliage.
Where to camp in Ipswich
The campgrounds at Ivory’s Rock are set amongst nature, including resident wallabies and koalas. The 600ha property backs onto Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate between Ipswich and Boonah. Camping options include rent-a-tents for those new to camping, which are set up prior to arrival and come complete with beds and powered sites. The campground offers space for campers and caravanners and some sites have private bathrooms.
Set on 200ha on the edge of the Scenic Rim, Keira Farm offers a tranquil location for a nature-based getaway. Travellers can check into the well-appointed Keira Billy Cottage or take the more casual approach with glamping tents. Either way, you can enjoy stunning views of the Flinders Ranges and enjoy sharing the space with kangaroos, black swans and magpie geese.
Hardings Paddock Campground
Hardings Paddock offers the chance to really embrace nature from one of eight campsites surrounded by natural bushland. The sites can accommodate tents, motorhomes or caravans and campground facilities include toilets, BBQ’s, picnic tables and a communal camp kitchen.
The town of Rosewood, 20 min west of Ipswich is an RV Friendly Town which welcomes travellers to camp at the Showgrounds. The site is in a central, convenient location and offers a convivial option for those passing through the area or lingering a while to explore Ipswich and surrounds.