The Tarcoola Track – An Experiment

tree colours 2

When this twentieth century of ours became obsessed with a passion for mere size, what was lost sight of was the ancient wisdom that the emotions have their own standards of judgement and their own sense of scale. In the emotional world a small thing can touch the heart and the imagination every bit as much as something impressively gigantic; a fine phrase is as good as an epic, and a small brook in the quiet of a wood can have its say with a voice more profound than the thunder of any cataract.                                   – Henry  Beston, Northern Farm

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Coffee Waffle and Sunstroke – Wivenhoe Trails and Spillway Common

“Accept the abundance,” the Cormorant Bay Café waitress ordered with a bow after placing a complimentary freshly brewed coffee next to my meal. Abundance sums up my three explorations in summer of the Wivenhoe Dam area, 80km west of Brisbane. To be honest, I would have been satisfied with much less abundance of sunshine and sweat while attempting to walk the 16km of trails. Continue reading

Lamington National Park Part 1: Lycra Man’s Attachment Issues

“O Binna Binna, Binna Burra, wherefore art thou, Binna Burra?”

Ever since my last trip to Binna Burra, the eastern side of Lamington National Park, I’ve been in love with this unique and incredibly beautiful region. It’s part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area, which includes the largest section of subtropical rainforest in the world. Despite how impressive this sounds, in the tempestuous early days, I wondered whether my relationship with Binna Burra had a future. What were my early fears and how were they turned into infatuation? Continue reading

The Art of Hiking – White Rock Galleries

Whit

Regular readers know I’m a sufferer of  bark bliss, fungi fever, lichen lust, moss mania, and insect infatuation.   These distractions mean walking partners need to be passionate about the same interests,  have the patience of a saint, or be content to charge  ahead without me. Today I reveal my rock rapture, another distraction which contributes to the torture of walking companions. Continue reading

Where are the Crocodiles? Purling Brook Falls, Springbrook National Park

Had I known there might be crocodiles on my walk I would have taken precautions. In a scene from a famous UK “reality” TV show, celebrity contestants swam through a crocodile invested swamp with marksmen ready to shoot any creatures that attacked. However, the location used for that episode was in Springbrook, inland from the Gold Coast, about 100km south of Brisbane, and a guaranteed crocodile free habitat. It also happens to be the topic of this post. Continue reading

A Platypus Quest: Six Mile Creek Discoveries

I have yet to see a platypus in the wild. I wonder how many Australians have. When I was told recently that a dead platypus had been found near Six Mile Creek in my local area, I had mixed feelings – excitement and surprise that they lived so close to me, and a little frustration and disappointment that a new supermarket complex and residential development being built right next to the creek may be responsible for their demise.

Since then I have headed down to the creek on a few occasions, hoping to catch sight of this unusual monotreme. I did come across some brown woolly animals and another rather hairy creature. The second species elicited a  screech  from me that was loud enough to bring the cricketers from the practice nets down to investigate. I was left a little red-faced by their concern. Not an uncommon occurrence for me, I can assure you. Continue reading

Fabulous Fungi and Other Treats at Denmark Hill, Ipswich

If we collect moments rather than things, these are ours to keep. ”

– Ann Brasco

While pondering this blog post the word “change” sprang to mind. Change can happen gradually, rapidly or not seem to happen at all.

Denmark Hill in Ipswich, near Brisbane has an interesting history. For thousands of years Indigenous people inhabited and cared for the area and the local landscape remained relatively unchanged. Continue reading

Pleasure and Pain – Mt Edwards, Moogerah Peaks

“Perhaps there’s no better act of simplification than climbing a mountain. For an afternoon, a day, or a week, it’s a way of reducing a complicated life into a simple goal. All you have to do is take one step at a time, place one foot in front of the other, and refuse to turn back until you’ve given everything you have.” -Ken Ilgunas

In my last post I was disappointed to miss out on attempting the Mt Maroon summit. What a difference a week can make to one’s mood. I’ve had the opportunity to de-stress with a mountain walk, make some nature discoveries on an old mining site and enjoy a sunrise walk at a new beach. I also had the pleasure of meeting  a Brisbane blogger I follow, who also enjoys photography and walking. So this week I am in the joyful position of having something fresh to write about… Continue reading

The Geese Have Gone and I Am Cheering: Sherwood Arboretum and Wetlands

Sherwood Arboretum Wetlands

Sherwood Arboretum Wetlands

Well, there has been some drama of late. A family member was struck by a car recently while cycling home from work. He was fortunate to survive the incident but now has injuries which will take about six months to heal.   The driver of the car was  at fault according to the police report and unfortunately this is not uncommon where I live. I’m quite disheartened by the car-centric culture in my country although there have been some improvements.

As Michael Reilly recently wrote in an article explaining 18 Reasons Why Registering Bicycles  is a Bad Idea, “Even among people who don’t ride for transport, a survey showed 60% would like to do so – but many say they are too scared.”  Yes, here in the Lucky Country, many of us are too scared to ride a bicycle. After a few close calls I have even curtailed my own cycling activity.

Now  let’s move onto something more cheerful… Continue reading

A Tale of Two Tortoises: Greenes Falls Rainforest Track – Mt Glorious

rainforest-trees

I contemplated calling this post, “The Slowest Hike in the World” as it took 4 ½ hours to cover a mere 4.3 km. New readers might be thinking it must have been an arduous hike involving rugged terrain, steep climbs or waist-deep mud. Older followers know me better than that. There’s a  reason why I am called mildly extreme rather than plain  extreme. Continue reading

Butterflies and Thistles – Goolman Lookout via Rocky Knoll Circuit

Monarch on thistle

“Butterflies are self-propelled flowers.” – Robert A. Heinlein

Why didn’t I ask Carol?  Although she may seem like a quiet, conservative, middle-aged grocery store check-out operator, don’t be fooled. Carol is a hard-core weekend adventurer. Whenever she serves me we always manage to squeeze in a conversation about our latest hikes. When I told her about my Goolman Lookout walk, she chastised me. “You did that in summer! It’s much too hot. There’s not much to see anyway. It’s all dry scrub.”   As I said before, why didn’t I ask Carol first? She always seems to know the most up-to date information about walks. I’d been waiting for Mt Cordeaux to open for months and was checking the website regularly, but it was Carol who first informed me it had reopened.   She needs to set up her own hiking guru website or maybe “Carol’s  Hiking Hotline”? Continue reading