School holiday weekend. Drove to O’Reillys at around lunchtime on Friday. The short version of getting there is to 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’Reilly’s. We stayed in the Green Mountain National Park which is very close to O’Reillys. The cost was around $5 per person per night.
This is a good National Park campground with hot showers and drop toilets. I recommend choosing sites as far from the road as possible to minimize 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’Reilly’s proper has a restaurant and bar – we visited both for a meal and a 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 treetop walk. This was a nice short diversion. Make sure you climb the tree partway 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 the 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 headlamp, raincoat, 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 whiteouts. 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.