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Drayton - Mount Peel Bushland Park

Tuesday, 10 Dec 2019 9:19

Address: Westminster Street, Drayton QLD 4350

Stretching across 123.5ha on Toowoomba's western escarpment, Mount Peel Bushland Park provides bushland, green space near the city. It is located to the southwest of Toowoomba CBD near the small township of Westbrook, in the suburb of Drayton.

Mount Peel has a network of minimalist purpose-built bushwalking and mountain bike trails that provide access to outdoor recreation and nature appreciation opportunities. The lookouts showcase the best views of the Toowoomba and deliver iconic trail experiences.

Being a bushland reserve, it is possible that you will see various bird species, kangaroos, wallabies, echidnas and, sometimes, koalas out and about. With this mind, please leave your pets at home when visiting as domestic animals can have a great impact on native animals and native vegetation.

How to get there: Mount Peel Bushland Park is located on the south-western edge of Toowoomba and has four entrances:

  1. Darling Street carpark (corner of Darling and Westminster Streets) - follow Anzac Avenue south and turn north-west onto Darling Street. The reserve has a well-signed carpark at the intersection of Westminster and Darling Streets.
  2. Westminster Street carpark (Westminster Street) - follow Anzac Avenue south and turn north-west onto Darling Street. Take Westminster Street and drive uphill to the end of the road. The reserve entrance is well signed and you can park your car near the entry gate.
  3. Boundary Street entrance (Boundary Street South) - follow the Toowoomba-Millmerran Road and turn north at Boundary Street South. The reserve entrance is well-signed. Park your car near the wooden fence making sure not to block the entry gate.
  4. Anzac Avenue entrance (Anzac Avenue South) - this entrance is located at the southern end of the Gore Highway, also known as Anzac Avenue. This is a pedestrian entrance only and there is no parking provision at this entry.

Facilities: Three carparks and five lookouts, picnic tables and seating benches.

 

Walks and trails 

The park has a mix of both shared use and single use routes. Shared use trails (firebreaks) accommodate multiple type of users; horse riders, mountain bikers, walkers and runners. Single use trails are narrow and avoid conflict between user groups and allow visitors have a better connection with nature. Mount Peel has a number of mountain bike and pedestrian only trails described below.

Mount Peel Bushland Park trails map

 

Firebreaks Network

Best for: Horse riding, mountain biking and bushwalking.

Classification: Horse riding (Easy), mountain biking (Easy), bushwalking (Grade 3).

Distance: Over 4kms total distance

Walking time: Depending on the trails selected, they may take between 1.5hrs to 3.5hrs to complete.

Description: The firebreaks network connects the four park entrances with the five peaks, lookouts and the purpose-built bushwalking and mountain bike trails. The firebreaks main functions are to protect neighbouring properties and allow fire trucks and service vehicles access the park. Overall, the firebreaks exceed 4km in extension and feature two peaks measuring about 710m above sea level. The South Summit is the most challenging to climb but offers the best views.

 

Basalt Walk

Best for: Bushwalking 

Classification: Grade 4 - steep sections

Distance: 880m loop

Walking time: Approximately 45 minutes

Description: The Basalt Walk is located on the southern side of the park, near the Anzac Avenue entrance. From the Westminster Street carpark follow the firebreak that takes you towards the water tank, stay left at the fork intersection and continue ahead until you see the South Summit. The Basalt Walk starts at the base of the South Summit, where you will find a directional bollard that points the way up to the South Summit Lookout.

The walk up to this lookout at 710m above the sea level is demanding but very rewarding. You will have to sort out some rocks and natural obstacles along the way. At the lookout you will find a picnic table and two park benches where you can enjoy the views of the southern area of Toowoomba. To go back down to the base on the other side of the mountain follow the brown gravel to descend through the Basalt Walk. At the base you will find another directional bollard. Follow the directions shown on the bollard and you will find your way around.

This walk is connected to the North Summit Lookout via the Wombat Berry Walk. Along the base of the South Summit you will find an interpretive sign that explains the formation of basalt rock.

 

Wombat Berry Walk

Best for: Bushwalking 

Classification: Grade 3

Distance: 395m one way

Walking time: Approximately 10 minutes

Description: The Wombat Berry Walk is a relatively easy walk that joins the Basalt Walk (South Summit Lookout) and the Ironbark Walking Circuit (North Summit Lookout). A native evergreen vine with lance-shaped leaves commonly called Wombat Berry (Eustrephus latifolius) can be seen along the walk.

Along the trail you will find an interpretive sign that explains the origin of the Wombat Berry name.

 

Ironbark Walking Circuit

Best for: Bushwalking 

Classification: Grade 4 - steep sections

Distances: 1,055m loop

Walking time: Approximately 45 minutes

Description: The Ironbark Walking Circuit takes you around and up to the 100m long North Summit Lookout where you will find park benches and picnic tables to catch up your breath, enjoy the view and maybe have a quick snack. The last part of the walk just before the summit is challenging but well worth the effort. From this lookout situated at 710m above sea level you have almost 360 degrees view of Toowoomba.

The Ironbark Walking Circuit starts near the Westminster Street carpark. From the carpark follow the firebreak that takes you towards the water tank and take a right at the fork intersection. The walk starts on the right-hand side just past the water tank, where you will see a directional bollard indicating the route to the North Summit Lookout. After walking about 175m you will arrive at the 4-Way Intersection. The loop around the mountain is 880m and you can reach the summit from the south or the north side.

From the 4-Way Intersection you can take a left and head straight to the summit from the southern side (365m distance) or continue around the mountain loop and then head towards the summit from the northern side (720m distance). Alternatively, from the 4-Way Intersection you can head north and reach the summit from the northern side of the mountain (500m distance).

The North Summit Lookout is 100m long and you can access it from one side of the mountain and exit it from the other side. The Ironbark Walking Circuit connects the North Summit Lookout and the South Summit through the Wombat Berry Walk and links with the Westbrook Lookout through the Kurrajong Walk.

Along the trail you will find an interpretive sign about the Ironbark trees.

 

Kurrajong Walk

Best for: Bushwalking 

Classification: Grade 3 - formed track, short steep hills

Distances: 590m one way

Walking time: Approximately 15 minutes

Description: The Kurrajong Walk connects the Ironbark Walking Circuit (North Summit Lookout) and the Red Ash Walking Circuit (Westbrook Lookout) through a eucalyptus forest where specimens like the Kurrajong (Brachychiton populneus) can be found. Along the trail you will find an interpretive sign about the Kurrajong trees.



Red Ash Walking Circuit

Best for: Bushwalking 

Classification: Grade 3 - formed track, short steep hills

Distances: 990m loop

Walking time: Approximately 30 minutes

Description: The Red Ash Walking Circuit is located on the north west side of the reserve, approximately 750m west of the Darling Street carpark. The circuit starts at the base of the West Summit and winds up the mountain to the Westbrook Lookout that sits at 660m above the sea level. There is a bench at the summit where you can rest and take in some amazing vistas of Toowoomba from a different angle, including views of Westbrook, Gowrie Mountain, the Holcim Quarry and Drayton. Follow the signs to select your next destination.

The Red Ash Walking Circuit connects the Westbrook Lookout with the North Summit (Ironbark Walking Circuit) through the Kurrajong Walk. This circuit also links with the Drayton Lookout (440m distance) and the Stephens Lookout (595m distance) through the firebreak.

Along the trail you will find an interpretive sign about the Red Ash trees.

 

Wakka Wakka Trail

Best for: Mountain biking

Classification: Green Circle - Easy

Distances: 6,000m single track loop (one-way trail)

Description:  The Wakka Wakka Trail is a big circuit that starts near the Darling Street Carpark, on the east side of Mount Peel, follows the west direction and turns around to finish back where it started. Due to its width, gentle gradient and few obstacles, this trail is good for beginner mountain bikers with basic mountain-bike skills.

The Wakka Wakka Trail is formed of a series of 4 stacked loops divided by the firebreaks that cross them, providing opportunities for different length rides. The first two loops closer to the carpark are shorter than the rest. Riders can turn around at any of the firebreaks to ride shorter or longer sections and vary the route they take, which allows them to enjoy their favourite loops.

This is a mountain bike trail only; walkers are not allowed on this trail for their safety and horses are not allowed, to prevent damage of the trail’s surface. This trail is a single direction of travel. For your safety please follow the direction indicated on the blue plastic signs (clock-wise loop).

 

Bunda Trail

Best for: Mountain biking

Classification: Green Circle - Easy

Distances: 1,250m single track loop (one-way trail)

Description: The Bunda Trail is a loop that starts behind the concrete water tank near the Westminster Street entrance, winds through the bush, turns around and crosses a firebreak. From there the trail snakes through the bush again and finishes back near the entry gate.

The ample width and clear line of sight, few obstacles and gentle gradient make this trail perfect for children and families.

For user’s safety walkers or horses are not allowed on this trail. Mountain bikers should follow the direction of travel indicated on the blue plastic signs (counter-clock wise loop).

 

Features

Mountain biking
Equestrian
Walking
Bush walking

Map

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