Bushpeople’s Guide to Bushwalking in South-East Queensland
Second Edition 1991 (ISBN 0 646 03753 6) (out of print)
The Boonah/Ipswich Peaks
- Special Notes
- Road Access
- The Boonah-Moogerah District
- The Ipswich District
The Boonah/Ipswich Peaks
The areas discussed in this chapter are all isolated peaks, and although most are located within the broad Scenic Rim crescent, they are not contiguous with the Scenic Rim or any other major natural region. The areas are well known for their excellent day walking opportunities, but are generally not suited to overnight ventures due to their small size.
Most of the peaks are relatively dry and rocky environments, vegetated by dry eucalypt forest or woodland with a heath understory. They offer superb wildflower displays in late winter and spring. Rock wallabies and koalas are also frequently seen here.
Bushwalking Conditions and Hazards
General Terrain: The majority of the more popular routes are on rough tracks, which are generally suitable for less experienced bushwalkers given normal care and commonsense. However, considerable caution is required if undertaking any exploratory trips. Despite their small size, most of these areas are quite rugged, possessing numerous cliffs which could prove hazardous if inexperienced walkers ventured away from the recognised routes.
Vegetation: Usually the vegetation does not seriously impede travel, although the dry heath understories are often thick and scratchy. This may cause concern on some exploratory trips.
Navigation: With proper precautions and care, navigation ls not normally a major difficulty in these regions, although bushwalkers should always carry a compass and an appropriate topographic map. Because of the relatively small size of the areas, 1:25 000 maps (or 1:10 000 if available) are essential to show any meaningful navigation detail.
Some ridge routes are much more difficult to follow in descent than ascent, so care is often required to remember the descent routes. Cliffs are the major navigation hazards in these regions. Inexperienced walkers are advised to refrain from exploring unknown routes.
Water and Heat: Most of the areas are waterless, and they are often hotter than expected due to the open nature of the vegetation and the rocky environment. Always carry a reasonable water supply, especially in non-winter seasons.
Facilities and Camping
There is a small national park camping area at Mt French, mainly suited for hike tents. Camping and day trip facilities include water, toilets, barbecues, lookouts and a few short graded tracks. The other main camping facilities in the region are private camp grounds in the vicinity of Lake Moogerah (see Directory). There is also an extensive picnic ground at Lake Moogerah, near Mt Edwards.
Access and Private Lands
Most of the peaks are partly included in small national or environmental parks, but in no cases do the parks cover the whole of the feature. It is frequently necessary to acquire permission to cross private lands to gain access to the peaks. At the time of writing, access is freely available to White Rock and the main parts of Mts Edwards, French and Greville, but permission from local landowners is necessary to visit Mt Moon, Minto Crags and the Flinders Peak region. Bushwalkers need to make special efforts to maintain good relations with landowners in these regions. Enquire with the local national park rangers about how to contact the local landowners (if this fails, refer to the enquiry procedures in Chapter 2).
The relevant topographic maps required for the various peaks are:
|Mt Edwards:||Mt Alford 1:25 000.|
|Mt French:||Maps are not normally required, although the area is covered by the Fassifern and Mt Alford 1:25 000 sheets.|
|Mt Greville:||Mt Alford and Cunninghams Gap 1:25 000 (both required).|
|Mt Moon:||Mt Alford 1:25 000 (main map) and Teviot 1:25 000 (southern ridges).|
|Minto Crags:||Mt Alford and Teviot 1:25 000 (both required).|
|Flinders Peak:||Flinders Peak 1:25 OOO.|
|White Rock:||Woogaroo Creek and Spring Mountain 1:10 000 (both required).|
Mt Edwards is accessed from the Lake Moogerah picnic grounds. Roads are evident on any road map.
Mt French: Take the turn-off at the Dugandan Hotel, 400m south of Boonah. This leads to the picnic area on the north summit, the area known by rockclimbers as Frog Buttress.
Mt Greville: The areas around Mt Greville are private lands and access is restricted to one location. Drive out from Brisbane on the Cunningham Highway and take the turn-off signposted “Lake Moogerah” 5km beyond Aratula on the left. Ignoring any turns, follow the road for 11km, then turn right across a grid into Mt Greville Road. Drive a further 1.1km and park in the car park area on the right, at about 522 929.
Alternatively, Mt Greville Road can be reached from Moogerah Dam by taking the road around the lake. This turns off south 1km from the picnic area. From here follow the directions below:
|Odometer||Feature/Directions||Distance Between Features|
|O||Turn off onto lake circuit road|
|9.9||Junction of Coulson, Croftby and Moorgerah Roads. Turn right.||3.5|
|10.3||Turn left into Mt Greville Road||0.4|
Mt Moon: There are various access points for Mt Moon, all of which require permission to cross private property. At the time of writing, the main access route is from the east, using the road which connects Mt Alford township with the Cameys Creek Road. Cars are left near the floodway at 580 909. Enquire with the QNPWS Ranger at Boonah for details about how to contact the landowner.
If permission from landowners can be gained, it is also possible to climb the peak from the north-west. You can walk to the north-west ridge from the Croftby road, leaving cars at any convenient location between its intersection with the Coulson and Moogerah roads (see road directions for Mt Greville) and a point near a quarry about 2.5km to the south.
Minto Crags: The landowner’s permission to access the crags is not readily granted and, if permission is given, extreme care must be taken to stay within the correct lands (enquire with the QNPWS Ranger at Boonah; refer also to page 237). The main access route is from private property using the road at 599 890. Take the Cameys Creek road which turns west 16km south of Boonah, then drive a further 8km and turn right onto the Mt Alford road. The road into the private lands turns off right about 1½km north of this junction.
Flinders Peak: Take the Boonah turn-off just west of Ipswich on the Cunningham Highway. Drive 11.6km and turn left into Mt Flinders Road, just before Peak Crossing township. Drive 6.4km along this road and park about 400m after a concrete causeway, just before a gate and creek crossing (788 258). Permission from the landowner is required.
White Rock: If driving from Brisbane, turn left off Ipswich Road at Goodna shopping centre, then follow Queen Street (which later becomes Redbank Plains Road) for 5km to the Redbank Plains shopping centre (do not confuse this with Redbank Plaza). Turn right, drive a further 2km, then turn sharp left on top of a hill into School Road. Follow School Road for about 3.2km and turn right on top of a hill (the road directly ahead is usually closed off by a gate). After a further 600m, there is a car park on the left on the crest of a ridge (851 385). Leave cars here.
The easiest of the Moogerah peaks, Mt Edwards is climbed from a track which starts on the opposite side of the dam wall from the Lake Moogerah picnic area. The route is well worn and straight forward, although you should watch for any offshoot tracks during ascent which could possibly confuse you on descent. The route can be completed easily in half a day and is about grade 1½.
An alternative and harder walk on Mt Edwards involves walking around the dam on the south side of the mountain and ascending the peak from the west. The route needs the best part of a day and is rated about grade 3. It should not be attempted in hot conditions, during rain or after particularly wet weather. Enquire with the QNPWS ranger at Boonah about how to contact the owner of the private lands which must be crossed south-west of the mountain.
The route starts by crossing the dam wall and walking the first hundred metres or so along the normal track. Then turn off the track on the left and make your way across the slope and then down to the north-western shore of the lake. Take care near the lake edge as the rocky shore is often slippery. Follow the lake shore around in an anticlockwise direction to where a creek enters the head of an inlet at 547 991. There is a small waterfall in this vicinity, and above this waterfall are several pools suitable for swimming in wet seasons. Follow the creek upstream for about 700m, then walk north-westwards across paddocks to a small earth dam at 534 999. Ascend to the north-east about a hundred metres past this dam and climb the steep gully at 538 004 (the most northern of two gullies in this vicinity). The gully gives good views towards the Main Range but care is needed as some slabs are very steep (in wet conditions these slabs could be quite dangerous). If conditions are suitable, it is best to stay in the gully until it begins to turn to the left at 544 007, then leave the gully and ascend through scrub to the summit. Descend back to the picnic area using the main track.
Although it offers only minor bushwalking opportunities, Mt French is an extremely interesting mountain and a notable peak of the Moogerah region. It is probably Queensland’s most popular rockclimbing area and its cliffs display dramatic vertical fissuring. In addition some of the foothills are covered in a form of dry rainforest of great interest to botanists.
The road leads to the north summit, which is the region known by rockclimbers as Frog Buttress. A picnic area has been developed and several short graded tracks lead to lookouts which give good views. Never throw rocks from the cliff-tops - climbers frequent the cliffs below and several serious accidents have been caused by sightseers dislodging rocks. Similarly, if you decide to walk below the cliffs, pass below any climbers briskly in case rocks are accidentally dislodged.
Mt Greville is a remarkable mountain of both scenic and biological interest. Located directly across Lake Moogerah from the picnic area, it makes a picturesque reflection in the waters. It is mainly vegetated in open eucalypt forest and wildflower heath, but it also has several major gorges which contain numerous palm trees. The mountain has a unique profile. Viewed from one place high on the Cunninghams Gap road, its humped summit and craggy spires have a remarkable resemblance to the shape of a feeding wallaby.
South-East Ridge: The peak provides many day walking opportunities. The main route to the summit is via the south-east ridge (515 935 – about grade 2½), which is found by taking the track leading directly uphill from the car park. This track is an official access route. There is a short band of rock and scree low down on this ridge, and some sections higher up where the track is vague, but otherwise the route is straightforward. The ridge is renowned for its wildflowers in early spring, the track often winding between heath on open rocky shelves.
About two-thirds of the way up the south-east ridge, the track goes past the top entrance of Palm Gorge (see below). Just beyond here, the route joins the final summit ridge, and there is an excellent lookout just off the track (at about 509 939). Here it is possible to view a great expanse of the Scenic Rim, stretching from north of Cunninghams Gap to east of Mt Maroon. However, this part of the mountain is very precipitous and considerable care is required around the lookout. Scrub obscures views from the summit of Mt Greville, but by crossing over the summit and descending through the scrub, views can be obtained from a lookout which lies above the northern cliffs.
There is also a lookout on the south-east ridge which overlooks Waterfall Gorge, although some searching is required to locate it (see later description).
Mt Greville Gorges: Either side of the south-east ridge lie the two principal gorges of the mountain – Palm Gorge (on the south) and Waterfall Gorge (on the north). Both can be used for either ascent or descent, and unless the conditions are wet are of only moderate difficulty (grade 3). Some people may experience problems negotiating the waterfall in Waterfall Gorge, but this section can be avoided if you wish. The gorges are particularly recommended as ascent routes if the weather is hot.
Palm Gorge: The easiest gorge route to locate is the descent via the southern gorge, since the track on the south-east ridge actually crosses the top entrance at about 511 938 (about two-thirds of the way to the summit). There are no major difficulties although there is some rockhopping and scrambling. Once out, pick up a track near the gorge entrance which leads northwards across the slopes to the south-east ridge route. Ensure you keep well clear of any farmlands below the gorge.
To find the ascent route up Palm Gorge, initially follow the south-east ridge track for several hundred metres, then follow a signposted side track which contours across to the left. The entrance to the gorge is marked by, and also partly obscured by, a large patch of lantana and scrub.
Waterfall Gorge is perhaps best done in descent, although it can also be used for ascent. To descend this northern gorge, you firstly need to locate the top entrance. Starting from the top entrance of Palm Gorge, contour northwards for a considerable distance, trying to stay at the same elevation. At one point you should cross either a small gully or a narrow cleft in the rock, depending on your exact route, but eventually your progress will be blocked by the northern gorge. Move uphill until the gorge entrance is found at about 513 941.
For the most part, descent is of the same degree of difficulty as the southern gorge. However, near the bottom, the gorge becomes narrow with smooth slabs on either side and (usually) some small rock pools. At this point there are two options. Competent scramblers can proceed down through the narrow section to the top of a waterfall some 15m high, which is bypassed by a sloping zigzag ledge on the right (south). This ledge is not difficult but requires a basic level of scrambling ability. The gully then leads out through scrub to the road. Alternatively, an easy exit from the gorge can be found by backtracking a few metres at the crevice before the waterfall, and climbing an obvious slope to the south. From here, the south-east ridge track can be easily reached by contouring.
Scramblers can also ascend the northern gorge by following up the scrubby gully just to the north of the car park, starting at a signposted track several hundred metres up the south-east ridge. On this route the waterfall is bypassed using the ledge previously mentioned. The entrance to the gorge from higher up on the south-east ridge (the easier route previously described) can also be used but is difficult to locate on ascent without prior knowledge of the route. Ascend the south-east ridge for a short distance until above the small scree slope, then contour right. After the gorge stops you from traversing further, climb up again and search for the entrance around some minor rocky outcrops. Once at the top of the northern gorge, you need to contour to the left for a considerable distance to reach the normal route to the summit.
Waterfall Gorge Lookout: This lookout is actually a rocky spur on the north side of the south-east ridge (possibly located at about 516 934). It is a short side trip from the south-east ridge and gives a dramatic view of Waterfall Gorge, although some searching is required to locate it.
National park covers only a small part of this mountain and it is necessary to cross private lands to access the peak. From the bushwalking viewpoint it can be approached from many directions, but unfortunately there is often difficulty in obtaining the co-operation of local landholders when seeking permission to cross their lands.
Mt Moon is a craggy peak where route variations can be made by exploring different gullies and crags, or by taking different gullies to avoid steep sections or scrub. Care should be taken on all trips on the mountain. A moderate degree of experience and judgment is required on most routes, and there is also a considerable loose rock danger in some areas. Unlike most other peaks discussed in this chapter, Mt Moon has few tracks to assist with navigation.
Eastern Route: The main access route at the time of writing is from the east, leaving cars near the floodway at 580 909. Enquire with the QNPWS Ranger at Boonah for details about how to contact the landowner. To climb the peak, walk along an old road which turns off just south of the floodway, then ascend the ridge which starts between the two tributaries at 574 904. It is critical to have a good topographic map and to clearly locate the start of this ascent route, since the ridges on either side of these tributaries lead away from the mountain.
The return trip to the summit takes the best part of a day and is rated about grade 3½. In descent the ridge described above is difficult to locate although alternative descent routes are available further north.
North-West Ridge: If permission from landowners can be gained, it is also possible to climb the peak from the north-west, leaving cars on the Croftby road (see directions on page 233). When using this route, some people scramble across to the saddle near the rocky tooth at 554 899, on the west of the summit before the final climb.
Other Routes: The southern summit can be ascended by its southern and western ridges, although at present it is difficult to obtain permission to cross the relevant private lands.
Mt Minto, popularly known as the Minto Crags, is a volcanic ring dyke. This string of rocky knolls lies in a semicircular mass just east of Mt Moon. All access to the crag system is across private lands and permission for access may be difficult to obtain. The best place to enquire about the name and address of the landholder is probably the QNPWS ranger at Boonah (although the crags are not in national park). If access is allowed, extreme care must be taken to stay on the property which covers the more northern crags. The southern-most crag lies on a separate property, and in the past the owner has made it very clear that visitors are not tolerated.
The Minto Crags can be traversed in a reasonably easy day trip (¾ day, grade 2½ to 3½ depending on the route). Starting from the road at 599 890, walk firstly to the saddle at 613 886. A fair amount of exploration is required from here on, and care is necessary in places. While the summits of most crags can be traversed, people unused to climbing and scrambling will prefer to walk around the bases of many crags. After traversing in a semicircle to the final crag at 595 900, the road to the south is easily regained.
The Ipswich District
This is the major peak in the Ipswich-Logan region and, although only 679m high, its rocky profile dominates the skyline between Ipswich and Jimboomba. Its imposing character inspires considerable interest in climbing the mountain. How- ever, it lies almost entirely on private land and permission from the landowner must be obtained to access the peak. Enquire with the QNPWS Ranger at Moggill for details about how to contact the landowner (if this fails, refer to the enquiry procedures in Chapter 2).
The peak is possibly more imposing from a distance than when upon it. There are cleared farmlands around much of its base, lantana on some of the slopes and a communications tower on the summit, so the area is hardly in pristine condition. Nevertheless, the peak gives good views of the Scenic Rim crest to the west, south and south-east, and there are areas of attractive sclerophyll forest on the ascent route. A rocky razorback just before the final summit climb provides additional interest.
Flinders Peak is usually climbed by its north-west ridge, which has only a few minor difficulties (grade 3). Walking along the road from the gate at 788 258, there are two creek crossings in the first few hundred metres. An old road turns off right near the second creek crossing, while the main road turns left and continues up the creek. Possibly the easiest way of accessing the north-west ridge is to follow the old right hand road up the slopes on the southern side of the creek. After a hundred metres, leave the road and ascend to the south-east (it is also possible to continue along this old road, which veers left after about 700m and regains the ridge at about 799 248; the cadastral lines marking the road are shown very faintly on the topographic map).
The north-west ridge can also be accessed by ascending south-easterly from the road which proceeds up the creek (refer map). Almost any spur within the first 1½km can be used, although lantana may be encountered on some of the earlier ridges. The spur at 802 254 is an excellent route for both ascent and descent.
N.B. While climbing Flinders Peak is not particularly difficult, the rocky tooth just east of the summit has been the site of a fatal accident and should only be explored by experienced climbers. It is also important not to ascend any of the ridges east of the tributary at 812 254, since these lead onto this tooth.
Nearby Features: Ivorys Rock lies north-west of Flinders Peak at 788 282, and is clearly visible from Mt Flinders Road. Park about 3.8km from the main Boonah road, and approach the Rock initially from the south-west before exploring around the final pinnacle. Other peaks in this area, such as Mts Goolman, Perry and Blaine, can also be explored, but note that much of this region is badly infested with lantana. Access conditions are the same as for Flinders Peak.
This area is close to Brisbane and provides a variety of easy part day ventures (½ to ¾ day; grade 1½ to 2). Because of the availability of highly detailed maps (1:1O OOO), the area is also suitable for learning basic navigation skills.
To reach White Rock, walk along the road from the car park at 851 385. After crossing under the power lines, you pass through Six Mile Creek Environmental Park - marked as an oddly shaped L-block on the 1:10 000 map. Continue on and cross over a major gravel road at about 853 375 (not marked on the map). This road goes to a quarry just up from the small dam at 865 371.
From the road crossing at 853 375, there are several ways to climb White Rock. possibly the best is by following the north-west ridge which starts just south-east of the road crossing. Alternatively, cross over the quarry road and continue 800m south along a minor road, then turn left up the valley to the west of White Rock (860 365). A disused vehicular track (one of many in this area not marked on the topographic maps) can be followed to the top of this valley.
The summit of White Rock itself is ascended by a gully on the east and provides interesting views. Probably the most impressive features in the area are the large smooth coloured sandstone cliffs and bluffs surrounding the pinnacle. The cliff on the south-eastern side of White Rock is particularly spectacular. From the knoll at 862 358, 700m to the south-west of White Rock, it is possible to see Mt Lindesay and other peaks of the Scenic Rim.
There are lots of other interesting features in the White Rock region, the area being sandstone and riddled with small caves. There are several caves on the southern side of White Rock’s north-west ridge, while the minor knoll just north of this ridge, at 862 369, is riddled with caves on its eastern side.
Woogaroo Creek Environmental Park lies on the rectangular block to the west of Woogaroo Creek at 870 380. From the western corner of Woogaroo Creek Environmental Park, it is possible to follow the power lines back to the car park.
|Queensland National Parks and Wildlife Service|
|Boonah:||Po Box 121, Boonah. Q. 4310. Telephone: (074) 63 1579.|
|Moggill:||55 Priors Pocket Road, Moggill. PO Box 42, Kenmore. Q. 4069.|
|Telephone: (07) 202 0200.|
|Private Camping Grounds|
|Moogerah Dam:||A G Muller Caravan and Camping Area. M.S.F. 461,|
|Kalbar, Q. 4309. Telephone: (074) 63 0141.|
|Yarramalong Recreational Centre. MS 461 , Kalbar. Q. 4309.|
|Telephone: (074) 63 7369.|
|The Gorge Camping Reserve. Telephone: R. Adams (07) 399 6672.|