There really is no better way to immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of our region than by heading out for a bushwalk or hike. From leisurely strolls to more vigorous treks, Ipswich offers a variety of terrain to explore for people of all ages and fitness levels.
Beginner walkers and families
- Paperbark Flats in White Rock Spring Mountain Conservation Estate is a great place to get started with bushwalking in Ipswich. The trails along Six Mile Creek and up to surrounding features like Little White Rock and the Bluff are perfect for beginners and families. If you’re up for a 6.5km return walk, the White Rock Track is not to be missed as it takes you to one of the region's most distinctive and beautiful features.
- Alternatively, shorter walks along trails that take less time to complete can be found closer to town – at Kholo Gardens, Haig St Quarry Bushland, Denmark Hill Conservation Park, Purga Nature Reserve, Denman Park, Pine Mountain Bush Reserve, Pan Pacific Peace Gardens, Ric Natrass Environmental Park, Moodai Reserve and Walter Zimmerman Park. Detailed information on the recreational trail network in Ipswich's Conservation Estates can be found in the following guides:
- Keen for something a little more strenuous? If you’re an experienced bushwalker or trail runner, some of the best trails are found at Flinders Goolman Conservation Estate. These trails lead to spectacular places with expansive views of surrounding mountain ranges and an array of natural features and wildlife. Trails vary in length and difficulty, so it’s recommended you do your homework before setting out. Trailheads are located at Harding's Paddock (Carmichael's Rd, Purga) and Flinders Plum (Mt Flinders Rd, Peak Crossing).
- The Flinders Peak Hiking Trail is another iconic Ipswich experience for more physically fit walkers. Beginning at Flinders Plum Picnic Area, this trail starts easily but becomes increasingly challenging as you ascend, with rough surfaces, steep inclines, cliff edges, limited signage and no water sources. Only well-equipped, fit and experienced hikers with bush sense, navigation and rock scrambling skills should undertake this trail.
- View the Flinders-Goolman Walking Trails Guide (PDF, 3.0 MB)
Like any activity that involves venturing out into nature, when walking and hiking it’s wise to take a number of simple steps to keep yourself safe. Before you head off, be sure to notify someone of your planned walk, check weather forecasts and fire and weather warnings. Pack plenty of water, food and sunscreen and make sure you wear appropriate clothing. Take a mobile phone and emergency contact details with you and when you’re out on your walk always stick to the track.
There are a number of clubs and groups in the Ipswich area dedicated to bushwalking and hiking. Most offer membership to people of all interest and fitness levels and often organise social gatherings for members to get to know one another. The major club in the region is Ipswich Bushwalkers Inc., which meets on the first Sunday of every month.
Code of conduct
While most walkers and hikers are respectful to the environment and other people while out in nature, it’s always worth remembering the key things we all need to stick to in order to protect what we came to enjoy.
- Tread lightly and stay on designated trails at all times, making sure not to cut corners.
- Do not disturb or remove any plants, animals, rocks or artefacts from cultural sites – these are protected by law.
- Leave no trace - remove all rubbish you take in and respect the environment.
- Always read and obey all signage.
- Be courteous and prepared to share tracks with other recreational users and keep an eye out for cyclists and joggers approaching unexpectedly.
- Respect neighbouring private properties by staying within the reserve boundaries.
- In case of accidents or emergencies call 000 or 112 immediately.