The Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area is a 186ha reserve located in Sheldon that forms the upper catchment of Eprapah Creek.
Visit the reserve to enjoy:
- bushwalking and mountain bike trails
- horse riding
- 360 degree views of the South East Queensland region
- a biodiverse ecosystem that includes endangered and rare species of plants and animals
- migratory bird activities and bird watching
- butterfly watching
- natural conservation bushland and open green space.
The Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area lies to the east of West Mount Cotton Road, Sheldon, bordering the suburb of Mount Cotton.
Park and enter at any of the access points along West Mount Cotton Rd. Make sure you don't trespass on the surrounding land, as it's privately owned.
The reserve is open 4am-10pm daily. There are no toilets or water facilities available.
Tracks and features
There are several vehicle fire trails and one mountain bike trail in the reserve.
Walk the steep Billiau Rd to reach the top of Mount Cotton and get a 360 degree experience of the south east region. Billiau Rd lies on the eastern side of West Mount Cotton Rd.
The reserve climbs steeply from the valley floor up the north-east side of Mount Cotton. Terrain is rugged and includes deep gullies and dry eucalypt forest with some remnant riparian vegetation and patches of rainforest.
Heading east from West Mount Cotton Road, the land undulates and drops steeply at times before gradually flattening out to a gentle gradient at the boundary of the conservation area and Karingal Scouts land.
The land north of Mount Cotton's main ridgeline forms part of the Eprapah Creek water source. Water drains off in a south-east direction, through the conservation area.
Wildlife and plants
In the reserve, you'll find significant animal and plant species, including:
- Notophyll vine forest - endangered across South East Queensland. The Eastern Escarpment is one of 12 small remnant patches found in Redland City. This habitat sustains a variety of fruit-eating birds - many birds migrate seasonally from upland to lowland rainforest
- Corchorus cunninghamii (Native Jute) - an endangered plant species found in the area
- Macadamia integrifolia (Macadamia Nut tree) - a vulnerable plant species found in the area
- Ornithoptera richmondia (Richmond Birdwing butterfly) - a vulnerable butterfly that's been found in the reserve. The populations of Pararistolochia pravenosa (a type of Birdwort vine) that occur there may support the recovery of the butterfly in the future.
The reserve's ecosystem is valued for its biodiversity and endangered species. On a local scale, it includes many species represented by fewer than 10 specimens, or in only 1 or 2 conservation areas in Redland City.
Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area Plan: Connecting with Recreation
The Eastern Escarpment Conservation Area Plan: Connecting with Recreation [PDF, 10.0MB] was approved in 2019. This plan outlines the concept for development and maintenance of trails and recreational facilities whilst maintaining the natural values of this environmental reserve.