Walk 1: Gap Creek Falls (Main Range NP) 9.8km Approx. 5 – 6 hrs return. Easy -mod.
Date: Sunday 24th March 2013
Description: This ridge walk is a pleasant outing that starts at Cunningham’s Gap. Beginning within the closed canopy of sub-tropical rainforest the vegetation changes to open eucalypt forest as we descend to the east. The track is not difficult as it follows the contours of the land, winding down the ridge and eventually ending at the top of the falls. This is a pretty creek and a lovely spot to rest before we return by the same route – this time easily gaining altitude all the way.
Walk 2: Mt Mattheson Circuit (Main Range NP) 8km. 4hrs Easy short rough sections.
Date: Sunday 21st April 2013
Description: We begin the day with a visit to the Pioneer Grave site before heading off on the Mt Mattheson Track, one of the most diverse and historically interesting circuits on the Range. Starting at the Spicer’s Gap picnic area near the pioneer grave site the track climbs gradually through a patch of rainforest before coming onto a ridgeline of open eucalypt forest. From Mt Mattheson (752m) the track follows a sharp ridge with bird’s eye views of the Great Divide. Small volcanic cliffs add variety with ferns and orchids sheltering in their crevices. Turning southwest the track meanders through rainforest before opening out onto old logging tracks and joining the historic basalt-cobbled pioneer road. This takes us back to the start via the Governors Chair lookout and Moss’s Well.
Walk 3: Cleared Ridge - Upper Portals – Yamarah Creek Circuit. (Mt Barney NP) 6 - 7 hrs Moderate – Challenging
Date: Sunday 5th May
Description: Today’s walk begins on Cleared Ridge overlooking the Burnett Valley. Initially we follow a fire trail east towards Mt Barney then the track becomes a foot pad down a narrow ridge skirting between large lichen-covered boulders. There are great views of Mt Barney at various points. Arriving at the top of the Upper Portals we turn left and drop steeply down to a magnificent water hole. After a swim (if you are keen) we climb back up and make our way steeply down to the upstream side of the Portals which feature beautifully sculpted rock pools and falls. The return track is on a fire trail that crisscrosses Yamarah Creek in the valley floor. This walk gives you a feel for the terrain typical of Mt Barney NP. Part of the walk is on indistinct trails and you’ll feel like you’ve been on a real ‘bushwalk”.
NB The road in is a well-maintained 4WD track but road conditions can change quickly so access is the key to this walk going ahead. Additionally there are two crossings of Mt Barney Creek involved so river levels will also be a determining factor (though we can return the same way if needed)
Walk 4: Waterfall Gorge – Mt Greville (Moogerah Peaks NP) 6 – 7 hrs. Moderate – challenging. Rough and rocky.
Date: Sunday 19th May
Description: This rugged little peak is one of the gems of the Fassifern. It has such wonderful diversity of habitat, flora and fauna that every turn in the track is a surprise. The route ascends the peak via Waterfall Gorge threading through a jumbled array of rocks between narrow towering cliffs that protect Piccabeen palms and giant White Beech trees. Emerging from the Gorge the route crosses the forested ridge to a magnificent lookout before joining the walking track to the summit. The return route to the vehicles brings us back through heath-land and over rhyolite slabs that support hoya, ferns and orchids and on through open forest to complete the circuit.
Walk 5: Lizard Point (Main Range NP) 8 -9 hours return. Challenging. (Fingers crossed for a perfect clear day!)
Date: Sunday 2nd June
Description: Lizard Point juts from the Main Range as a prominent shelf on the skyline north of Mt Roberts. It’s quite a spectacular viewpoint from which to survey the headwaters of Carneys and Wild Cattle Creeks and many of the peaks of the Fassifern. This ridge walk through dense rainforest is rough and challenging. From Teviot Gap it involves a steep climb following the line of the old rabbit fence to gain the ridgeline and then takes a rough rocky foot track through rainforest and over Mt Roberts (1327m) before the trail brings us out to Lizard Point. We return by the same route.
Walk 6: Mt May- Drynan’s Hut Traverse (Mt Barney NP) 7 – 8 hrs. Challenging.
Date: Sunday 16th June
Description: This is a through-walk that requires a car shuffle to begin – leaving half the vehicles at Drynan’s Hut then driving around to the start. There is no gentle introduction here! The trail begins in the Waterfall Reserve Campground and immediately begins ascending the stony flanks of Mt May. The track is usually well defined though the ridge can be scrubby with regrowth. Attaining the ridge after a climb of approx. 300m of elevation we stay on top of the ridge and head east following faint trails through open forest with intermittent views to Mt Barney and surrounding peaks. At a small knoll the trail drops steeply down a ridge until we join up with the Paddy’s Plain fire trail. Then it’s an easier 5km to Drynan’s Hut with just Mt Barney Ck to cross at the end!
Walk 7: Hole in the Wall (Main Range NP – Goomburra Section) Approx. 7km return 5 –6hrs. Moderate - Challenging.
Date: Sunday 30th June
Description: This is a moderately challenging off-track walk to an unusual feature east of Sylvester’s Lookout on the ridge leading to Mt Castle. Beginning in rainforest near the lookout, the route is steep and rocky underfoot at first, winding along the ridge. The trail passes by Laidley Creek campsite and the falls before a narrow trail beneath the cliff-line leads to the Hole in the Wall. This walk affords great views and has plenty of variety. There will be an early start due to the long drive to Goomburra on the western side of the Main Range.
Walk 8: Wilson’s Peak from the Boonah Border Gate to the Head Rd (Main Range NP) 12.5 km 6 – 7 hrs. Easy approach but mostly challenging. STEEP ascent and descent.
Date: Sunday 14th July (In the event of rain on the day the walk will be postponed)
Description: This is the longest route to Wilson’s Peak and provides the most variety. This peak is the prominent rounded bump that looks over Teviot Gap on the Head Road. The challenging grade is given because the final climb through rainforest to the summit is very steep as is the initial descent. The walk starts at the Boonah Border Gate and follows the historic Rabbit Board Fence westward along the Queensland / NSW Border. The route is undulating, with flattish sections followed by steep climbs. Vegetation ranges from sub-tropical rainforest to open eucalypt forest dotted with grass trees. The final summit climb involves a short scramble (not exposed) between rocks. We’ll lunch on top before coming back to the base of the cliffs, skirting them on the northern side then descending steeply at first along the Rabbit Fence to the Head Road.
Walk 9: Mt Superbus and the 1955 wreck of the Lincoln Bomber (Main Range NP) 13.5km Approx. 8 – 9 hrs. Challenging with very steep grades to Mt Superbus 1372m (612m elevation gain)
Date: Sunday 28th July
Description: This hike takes us to a rather sombre destination but one of particular historical interest as well. The steep challenging walk through dense rainforest takes us over the summit of Mt Superbus, the second highest peak in Queensland and onto the site of the tragic crash of the Lincoln Bomber in the early hours of 9 April 1955. It was on a mercy dash from Townsville to Brisbane with a two day old baby suffering severe jaundice. Flying at low altitude the crew for some reason found themselves on a route to the west of the Range instead of approaching Brisbane over Caboolture. The results of this error were catastrophic. A bushwalking group in the area heard the crash just after 4am and quickly organised to alert the authorities. Within hours it was ascertained there were no survivors. Large sections of the wreck remain at the site though there have been souvenir hunters over the years. This is a return walk so we will retrace our steps by the same track.
THESE NEXT TWO WALKS ARE DEPENDENT ON PARK OPENINGS AND RIVER LEVELS
Walk 10: The Steamers (Main Range NP) 7 – 8 hrs Moderate - challenging (off track)
Date: Sunday 11st August
Description: A two-hour drive (last bit requires 4WD) brings us to the start of this walk however it’s worth the journey to visit one of the most dramatic geologic features in SE Queensland! The Steamers rise as steep cliff sections atop a ridge to the west of the Main Range NW of Mt Superbus. They are named the Prow, Funnel, Mast and Stern for their resemblance to a massive ship. The view from the western end of the Stern is one of the best in the region. There is not really any track so be prepared for steep climbs and rough ground with a section of steep scree as we head up on to the ridge and traverse the various features of the Steamers before returning by the same route.
NB The final section to the view point off the end of the Stern involves an exposed and very narrow short section of ridge. Extreme care is required and this part is not recommended for those nervous of heights. The walk is still very rewarding without this final scramble.
Walk 11: Mt Maroon (Mt Barney NP) 6km return 5 – 6 hrs Moderate – Challenging
Date: Sunday 25th August
Description: With its imposing cliffs Mt Maroon appears as a somewhat daunting peak and whilst this is a climb that is challenging in places, the breathtaking 360º view from the open summit makes it a thoroughly worthwhile outing. Botanically this is a special peak with rare and vulnerable species of plants occupying a mosaic of very different habitats. The summit area is rocky with delicate montane heath growing in the shallow soils. Beneath the summit dense forest is dominated by giant eucalypts and turpentines. With a whole day devoted to this beautiful peak we can take our time to savour all that it offers!
Walk 12: Saturday: Local short walks from campground. South Bald Rock (Girraween NP) 19km return 7 - 8 hours (130m ascent) Easy – Moderate.
Date: Saturday 14th (arrive by lunch to stay overnight) Sunday 15th September
Description: Spring in Girraween is glorious! After settling into the campground we can take any number of walks close by and find plenty of interesting features and abundant wildflowers. Our final hike for the year takes us to the far SE part of Girraween NP a few hundred metres from the border. The trailhead is on the Mt Norman Rd so after packing up camp and the cars there is a 40 minute drive to start. The walk takes us along fire trails through eucalypt forests and moist gullies and past several granite domes until the rock slabs of South Bald Rock almost meet the track. From here it takes about half an hour to climb up the slabs, finding our own way to this remote summit (approx. 1250m). Expansive, spectacular views await us on the summit. Though it’s not a difficult walk it is quite remote so we should have it to ourselves.
NB More details will be available closer to the date. If you prefer to stay in lodgings there are a number of places to book including the Girraween Environmental Lodge adjacent to the park.