|Hardings Paddock Picnic Area|
Date: 14 Aug 2013
Having been very busy working on the house recently I was glad to get out for a leisurely walk on the Ekka public holiday. Maree gave me the idea of heading to the Hardings Paddock picnic area within the Flinders-Goolman Conservation Estate as she was out there last week for work. We had previously done the Flinders Peak walk and at the time noted some of the other smaller peaks in the region but never had a chance to go back.
Conservation Estates are the local council’s version of a National Park, this one being administered by the City of Ipswich. The Flinders-Goolman Estate is set up as a multi-use park for bike and horse riders as well as walkers. This means that the tracks are generally wider and less graded than dedicated walking tracks. More information about this area can be found in this PDF.
For my walk I decided to head to the Goolman Lookout and back via the Rocky Outcrop. The track starts next to the information board at the Hardings Paddock Picnic Area which itself can be accessed via the turnoff from Ipswich-Boonah Rd. I recommend printing out the above PDF or at least downloading it to your phone as the track signage is a little vague in places. Especially on the route back via Rocky Outcrop.
Winter, it seems, has come and gone and I’m sure temperatures would have been close to 30 as I set off. The walking was pleasant and passed through open Eucalypt forest and crossed various dry creek beds. The terrain undulates gradually until you reach the first of a few climbs. The gradient isn’t too bad but you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of water and good footwear as they are fairly sustained and the ground is loose.
The major climb brings you to the top of the ridge which then leads up to the Goolman Lookout. Although promising “spectacular views” I think the peak has grown over a lot and there were only glimpses of Mt. Goolman and Ivory’s Rock.
On returning to the junction where the track meets the ridge I continued straight ahead and followed the ridge around to the left to eventually reach Rocky Outcrop. There was no signage or track to lead up onto the outcrop if approaching from this direction, however it was fairly obvious where to go. If you miss it, there is a sign once you pass it. The view here was very overgrown though.
From here I followed the track downhill passing through a couple of gates before heading left at an unmarked junction to take the most direct path back to the picnic area. Just in time for the rain to start. Must be summer already…