Tuesday, 17 September 2013

A New Perspective on Girraween

Date: 5 - 8 September 2013

Those who have kept an eye on this blog will probably have realised by now that Girraween is a favourite place of mine. This time a birthday trip was on the cards so Maree and I took a couple of days off work to make it a super long weekend, invited a few friends and off we went.

Arriving at the Bald Rock Creek campsite on a Thursday was a good idea because we basically got the pick of the sites and had a nice relaxing couple of days on our own before the park got busy for the weekend. After setting up camp we spent the afternoon lazing around the campsite and creek taking some photos. We were lucky enough to spot an Echidna down at the creek.

As well as a Kookaburra taking in the afternoon light and a Superb Fairywren admiring itself in the car window and mirrors.

The plan for this trip was to find some new places and make a bit more of an effort to see a different side of the park. We made the first step towards this goal by getting up at 3:30 on Friday morning to get to the top of the First Pyramid for sunrise. We were very pleased with ourselves when we arrived at the summit by 5:30. Just in time for the first morning colours to start showing.

Balancing Rock Silhouette
Morning Colours on the Granite
Balancing Rock
Second Pyramid
Maree Enjoying the View
Step two in exploring new ground was to head to Aztec Temple on Saturday with some friends. I can't believe that we've never visited this amazing spot. Especially given how easy it is to access. From Underground Creek you head to the right to get up on to the slabs above the creek. From here you head off the back to a fire trail. You then simply head up the gradual ridge behind this until you reach these amazing granite formations.

Main Pillar
Rapping off at Sunset
Sunset from Aztec Temple
Our final morning was spent exploring The Cascades. This is another area that I had never visited and only discovered by reading the walks mentioned in the Hema topographic map that is available from the information centre in Stanthorpe. It is reached by heading off track to the right just before Dr. Roberts Waterhole. There is a fairly well formed, though overgrown, track for most of the way there and essentially follows the creek (crossing over once) until it opens up to granite slabs.

This is another easily accessed but stunning location and easily matches The Junction for rock formations and water features.

Dr. Roberts Waterhole
Main Cascade

Minor Cascade
After taking some photos and having a snack we reluctantly packed up and headed for home. Girraween just keeps on surprising us.

Bonus Photo: Mt. French and Frog Buttress in the afternoon light on the trip home