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The border track (September 2011)
School holiday weekend. Drove to O'Reillys at around lunch time on Friday. The short version of getting there is find your way to Canungra then follow the signs to O'Reillys. For those with lots of cash the best accommodation options are the commercial rooms at O'Reillys. We stayed in the Green Mountain National Park which is very close to O'Reillys. Cost was around $5 per person per night.
This is a good National Park camp ground with hot showers and drop toilets. I recommend choosing sites as far from the road as possible to minimise the noise of car traffic in and out of O'Reillys.
After setting up the tent we wandered up to O'Reillys. The day cafe/shop is open from 9.00 am to 5 pm for meals and supplies. O'Reillys proper has a restaurant and bar - we visited both for a meal and game of football on the large video screen.
The Green Mountain ranger station is across the road but was closed when we got there. We did, however, manage to pick up a free map there.
With some time to kill in the afternoon we walked to the tree top walk. This was a nice short diversion. Make sure you climb the tree part way along. There is also an old fashioned garden to see.
We had made a booking for four people on the bus. We checked on the details at hotel reception and were there before 8.00 am where we paid $29 per person for the bust transfer back down the mountain to Canungra then to Binna Burra.
Preparation wise each person carried a day pack or camel with a little more than 1.5 litres of water, food and each day pack had just in case a head lamp, rain coat, space blanket and a few snacks. Some people we spoke to suggested that the border track was a bit boring and that two side trips are worthwhile (Coomera Circuit and Toolona Creek Circuit). We toyed with this idea but rejected it as the walk is long enough and the extra kilometers were too much.
The walk itself is relatively easy with a very well defined and maintained path. I had let my condition slip a bit so found it quite a challenge at 20.4 K. It is boring as the whole walk is along a ridge line. Cloud came in towards the last third of the walk so the last few lookouts were white outs. This walk does not rank beside the Cooloola walk below - but I suppose I can now say I have done it. I look forward to going back to O'Reillys and doing some of the more interesting walks - esp Toolona.
One lesson from this walk is that I need to get some better boots. My soft soled Kathmandu felt every stone and root.
Note - This is one leg of the Gold Coast Hinterland Great Walk.
Here are some photos of the Border Track from our walk. Note the smoke indicating one of the many bush fires burning that day.
Elanda Point to Camp Site 3 Noose River via Teewah landing (April 2011)
The idea for this trip was from Brian at the Elanda Point Canoe Company.
The Cooloola Great Walk. It is very difficult to plan walks based on the web site as they publish very limited information - you cannot for example find out the names of the walker's camps based on the rubbish they publish. Of course they are hoping that customers will buy their map but I certainly could not find out how to do this from their web site - their insistence that you visit one of their stores would have made sense in the 1970s.
I was fortunate that Brian from the Eland Point Canoe Company advised me on the name of the walking camp (Brahminy), sent me a map of the walk and arranged transport for me.
Well the trip occurred on the Monday and Tuesday after Easter. We left Brisbane around 9.00 am to arrive at Elanda Point at 11.00 am. There were 6 of us all up (3 dads and 3 Grade 10 boys). We parked our vehicles, paid for our transport, and met Brian at the boat for a short trip across Lake Cootharaba. We were dropped off at Teewah Landing with a recommendation to walk across to the ocean side for lunch. This was only about 2 Km and we enjoyed lunch before meeting up with the walk up to Mt Seewah lookout. We then continued on the last part of the walk to Brahminy walkers camp where we arrived about 4.00 pm. After setting up our individual camp sites we met for dinner in the shared eating area at the entrance to the camp. This was my first trial of the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 tent. I must say I was very happy with this tent. My son and I had a reasonably comfortable night, certainly stayed dry.
Next morning we assembled at 7.00 am for the walk to Camp Site 3 on the Noose River. This took us about 7 hours with stops. We moved reasonably quickly. The walk is world class. At some stages you walk ocean side, and at other times there are views of the lakes. The highlight was crossing the Cooloola sand patch. The view is marvelous. We were fortunate to do the walk after rain so it was quite firm underfoot. I would not like to do this part of the walk on soft sand at midday in summer. We had lunch at the end of the sand patch stage and then finished the walk at the Noosa river around 2.15 pm. We rang the Canoe Club for an early pick up and Brian arrived a bit under an hour later. He had cold drinks on board for the return trip which was an excellent end to the adventure.
If you are looking for an overnight walk with a twist then I definitely recommend this trip.
There are not many circle walks in Brisbane - this trip was an exception - a break from the usual. It is not for beginners or the less fit. Day 1 was only about 6k - day 2 was around 18 km.