Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk

Date: 12 - 14 February 2010

Walkers: Myself, Tom

Photo Album

Walk Description:
This was the second attempt that Tom and I had made at this walk. The first time ended after one day. It poured rain all day and we were soaked through. The final straw was when we discovered that the lid had come loose on Toms water bladder and leaked about 2 - 3L of water all through his clothes, tent and sleeping bag.

Day 1:
Day 1 of the walk involves walking the boarder track from O'reilly's to Binna Burra. This track is well marked and graded. This would be my 4th time walking this track so there wasn't too many surprises. There had been some work along the track to clear some of the lookouts which was good. A few snakes were encountered including one red bellied black which took some convincing to get off the track. This stretch took around 7 hours.
View South from the border track
Red Bellied Black snake on the track
Day 2:
Setting off from Binna Burra Day 2 starts along the Ships Stern track and eventually turns onto the Lower Bellbird Circuit. This is one of the best parts of the entire three day walk. Some very picturesque views. The photo to the right shows the view to the East and the path ahead. The photo below is of a beautiful waterfall where we stopped for morning tea.

Eventually the great walk turns off this circuit and heads down off the main plateau. This section of the track follows a fire trail and is very steep and ungraded. This continues for quite a while and is hard on the knees. Eventually the trail crosses a creek and levels out. The track leaves the fire trail at another creek crossing and heads up through some swampy scrub. This section can be fairly overgrown and one section was completely submerged by a pond. We were able to bush bash around this without getting our feet wet while dodging the giant spiders.

Eventually the track meets up with the fencline of the jail and mainly follows this down to the Numinbah Valley where it meets the road. The track then follows the main road into the Numinbah township. This section of the track was horrible. It was completely out in the open and simply followed the side of the road. Was very hot and took alot out of us. An hour or so later we arrived at the Numinbah Cafe. This is where we stopped for lunch and filled up our water. They were nice enough to fill up our water behind the counter at the cafe.

Soon after leaving the cafe the track heads off on some more fire trails.The track heads up and over a ridge and down into the valley next to the main Springbrook Plateau. The track follows some farmland and crosses over quite a large flowing creek. This required getting feet wet. The creek ran next to a cow paddock so we collected water here but only for boiling. The final stint followed the creek upstream for a while before crossing it again and starting the trek up Springbrook. This section followed a road and was ungraded and reasonably steep. At least it felt steep at the end of the days walk.

We were very pleased to see the campsite. It has a toilet block and some very nice grassy campsites with an amazing view out over the Numinbah Valley.
Campsite for day 2

Day 3:
Day 3 started off up hill straight away.The track climbs the Springbrook Plateau with over 900 steps. Despite this being a very tiring climb there was some amazing views out over the valley with a really nice breeze to help cool us off. Eventually the track comes out at Apple Tree Park. There was no potable water here when we went through despite being back in civilisation.

The track then crosses the main road and then continues back down to Little Nerang Creek. We stopped and filled up water at the creek and had a snack. The creek had quite a lot of water in it. Tom as usual skipped across the nearly completely submerged rocks while I blundered my way across using a stick to help keep my balance. The track then follows the creek up to Warringa Pool where it meets the day walk track system.
Small waterfall beside the crossing mentioned above
Despite another steep ascent up to the top of Purling Brook Falls this is one of the other more enjoyable sections of track. The track first stops at the base of the falls where you can walk behind them and get thoroughly drenched. This was awesome after the past 2 days. Eventually it comes out at the top of the falls before continuing on to The Settlement campground.

It wasn't long after we finished lunch when Maree showed up to take us home to a nice shower.
Purling Brook Falls