Ok it’s been a while since my last post… sorry about that! I’ve been very very busy finishing my university degree!!! Woo hoo!! I never thought I’d see the day and I’m so excited it is finally here!
While I was busy slaving away at uni I did manage to find some time here and there to go on some home grown adventures. I live on the Gold Coast in Queensland so for a day trip I’ll usually head somewhere between Northern NSW and the Sunshine Coast. The following are just a few of my favourites.
The majority of these are bushwalks and as with any walk make sure you’re prepared. Check the Department of National Parks website before setting off to make sure there aren’t any warnings or track closures. Ensure you’re aware of what you’re undertaking and the fitness level that is required and always make sure you’ve packed all of the appropriate supplies and equipment.
Killen Falls – Tintenbar, NSW
Located about 20 minutes out of Byron Bay this beautiful Waterfall is only a short walk from the parking area. A gorgeous spot to take a picnic lunch and enjoy a dip in the summer months.
Upper Ballanjui/ Lower Ballanjui Falls – Binna Burra Section, Lamington National Park, QLD
Located in the Binna Burra section of Lamington National Park I’d definitely recommend visiting the upper and lower sections of the falls! It’s possible to visit both in one hike by completing the 21km Ships Stern Circuit or you can do as I did and visit them on separate occasions. I first visited Lower Ballanjui Falls by following part of lower bellbird circuit down to the falls and returning the way I came (approx 12kms). For upper ballanjui falls I followed a section of the ships stern circuit to the turnoff for the falls and then returned the way I came (approx 11kms).
Minyon Falls – Nightcap National Park, NSW
This magnificent 100m waterfall is definitely worth a visit. If you’re not in the mood for a hike you can visit the viewing platform at the top of the falls. If you’re feeling adventurous I would definitely recommend the hike down to the base of the falls. The Minyon Loop walking track takes you on an 8km hike to the base of the falls and back to the car park. The last leg of the walk before you reach the base of the falls is difficult and requires scrambling and climbing a lot of slippery rocks. If you can make it past this section you’ve reached the pool at the bottom of the falls and it is absolutely breathtaking.
Mount Tibrogargan – Glasshouse Mountains National Park, QLD
This walk/ climb is not for the faint hearted. The summit route is only 3 kms return but involves a steep direct climb straight to the top. Scrambling over rocks and climbing near vertical rock walls are the challenge of this mountain. Once you get into the swing of things its not as scary as it may initially look but it requires a high degree of fitness and experience in mountain climbing. I definitely had a couple of moments where I wasn’t sure I was going to make it! But if you can get past this the views awaiting you at the top make the whole thing worth it!
Coomera Circuit – Binna Burra Section, Lamington National Park, QLD
This is up there with some of my all time favourite walks! I only recently discovered this gem and as far as I’m concerned it should be compulsory for any enthusiastic bushwalker. This 17.4km walk takes you through a rainforest wonderland passing more waterfalls than I could keep track of! I let off a little scream of delight every time a rounded a corner to find another waterfall. I absolutely love waterfalls and this walk takes waterfall chasing to a whole new level!
Killarney Glen – Beechmont, QLD
One of my favourite short walks Killarney Glen is located on a military training ground and on some occasions it can be closed (make sure you always check the sign). It’s a steep downhill hike to the gorge and Killarney Falls but it won’t take too much time. The thing that makes this spot so special is that if you stand at the right angle you’ll find the falls flowing into a heart shaped gorge. As with most waterfalls the getting there is the easy part, the steep uphill hike back to the car is what’s going to get you. Don’t worry this one is relatively short and the pain will be over quickly.
Coombabah Lakelands Reserve – Coombabah, QLD
Located right in the middle of suburbia, a 5 minute drive from where I live and until recently I had no idea this place existed! There are a number of walks you can do in this reserve all of a relatively low difficulty. Or if you feel like something a little more challenging I find it is the perfect place for some light trail running. Make sure you say hi to the wallabies.
Denham Scenic reserve – Beechmont, QLD
I stumbled across this hidden gem by coincidence when I was visiting Killarney Glen, Denham scenic reserve is recommended if access to Killarney Glen is closed. Let me just say this is one of my best discoveries yet! Another relative short walk will take you on a steep downhill hike to Lips Falls. If you’re feeling adventurous you can opt to hike up past Lips falls to another spectacular falls. Theres no trail for this section, you just follow the creek but be careful there are boulders to climb, creek crossings and slippery rocks.
West Canungra Creek Circuit- Oreilley’s Green Mountain Section, Lamington National Park, QLD
The Green Mountains section of lamington national park offers a number of hikes with varying degrees of difficulty. I haven’t tried them all but a definite favourite of mine is the 13.9 km West Canungra Creek Circuit. Why? Waterfalls of course and a whole lot of them!
Purling brook Falls Circuit – Springbrook National Park, QLD
This 4 km walk takes you down to the base of the falls where you can experience them in all their glory. If you want to add a little extra, I would recommend including the Warringa Pool track, it will an add an extra 2 kms to your walk but is definitely worth it.
Cape Byron Walking Track – Byron Bay, NSW
This 3.7 km return walk, takes you along the picturesque Byron Bay coastline and, passing by Australia’s most eastern point and winding up to the always impressive Byron Bay lighthouse. This is one of my all time favourite walks and an absolute must when you’re in Byron Bay.
To date this is probably the hardest mountain I’ve climbed locally. I think that’s part of the reason why I enjoyed it so much, I love a good challenge. According to the QLD national parks website it can take approx. 8 hours to complete the summit route return. But my sister and I managed to smash it out in just over 4 hours and this included a whole lot of mucking around at the top. Lets just say it feels like the climb to the top will never end until all of a sudden you find yourself at the summit with some of the most spectacular views in South East Queensland. The track for this climb is difficult to follow in some places and it was definitely a test on my fitness. So make sure you’re prepared and aware of what is required when attempting this mountain.
I’ve put together a quick video to give you a look into what it was like climbing Mount Maroon.