With its stunning scenery, incredible diversity of plants and animals, and rich cultural history, White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is the perfect spot for a family bush walk and picnic. Just 20 minutes from Ipswich or 35 minutes from Brisbane, the estate is easy to get to, yet a world apart from the hustle and bustle of the city.
About White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
Spread over 2,500 hectares of regionally significant bushland, White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate has remarkable natural beauty featuring open eucalypt forests, the headwaters of seven major waterways and culturally important local landmarks of White Rock and Spring Mountain towering above the trees.
Enjoy hiking, bird watching, mountain biking, nature study and horse riding (with your own horse). There are boardwalks, caves, and lookouts, all along well-maintained paths with clearly marked trails and benches for resting tired legs along the way.
The picnic parking area has an information point with maps and details of all the trails. There is also information about the estate. Kids will enjoy reading about the flora and fauna. This is great to do before you set off, as they can look out for these things along the walk. Toilets and picnic shelters are positioned by the parking area with grassy areas where you can set up a picnic rug.
History and Culture of the Estate
The Yagara People made up of the Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul Clans, are the Traditional Owners of Ipswich.
They hold this site as sacred and significant to the Traditional Owners. Sacred sites link individuals and country and allow elders to share cultural knowledge.
White Rock itself is a sacred site. Visitors should resist climbing it out of respect for the Traditional Owners.
Flora and Fauna at White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
The conservation estate features unique ecosystems with over 600 plants and 150 animal species. Some of these are threatened, including Ipswich’s most endangered species, the powerful owl, peregrine falcon, and the floral emblem of Ipswich, the plunkett mallee.
There are forests of endangered blue gum, spotted gum, swamp box and paperbarks. There are also beautiful wildflowers at various times of the year.
While walking, you will see and hear many forest birds flitting about between the trees. Look for scratchings and droppings at the base of large gum trees to help you spot koalas, and keep an eye out for lace monitors crossing the path. Kangaroos and wallabies can also be spotted in the bush or the grassy areas around the picnic area at sunset.
Walking Trails at White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
There are many trails to explore at White Rock – Spring Mountain, so you can be sure there is something for all fitness levels, age groups and time constraints.
Most walks are relatively easy and flat, with dirt tracks and some boardwalk sections. However, some steep inclines, rough terrain, and loose surfaces also exist.
The walking trails vary in length and difficulty, from a 200m walk to a challenging 19km trail. Read about each specific track before heading out to ensure it suits you. The suggested walk times are based on adult walking speeds; allow extra time for young children.
- Bluff Lookout Circuit, 200m one way (5 mins)
- Little White Rock Lookout Circuit, 200m one way (10 mins)
- Six Mile Creek Boardwalk, 300m one way (10 mins)
- Little White Rock Track, 600m one way (15 mins)
- Six Mile Creek Track*, 1.4km return (20 mins)
- White Rock Multi-User Trail*, 6.5km return (1 hour)
- Yaddamun Trail*, 19km return (4 hours)
*Please note that the Six Mile Creek Track, White Rock Multi-User Trail and the Yaddamun Trail are all multi-user trails, so walkers may share the tracks with mountain bikers and horse riders.
For full details of all the estate’s walking trails, check out the trails guide here.
What We Thought of White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
We thoroughly enjoyed our walk along the Six Mile Creek Track and Boardwalk and the climb to the Bluff Lookout. The rocky steps on the short climb were a bit tricky, but the view from the top was worth it. We enjoyed the beauty of the forest and the company of our family.
What to Know Before You Go
Before you head off to White Rock, here are a few reminders to ensure you have the best experience:
- Bring drinking water, food, hats and suncream.
- Wear suitable walking shoes as there are some steep inclines and rough or loose surfaces on some of the tracks.
- Take a mobile phone, and if you don’t have a copy of the trail guide, make sure you snap some pictures of the maps in the picnic area before you set off, to refer to along the way.
- Please protect the natural environment and teach the kids to ‘take only photos, leave only footprints’.
- Stay on the tracks and don’t let kids wander off as there are some high rocky outcrops and ridges with steep escarpments.
- Some tracks are shared with other users such as mountain bikers and horse riders, so take care if you’re on one of those tracks.
- There are NO dogs or pets allowed in this conservation estate.
- Park gates are locked between 6pm and 6am.
- Before you head off, check Parks and Reserves here to make sure the different areas and trails are open.
Getting to White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate
White Rock – Spring Mountain Conservation Estate can be accessed from the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area, which is located on School Road in Redbank Plains.
There is horse float parking on the left, and the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area with toilets and parking are up ahead.
For full details of the conservation estate, all the trails and handy maps, check out the trails guide here.
For other great bush walks with kids you might like the 10 Best Brisbane Walks for Families.