Did you know that Ipswich City Council has purchased over 6,500 hectares of reserves and conservation estates in the Ipswich area to ensure that significant natural resources are sustainably managed and secured for the future? Below is a snapshot of the reserves that you can explore.
More information can be found in our Park Search.
Purga Nature Reserve – 138.5 hectares, 840 Middle Road, Purga
Located approximately 14kms south of the Ipswich CBD, this Reserve contains one of the largest remaining stands of endangered Swamp Teatree Melaleuca irbyana. Purga Nature Reserve is also an important habitat area supporting a healthy Koala population within the endangered Blue Gum Eucalyptus tereticornis community along Purga Creek.
The reserve also features peaceful nature walks with two Class 2 tracks for easy level walking, including the 350-metre wheelchair-accessible Tea Tree Boardwalk Circuit, raised high enough to keep your feet dry even if the wetlands have had rain.
The reserve has The longer Melaleuca Circuit is still a fairly short stroll on flat land, and with the native herbs, wildflowers and ground covers in place, it’s an inviting habitat for birds. Keep your eyes peeled for Eastern Grey kangaroos, koalas and echidnas which occasionally make an appearance.
Purga Nature Reserve’s popular frog pond, depending on the time of year and rainfall, is host to the Green Treefrog, Eastern Sedgefrog and Striped Marshfrog, and you can also see willy wagtails, skinks and rarely, red-bellied black snakes. With picnic tables, compost toilets and drinking water available, plus award-winning winery, Ironbark Ridge Vineyard, nearby this area near Ipswich offers a great day out.
Located 20 minutes drive from the Ipswich City, the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate covers over 2,200 hectares. The conservation estate supports extensive forests and rugged volcanic peaks and slopes including Flinders Peak, Mt Blaine, Mt Catherine and Mt Goolman.
A range of recreational activities are on offer to visitors to the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate including bird-watching, hiking, mountain bike and horse riding (bring your own bike or horse) and camping.
Harding’s Paddock and Flinders Plum Picnic Areas are the destination highlights within the conservation estate with each area offering barbecues and public toilets. The campground at Harding’s Paddock provides the only bush camping opportunity within the 6,000+ hectares of natural reserves in the Ipswich region.
This estate forms part of the largest remaining tract of lowland eucalypt forest in South East Queensland, stretching from Flinders Peak south of Ipswich to Karawatha Forest in Brisbane, providing critical habitat for a number of key species, including the vulnerable Brush-tailed Rock Wallaby Petrogale pencillata, Ipswich’s faunal emblem.
About 11 kilometres north of Ipswich CBD in the suburb of Pine Mountain is 158 hectares originally known as Cameron’s Scrub, but recently renamed Kholo Enviroplan Reserve. The area supports a wide variety of bird, mammal, reptile and amphibian species and adjoins a nature refuge to the west that is owned and managed by the State Government. Together, the reserve and the refuge protect a dry vine forest vegetation complex that has almost completely disappeared from South East Queensland.
The reserve features lush gardens, crystal clear lily pond, bush walks and open spaces. Giant Kauri trees and Hoop Pines planted by early settlers, rare birds and plants, and the nearby Brisbane River all make this a special place to spend some time. It's also a sacred site for the indigenous Jagera, Yuggera and Ugarapul People.
Enjoy the peace and quiet of the 400 metre walk through Tree Fern Lane under a natural rainforest canopy. The more energetic can try the steeper 800 metre Coal Creek Walk - aptly named seeing as the earliest recordings of coal in the area were made here in 1825.
More information on Kholo Gardens
Located only 6 kilometres from Ipswich Central, the Haig Street Quarry Conservation Reserve is an oasis in the suburbs and home to many water birds that live in and around the Quarry Pond, also offering expansive views of the Scenic Rim.
The land around the quarry was handed over to the Ipswich City Council in 1989. Seven years later Ipswich Enviroplan funding was used to expand the Haig Street Quarry Reserve, increasing the total area to 20.2 hectares. The expanded reserve assists to maintain a north south corridor that allows for wildlife movement from the Pine Mountain area through to the Bremer River.
The reserve is a great place for bird-watching, especially along the aptly named Willy Wagtail Circuit, and the Tom Craik Lookout is perfect for viewing the planes taking off and landing at the Amberley RAAF Base.
Picnic spots including picnic shelters, a playground, toilets and nearby parking the Haig Street Quarry Conservation Reserve an ideal location for a day in the bush.
Only 4.7kms north of the Ipswich CBD in the suburb of Muirlea you’ll find the Hillview Drive Reserve. This 37 hectare reserve adjoining the popular Kholo Enviroplan Reserve along the Brisbane River helps to conserve native vegetation. Previous uses of the area include limited grazing and timber extraction. The Reserve was purchased in 1999 to form part of a major bioregional corridor which connects across the Brisbane River with linkages to Brisbane Forest Park.
More information on Hillview Drive
It's not often you get an unspoiled natural wonderland in the heart of a city but Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve in Ipswich Central is an idyllic environmental gem. Once you descend the walking tracks amid huge native trees, you completely forget that you're just a few minutes away from the city's main streets. It's a popular place for bird watchers, with owls, kookaburras, wrens, finches and others making their homes there.
Just head up to the white water tower on Denmark Hill overlooking the Central Business District and you'll find this hideaway for nature lovers. You can take the five-storey staircase to the top of the tower first for a spectacular vista then have your choice of walking circuits that range from 200 to 800 metres. It's a relaxing walk down to the picnic area where you venture into Triassic Park, complete with a Stegosaurus structure protecting the dinosaur footprints and fossil displays that have been found there.
Located less than 10 minutes from the Ipswich CBD is the Woodend Nature Centre, positioned on the banks of the Bremer River. The Nature Centre is home to one of the largest Flying Fox colonies in South East Queensland with roosts along a gully in Woodend as part of the reserve. Flying fox types spotted in the area include the Black flying-fox (the most regular visitor to the park), Grey-headed flying-fox (infrequent and often unpredictable visitor) and the little red flying-fox (very nomadic, only here in summer).
The Woodend nature reserve was formally established in 1994 with the facility including car parking, disabled access, sheltered areas and toilets (keys required). There is a large viewing deck, which allows excellent viewing of the flying foxes colony. Prime viewing time is fly out, which is late afternoon to dusk.