Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve displayed on the brown signs as Enviro. Park Lookout, is a pocket of bushland not far from the centre of Ipswich.
The name on the brown sign doesn’t accurately describe what the area is, as the lookout is just one part of much more contained in this area. The signs around it have a variety of names, including Denmark Hill Conservation Park, Environmental Park, Denmark Hill Conservation Reserve, and the brown signs Enviro. Park Lookout.
The area used to be a coal mining area in the 1900s and in the 1890s a fossils field with fossils being unearthed for 30 years. The fossils are mainly insect fossils from the Triassic Period, between 210 and 250 million years ago.
A display shelter is in the centre of the park, with displays of dinosaur footprints, information about fossils, and fossil replicas. The shelter has a been made to look like skeletal remains of a dinosaur, with a long neck and head at one end, and a tail out the other.
The Quarry St parking area is smaller of two parking area, the other being the Debbing St parking area, but it is from here all of the walking trails can be accessed from, including the Triassic Circuit to the shelter with the fossil displays. It also has facilities, including toilets, covered picnic tables, BBQs, and water.
The Waterfall Track is a short 400m return path walking into the quarry area, with a flight of stairs at the end to a viewing platform to look back along it. The name is somewhat misleading, I thought it was just another waterfall that was not flowing because it was so dry, but apparently, water never flows these days. The path starts at a pond, that was just about completely covered with water plants. Even where there was water, you could barely see any.
The Quarry Circuit takes you around the perimeter of the historic quarry, with a few points to look over the quarry. The walk is 400m for the full circuit, though the steep walk up is tiring if you have already done some of the other walks.
Bluey’s Circuit is a 800m circuit through a dry Australian forest, which has recovered from the mining days. The taller eucalypts provide homes for koalas, but we didn’t spot any. Hoop pines are starting to grow in the gullies.
The Water Tower Circuit takes you through native Australian bushland, and access to the water towers half way around. A side path leads up to the towers with a set of stairs, and another side path with less stairs comes out at the bottom of the Debbing St parking area.
The Debbing St parking area, near Tiger St, has more parking than the Quarry St parking area. If you are more interested in the lookout views than the walking trails, then this parking area is preferable.
Once at the top of the stairs, you move onto a fenced platform around most of the water tower. Look out towards the north offers views over Ipswich Central and the surrounds around Ipswich.
Looking further out in different directions and you can see the ranges, D’Aguilar, Teviot, Little Liverpool, Ballow, and Great Dividing Ranges. Mt Maroon, Mt Barney, Teviot Gap , Mt French , Cunningham’s Gap, and more can be viewed. A panorama information board assists in making out where the mountains are in the views.
To get there:
From the Ipswich Visitor Information Centre, exit onto Queens Victoria Parade, then take the second left onto Thorn St. Follow Thorn St for 1km and turn right at the roundabout at Moffatt St. At the lights, turn right onto Warwick Rd, then first left into Quarry St with the small brown sign. After 200m the road bends to the right. Continue straight ahead to go to the Quarry St parking area, another 200m along a small narrow road. To go to the Deebing St parking area, instead of continuing straight at the bend, follow the bend to the right onto Outridge St. Follow Outridge St for 350m to the end, and turn left into Chelmsford Ave. This will lead you passed the water towers, with the Deebing St parking area 350m on the left.
Demark Hill Conservation Park can be accessed from Warwick Rd. From Warwick Rd turn left into Quarry St (if heading north towards the centre of Ipswich), with the brown sign. The sign is small and faded. After 200m the road bends to the right. Continue straight ahead to go to the Quarry St parking area, another 200m along a small narrow road. To go to the Deebing St parking area, instead of continuing straight at the bend, follow the bend to the right onto Outridge St. Follow Outridge St for 350m to the end, and turn left into Chelmsford Ave. This will lead you passed the water towers, with the Deebing St parking area 350m on the left.
Another brown sign is along Limestone St in Ipswich Central at Nicholas St. Turn into Nicholas St, and follow 500m up a steep hill to the end and turn right into Chelmsford Ave. To go to the Quarry St parking area, turn left into Outridge St after 60m. After 300m turn right into Quarry St down a narrow road leading to the Quarry St parking area. To go to the Deebing St parking area, instead of turning into Outridge St along Chelmsford Ave, continue straight ahead for 350m, passing the water towers just before.