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Elanda Point to Fig Tree Point, Lake Cootharaba (October 2010)
I prepared for this walk a few weeks before by taking a drive from Brisbane to Pomona then to Boreen Point, Elanda Point National Park parking area and Elanda Point Canoe Company. I planned to park the car at either of these points then walk to either Harry's or Fig Tree Point for a single night. I planned to take my daughter and was a little anxious about the weight we would both have to carry for our first through walk together.
In the end I decided against parking at the National Park car park and checked in to Elanda Point Canoe Company. I booked my car in for the night and booked a camp site for the second night. The plan was to walk in overnight, walk back then spend another night at Elanda Point. The staff at the Canoe Company were very friendly and helpful. We parked the car where recommended and set off for the walk from the camping ground which saves you about 400 metres over the National Park car area.
The walk is relatively flat mostly through trees. There is a bridge crossing over Kin Kin Creek which make the walk a big do leg. The path is wide until the bridge- then it becomes a little more closed in and wild. It does not look like it has lots of traffic - there were lots of palm fronds on the ground in sections. No barrier to the journey though. Occasionally you catch glimpses of the creek along the way. Lots of mosquitoes in the bush. After 10 km we were had it. I had packed too much and we were both back weary and sore. Fig Tree Point is a nice enough area of the lake with basic toilet facilities. You need to consider boiling or treating water from the rain water tank there. Net morning ay 9.30 as promised Brian and his brother pulled up to the jetty. We stopped at Kinaba Information Centre on the way back to Elanda Point. I'm going to use this camp site as the basis for a future adventure. A safe car means a lot and there is the opportunity to mix up the walking with a canoe ride. Getting there map | Walk map
Author at Fig Tree Point, Lake Cootharaba
Mt Wolvi Lookout
From the Gympie - Tin Can Bay road take the Kin Kin turn off and travel past the Wolvi school to the turn off on the right. Take the dirt road up Wolvi Mountain, right to the end and enjoy a beautiful view to the east across the Cooloola lakes. Map
Mapleton to Ubajee Walkers Camp
I did this walk in August 2010. It was my first through walk so it was a short walk for trial only. I parked the car on Mapleton Forest Drive road where the Great Walk track connects. I was too concerned about parking the car overnight at the Mapleton Falls carpark as I have heard there are lots of break ins there. I parked about midday then walked to Gheerulla Falls - around 5 km. I then walked back the short distance to the Ubajuu Walkers camp. Note this short distance is a bit of a climb but I took it steady. There was no one else in the campsite so I had the pick of sites. Not only are there low tables to eat on - most have stump chairs as well - just the thing for a tired back. The outlook from Ubajee viewpoint is a lovely surprise. Next morning I simply walked out to the car which had survived the night unscathed.
The Great Walks seem to be a great idea - but I cannot help wondering why they have not catered for the overnight throughwalker and made some circuit walks that cater for people who work during the week. I am unlikely to get the time to do any full walks and the thought of having to walk one way then back again to do an overnight is a real pain. I don't want to have to put people out by driving me backwards and forwards - I want to drive to a point, park safely, complete a circuit then drive home next day. Map Photos below are from my short first through walk.
I tried this walk on the June long weekend 2010 with a group. The walk to the top of Mt Coolum was a bit of a surprise. All up it takes about 2 hours return and it is not for the faint hearted. There are some quite steep sections and extreme caution should be exercised if it has rained. I slipped a few times in the dry so watch it. The views from the top and on the way up are worth it. Directions Pictures which aim to show the steep climb and the view at Mt Coolum
This single night stop over was really just a gear trial. I traveled with my two youngest children and we enjoyed the night at a proper campsite not far from the canteen. We were able to build a log fire - a welcome piece of excitement for the children. I did not really get to explore this place - will definitely have to come back.
Well of course Carnarvon Gorge is not in South East Queensland but it is on the list of must do walks for anyone in Queensland. I did this trip Easter 2101. I left work early on Thursday afternoon, returned home to Aspley to pack, leaving there on Brisbane north side around 3.00 pm. I collected my eldest son from St Lucia on the way and the four of us drove to Chinchilla that evening and stayed at the Chinchilla Palms Motor Inn which is quite new being completed in 2006. We stayed in a family suite which had 2 separate bedroom (Queen and the other with two singles). The main dining room had a fold out sofa bed. This is easily the largest motel family room we have ever seen. Friday morning we drove the rest of the way to our camp spot Takarakka. We arrived around 2.00 pm and spent the afternoon setting up camp. This camping ground is well set up and offers unpowered and powered sites. There are also fixed tents. Communal cooking facilities appear popular and over the bust Easter wekend there are movies and lectures by camp staff to introduce you to the Gorge.
Check the weather and road status before heading to the Gorge. We crossed water a few times and it would not have taken much rain to strand us there.
There are certainly worse places to be stranded. The camp store has a broad range of food including frozen meat and groceries. There are satellite coin phone and also you buy wireless internet access. Your 3G Telstra mobile will not work out here.
As far as walks go there are a few short walks to the creek to see platypus. The real walks are in the Gorge and is a a short drive to the National park proper. Here is the Carnarvon Gorge Walk Planner.
We did only one day walk - probably the most popular one the 14 km trip directly to the Art Gallery then side trips on the return journey to the Moss Garden, Ward's Canyon, and Amphitheatre. My only regret is not leaving earlier in the day. We left it till around 10 pm and even at this time of year it was getting quite warm on the return trip. Take1.5 to 2 litres of water minimum per person.
I saw families on this walk with small children. Be prepared to carry them home. This walk is not difficult but requires a reasonable amount of stamina.
Day 2 we had a swim in the Rockpool and spent a good hour teaching my daughter how to skip rocks. We had a great time.
It is this trip which planted the seed of through walking in my mind. I'd love to return and do the Carnarvon Great Walk.
Wild Horse Mountain Look Out
This is a very short walk just north of Brisbane. I would not class it a destination walk but is definitely a stop over on the way home to Brisbane from a trip to the Sunshine Coast. Many people have never been there and they are really missing a spectacular view west to the Glass House Mountains. I did this trip with my daughter in the middle of summer and boy is it hot walking up the sealed road after midday!! Takes about an hour.
Binna Burra and Natural Bridge (Arch)
This was basically a recce trip. I had been to Binna Burra many years before. I took the trip up the mountain to the cafe and did a short rainforest walk. This is a good place to go to in Summer as up in the mountains it is a few degrees cooler than many other walks in the region.
It was too early to head home so we then headed to Natural Bridge. This is a beautiful place and definitely a must see destination. It is a long drive to get there but the beauty of the waterfall and getting there and back from the car park is worth it. It is under an hour all up with some time spent in these tranquil surroundings.
Mt Beerburrum Lookout
This is a short (700 m each way) but very steep paved walk. Beautiful views of the Glasshouse Mountains. Allow over an hour. There is a fire lookout on top and you can climb to the first level. Directions Picture of view from Mt Beerburrum lookout.
I did this walk with 2 kids early summer 2009. 3.3 K relatively flat walk around the base of Mt Tibrogargan. Make sure you look up and back - it is pretty impressive. Directions
Resources for walking in South East Queensland Please send links to more resources.
Book Take a Walk in South East Queensland 2nd Ed by John and Lyn Daly
Sunshine Coast Camping and Caravan Parks