The hike to majestic White Rock in Spring Mountain Conservation Park is approximately 6 km return and is great for the whole family.
Located just 15 minutes from Ipswich and 30 minutes from Brisbane, it has everything a good hike should – an interesting trail, great views, variety in flora and wildlife.
From Paperbark Flats Picnic Area, head up the Multi-Use Trail, which provides easy walking despite the sandy surface. The track isn’t steep but it climbs steadily for a couple of kilometres.
There are a couple of shorter trails off to the side, but to get to White Rock, continue on until you see the sign for the White Rock Ridge Trail on your left. You can either take this track, or further up there is another track with signs to White Rock. However, instead of taking either of these options, if you continue on the Multi-Use Trail even further, there is a lovely start to the single trail a bit further up.
Once you leave the multi-use trail, the terrain quickly changes to a rocky path that will take you to the southern end of White Rock. Here you might be lucky enough to see the grass trees in flower with bees busily gathering nectar from the flowery spikes.
After about 5 minutes the track winds around the base of White Rock - an amazing majestic rock feature. The shapes and colours of the rock above tower over the track as you walk in the shade of the massive rock outcrop. Pockets and overhangs in the rock offer a great perspective of the shapes that have been eroded into the rock over time by wind and wild weather.
As the track winds around the base of the rock, the perspective changes – the massive “corner” of the rock hangs out, proud and imposing, dwarfing everything below it.
White Rock is a culturally-significant location and the traditional owners of the land request that people don’t climb to the top. The view of the rock from the bottom is well worth the hike, so make sure you take your camera.
From this point of the walk, there are 3 options - head back the way you came, take a short route straight down to the Multi-Use Trail and return that way, or head back via the White Rock Ridge Track (WRRT). This is the longest section of single trail and is a really enjoyable part of the hike.
As you leave White Rock, the trail drops down into a gully and then you climb back up onto the ridge that will take you down the hill. After a little bit of easy scrambling/climbing, the track pops out onto the rocky ridge.
Make sure you stop here to appreciate the view looking back over to White Rock, and you can also see the suburbs of Springfield and to Brisbane. Children need to be supervised here as there are cliffs.
From this point, the track follows the ridgeline, and the path is clear and well-defined. There are many different types of birds in the area, and you can enjoy their birdsong as you walk.
The track loses altitude and heads through a variety of trees and shrubs. There are lots of rocks on the track which adds variety and make it interesting to walk. A couple of sections are a bit steeper with some loose rocks, but it still isn’t difficult.
Follow the track until it finishes, as it reaches a fire road. From here, it’s a very short walk back to the junction where you turn to head back to Paperbark Flats, about 800m or so.
Nice to know – White Rock, Spring Mountain Conservation Reserve is able to be used by people with dogs, horses, mountain bikes or on foot. There are picnic tables and well-maintained composting toilets at the Paperbark Flats Picnic Area.
Need to know - Access is via School Rd, Redbank Plains.
By Kate Bennie, Sons of Adventure