I drove out to the ‘burbs of Ipswich on Sunday morning for what I thought would be a wander in the bush for a few hours, little did I realise I would be hiking up hill, through bull dust, scrambling up rocks and having a good ol’ sweat – 101 bush walking – be prepared!
A warning – White Rock is busy on the weekends – I was lucky to have found a car park to start with and when I noticed all the families (aka screaming kids) out for a walk I thought I may have picked the wrong place to enjoy a peaceful hike. However I am glad I stuck with White Rock as it was a challenging walk with a “worth it” view at the end.
There are two short loops at the start of the trek that lead to Bluff Lookout and Little White Rock Lookout. They are worth checking out, however I found there were large groups of rock climbers practicing their skills so it was noisy combined with the families.
Once I got to the actual White Rock Hiking Track (above) (it took me about 30 minutes after going around the two loops) there were less families (the families that I did see had complaining kids as it is a long and hard trail) and whilst I still saw a lot of people there were times I was alone. I’ll also note that Saturdays is Park Run day and this trail forms part of the 5 kilometre run.
The trail is classed as Challenging (Grade 5) which is different to what the map I had printed said – Moderate (4). The trail also loops around White Rock, the map depicts that you walk in and turn around and walk out, I did get slightly confused.
Anyway I set off and for most part the trail is walking on a four wheel drive track full of bull dust that follows the Six Mile Creek which can get rocky. It is peaceful with gum trees, grassy scrub and birds calling out but hot in the sun. At the first intersection I turned left (follow the sign posts).
I walked for an hour and came to another intersection (below) and went right.
This heads up hill around the “back way” of White Rock. It is steep but steady and rocky. There isn’t a lot of shade either. It looks like this…
This leads to a rock formation (not White Rock) and gets quite high with some nice views.
I scrambled up to a large rock…
I climbed up and over and found this…
It was a relaxing place to stop, catch my breath, have a drink and eat lunch.
I climbed back down and continued to White Rock which is spectacular!
White Rock is a really cool sandstone, rocky outcrop with numerous hidden caves. It is requested that you do not climb White Rock.
It took me 30 minutes to do this loop (including lunch and exploring White Rock) and hike down hill on steep stairs (good for conditioning!) back to the intersection.
It then took me another 30 minutes to walk back to the carpark.
How long: the track I took is about 8 kilometres return (including the 2 smaller loops and the White Rock loop). It took me 2.5 hours to complete.
How to get to White Rock: from Brisbane head west to Redbank Plains and set your GPS for School Road, White Rock. The last kilometre is a dirt road, the trail starts in the car park at the end of the road. There is NO access from Centenary Highway.
Disclaimer: this is a rough guide only and my own personal observations, this is not intended to be any sort of official guide and I am by no means an expert. White Rock is a remote area with un-fenced rock faces and cliffs – don’t take an unnecessary risks and stay on the track. Make sure you are well prepared and take water, know your own fitness levels, know what the weather will be on the day you hike and do your own research.