3 Bushwalks of Buderim, Sunshine Coast, Qld

Have you been to Buderim Village? Do you know there are 3 lovely bush walks just a short distance from the village?

A few showers didn't stop us from walking the interesting bush trails of Buderim-Palmwoods Heritage Tramway, Buderim Forest and Foote Sanctuary

BUDERIM-PALMWOODS TRAMWAY is a short walk of appx 4kms return along a section of where the train used to travel carrying farm produce and timber. The railway line was used between 1914-1935.
Access to this track is on the corner of Mons and Telco Roads. A small grassed parking area is available in Telco Road. This walk is suited for wheelchairs and the access at the beginning has a ramp.

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 Historical Photos of the railway

Historical Photos of the railway


As you walk along this historic track listening to the birds singing you will find signage with points of interest -  pass the site of Mons Station, and will see some of the few remaining sleepers. Seats are placed at regular intervals to take a rest and take in the bush environment.
Want to know more check this link out to download the map https://www.buderim.com/tramway

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 Railway Sleepers

Railway Sleepers

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BUDERIM FOREST - is a beautiful rainforest walk, with cascades, ferns and the very much photographed 'Serenity Waterfall'
There are 2 entrances one from Harrys Lane (off Lindsay Rd) and the other from Quorn Place. Depending on how much the creek is flowing sometimes you can cross over and walk from one entrance to the other.

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 Cascades on the way down the steps from Quorn Place

Cascades on the way down the steps from Quorn Place


We took the Quorn Place entrance where there is a memorial garden in memory of Edna Walling who is famous for designing Australian gardens and using native plants. The natural rock steps lead down to the bridge at Serenity falls. A very short distance on the track and we could hear the roar of water. As we came down the hill it was great to see the waterfall flowing over the rockface and into the rockpool. Standing on top of the arched bridge is a good place to get some lovely photos.

 Serenity Falls

Serenity Falls

 Arch shaped bridge -a great viewing point for Serenity Falls (also known as Buderim Falls)

Arch shaped bridge -a great viewing point for Serenity Falls (also known as Buderim Falls)


Ventured down the steps to enjoy a closer view and to check out the creek crossing. Decided not to cross over Martin creek this time as rocks were very slippery. Up and over the bridge took us back to our cars where we drove to the other entrance at Harrys Lane.
From this end of the track is a boardwalk for a short distance until it meets the bush track where we needed to watch our footing as lots of slippery tree roots. The track follows along the banks of the creek with the water flowing over the boulders to the bottom of the falls to the point where you could cross over the creek.
More information http://www.buderim.qld.au/must-see-places/buderim-forest-park/
NOTE - part of the boardwalk is currently under repair so there is a bush track detour (26/8/18)

 Boardwalk 

Boardwalk 

 Slippery tree roots

Slippery tree roots

FOOTE SANCTUARY - We had been lucky with only light showers as we drove towards Foote Sanctuary our 3rd bush walk for the day in Buderim. Entrance we took is  Foote Avenue, just off the Buderim-Mooloolaba Road.
This area of land was donated by the 'Foote Family' in 1948 and dedicated to the memory of their son Eric, killed in the fighting at the Somme during the First World War.

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 Many tracks - good idea to take a photo

Many tracks - good idea to take a photo

Enjoy a walk on the different walking tracks in this 9 hectares of land ranging from easy to moderate to difficult in the wooded areas of rainforest, eucalyptus trees, tree ferns and the call of many bird species
We planned to walk the boundary track which is one of the longer ones, however we must have missed a turn and found ourselves back at the car sooner than expected which was a good thing as there was some thunder and rain. 
A good excuse to go back another day to check out all the tracks.

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Take along a picnic or bbq as there is a gazebo, picnic tables and bbq facilities
More Information: https://www.buderim.com/foote-sanctuary

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How lucky are we to have these 3 interesting and varied walks in close proximity to Buderim Village.

Boat Mountain Conservation Park - South Burnett

Camping at the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival I decided to go for a short drive to Boat Mountain Conservation Park. It is located appx 15mins west of Goomeri on the way to Murgon..
Driving along the narrow road I could see the 589m mountain which has a flat-topped ridge shaped like an upturned boat and covered in dry rainforest and open eucalypt woodland.

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Arriving at the carpark there is a picnic table and a billboard with details of the mountain and a signpost of the hikes. I checked out the hiking signposts which showed details of 2 lookouts. As I started to head up the many steps (over 150) a family were also making their way up which was good to know someone else was around.

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Venturing up the many leaf littered steps to Braithwaites lookout the large rich coloured boulders on the side of the track were covered in lovely lichen. On the way up there is a seat for those who need a rest. Views from here are across surrounding towns and tablelands. After Braithwaites lookout the trail flattens out and in places was bright reddish iron-oxide enriched soil. How peaceful it was walking by myself with only the sound of the birds and my footsteps. Many shadows on the track giving it an eerie feeling.
On the track were dish-shaped depressions made by the black-breasted button-quail as it spins around feeding. On my way back I came across bird feathers - not sure if they were from the button-quail.

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 Followed by a shadow!

Followed by a shadow!

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Various views either side on the way to Daniels lookout. Great views from Daniels lookout over Goomeri on the eastern side, and to the northern distance could see  “The Seven Sisters” (hill formations near Ban Ban Springs) and Mt Boogooramunya.

 View from Daniels Lookout

View from Daniels Lookout

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 If you wanted to make a slightly longer hike I noticed a short side loop on the way back which I didn't take - Silburns Vine Scrub.
An enjoyable walk in a beautiful part of Queensland with so much peace and quiet.

Baxter Falls - Lynne's Big 'O' and leaking bladder

Lynne who is coming up to a 'Big 0' birthday and wanted to celebrate by hiking the different stages of the Hinterland Great Walk over a few different weekends invited me along to join any of the stages as she knows my love of hiking.

I opted to join in for Stage 2 - Flaxton Walkers camp via Baxter Falls to Mapleton Falls. This being the first hike I did when I moved to the Sunshine Coast and it is also one of my favorites.

Meeting at Mill Road, Flaxton I met the others who were to join us today, Anne & Roni. Lynne presented us with colorful bandannas to wear around our neck or tie on our backpacks.

As we were about to start on the track Lynne had a leaking bladder (after all she does have a milestone  birthday coming up). On inspection of her bladder it appeared the seal wasn't working properly and most of the water had leaked into the backpack. Fortunately we were near suburbia so I suggested she checks out garden taps which she did and found one to fill up the bladder. As long as Lynne stays upright her bladder won't leak!

A few spots of rain fortunately never came to anything as we headed down the track. The sign showed 1.2km to 'Flaxton Walkers Camp' - one of the camps for those hiking the Hinterland Great Walk. Walking into the camp we passed a large group leaving who had camped there overnight. I had a chat to a lady who with her husband were training with their big packs for the Bibbulmun track in Western Australia. This camp has basic facilities -  toilet and a water tank - (the water needs to be treated).
Coming out of  the camp the sign showed 5.5kms to Mapleton falls.

 Flaxton Walkers Camp

Flaxton Walkers Camp

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We headed on the 'Great Walk' track taking us through Eucalypt forest, passing birds nest ferns, staghorns and rocky outcrops. The call of the Wompoo Dove greeted us as we headed downhill through a series of switchbacks and steps. Bracken ferns lining the edge of the track were very green and the fronds looked like a lacy carpet up the banks As we hiked through the bush you could see  flashes of our bright colors of pink, blue and purple bandannas.

 Carpet of Bracken Ferns

Carpet of Bracken Ferns

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The sound of a waterfall in the distance was soothing and we were looking forward to spending time at Baxter Falls. The suspension bridge came into sight and a short detour took us to the rock slabs and boulders surrounding Baxter Falls. A great place to sit and take in the environment. Gazing up at the falls I found it mesmerising watching the water flow down into the creek below.
Roni quickly went rock hopping to get a better view of the falls followed by Lynne who gingerly made her way across. I am not keen on rock hopping so found a rock to sit on and view the waterfall.

 Baxter Falls

Baxter Falls

Gazing down Baxter Creek it was rather interesting to see the reflections of the large lichen / mossy covered boulders in the creek, saplings standing tall, dead palm fronds, fallen branches and small ferns growing out the side of the boulders and the water gently washing over the smaller boulders making little waterfalls. We were so lucky to have this peaceful place to ourselves.

 Baxter Creek

Baxter Creek

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 Brightly coloured bandanna

Brightly coloured bandanna

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Leaving the tranquility of the falls we had the choice of rock hopping across the creek or crossing over by the suspension bridge. To me there was no decision to make - suspension bridge for me! The sign said only 2 persons allowed on bridge at a time - that suited me as I don't like to cross with others as most seem to enjoy bouncing on the bridge.
Halfway across I stopped to enjoy the last view of the waterfall and Baxter Creek before zigzagging up the hill through a palm grove to Suses Pocket Road. 

 Suspension bridge over Baxter Creek

Suspension bridge over Baxter Creek

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Looking! Looking! - yes I spotted Fungi - love finding fungi on my hikes. 

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Head down, bottom up pushing up the track I suddenly saw what I thought was a gnome sitting off to the side of the track. I realised then I knew this gentleman sitting on a rock having his morning tea.  Bernhard a member of the Sunshine Coast Bushwalking group is amazing - he is an avid bushwalker and has also kayaked the full length down the Murray River. To my  surprise he told me he is heading off in a couple of weeks to celebrate his 80th birthday by climbing Mt Barney - a huge climb for younger experienced hikers yet alone 80 year olds - the hike can take up to 8 hours.

A great feeling of achievement as we came out of the track onto Suses Pocket Road - but what where is our car- no this stage of the Great Walk doesn't finish until you walk up the hill then appx 1.5kms  along the Obi Obi Road and Mapelton Road to Mapleton Falls. Closing the gate everybody picks up speed knowing they are nearly there. We stop on the way to check out a roadside vegetable shed with a  great variety of organic produce.

 All smiles as we know we are nearly finished Mapelton Falls here we come!

All smiles as we know we are nearly finished Mapelton Falls here we come!

 Show me the way to go home!

Show me the way to go home!

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Finally made it to Mapelton Falls where there was a group of hikers from Happy Hikers in Brisbane who are hiking and camping for 3 days on the Great Walk.
Checked out the view down the Obi Obi Valley and Mapelton Falls from the lookout.

 Mapleton Lookout - check out the bandannas!

Mapleton Lookout - check out the bandannas!

As we went to sit down for a rest before driving back to Flaxton Anne suddenly produces 4 small bottles of champagne to celebrate completing another stage of the Great Walk. It was funny watching the looks of other hikers seeing us in our hiking gear and champagne glass in hand. What a fun way to finish off our hike.

 What a way to finish off a hike - Champagne Celebrations!

What a way to finish off a hike - Champagne Celebrations!

If you have read this far then I guess you have been hanging out to find out what happened to Lynne's bladder. Well Lynne stayed upright which means NO leaking bladder!!

PS: If you wanted you could retrace the track back to your car at Mill Road or hike from Flaxton to Baxter Falls then return. Lots of options for different levels of fitness.

Have you hiked Baxter Falls would like to hear about your day on the trail.

Nature Fix - Glasshouse Mountains

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Feeling like I needed a nature fix before the start of the working week so I 'PHONED A FRIEND' Cathy was happy to join me on the Trachyte  / Tibrogargan circuit in the Glasshouse Mountains National Park and and a climb to the summit of Mt Ngungun near the Glasshouse township.
So lucky to have this intriguing National Park so close to Sunshine Coast - where 1 minute you can be basking in the sun on the beach to hiking trails or climbing the mountains in the Sunshine Coast Hinterland.
The Glasshouse Mountains  had volcanic beginnings and has dramatic peaks (all shapes and sizes), easy walking tracks (suitable  families), magnificent views (from lookouts and mountain summits).
Follow Barrs Road to the 2nd carpark as you are more likely to find a park. There is a choice of starting the hike on the Trachyte circuit first or the Tibrogargan circuit  - they both join up making a hike of appx 8-9 kms.
We started on the Trachtye Circuit and headed up a gentle incline towards the 'Jack Ferris' lookout. Make sure you look behind you to see Mt Tibberoowuccum standing tall above the forest skyline and to your right - Mount Tunbubudla (East & West).

 Looking back at Mt Tibberoowuccum

Looking back at Mt Tibberoowuccum

 Mount Tunbubudla (East & West)

Mount Tunbubudla (East & West)

A short climb up to the lookout didn't disappoint with views of some of the surrounding peaks - Tibberoowuccum, Coonowrin, Tibrogargan, Mt Ngungun. Since the last time I have been to this lookout there has been a lot of pine plantation logging which makes it look rather stark.

 Mt Tibrogargan in background - from Jack Ferris Lookout

Mt Tibrogargan in background - from Jack Ferris Lookout

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 Logging of pine plantations

Logging of pine plantations

Recent rains have made the landscape very green, the track a little muddy in places and Tibrogargan creek a small boulder hopping cross over.
Love the scribbly gums with interesting patterns made by the scribbbly gum moth on the smooth bark of the trees. The yellow flower spikes of mountain banskia beside the trail added color to the bush with the occasional purple bush orchid and not to miss out on my favorite- fungi. Birds were singing in the trees and a large goanna stopped us in our tracks, eyeing us off before he scuttled up the tree.

 Banksia always adds colour to the bush

Banksia always adds colour to the bush

 Didn't want to get out of our way!

Didn't want to get out of our way!

 They move very quickly up the tree

They move very quickly up the tree

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As we walked around the base of Mt Tibrogargan the Mountain soared above us and I looked at it and thought 'NO WAY - NOT FOR ME TO CLIMB TO THE SUMMIT!!). I have taken the path up to the beginning of the hike to the summit and even that was scary enough with all it's signs of how dangerous if you continue - beware of falling rocks. I have been in the area with  the rescue helicopter hovering around to find people who have become stuck whilst rock climbing. The rescue teams are absolutely amazing with the skills required to rescue someone in a tricky situation.

 Mt Tibrogargan - 364m high

Mt Tibrogargan - 364m high

We decided to have a cold drink at the Glasshouse Mountains Lookout Cafe which is about a 5 minute drive from the carpark. As you sit and relax  there are stunning views of a mango orchard and Mount Coonowrin.

 View from Outlook Cafe

View from Outlook Cafe

A short drive to Mt Ngungun and we are ready for a climb to the summit. It is a very popular mountain since they put the steps in. It is great to see families out including very young children and babies in their carriers cuddled up to their mum or dad as they head up to the summit.
Mt Ngungun would have to be my favorite mountain to climb - the 360 degree views at the top are incredible overlooking surrounding peaks and farmlands. I have been up this mountain for sunset and full moon - great place to have a champers and biscuits and cheese and coming down by moonlight with some help from light of my headlamp. 
This mountain is very popular for training for those heading off to trek Kokoda track in Papua New Guinea. I chatted to one lady who had a heavy looking pack as she headed up for the 3rd time.

 Beautiful sunset summit Mt Ngungun

Beautiful sunset summit Mt Ngungun

 View from summit Mt Ngungun - peaks of Mt Beerwah & Mt Coonowrin (Crookneck)

View from summit Mt Ngungun - peaks of Mt Beerwah & Mt Coonowrin (Crookneck)

 On top of the world enjoying one of my favorite views from summit of Mt Ngungun

On top of the world enjoying one of my favorite views from summit of Mt Ngungun

 Summit Mt Ngungun with my friend Cathy

Summit Mt Ngungun with my friend Cathy

 Mt Tibrogargn in background and Glasshouse Mountains farmlands

Mt Tibrogargn in background and Glasshouse Mountains farmlands

After enjoying our time on the summit and chatting to many different people including 2 guys from Germany who love mountain climbing we decided it was time to descend as it started to sprinkle with rain. No sooner were we down and there was a downpour. Wonderful way to finish off a weekend being out in nature doing a bushwalk and a mountain climb.
What mountains have you climbed in Glasshouse Mountains - would love you to leave a comment about your experiences.

Ice Bar to Ice Trek

Brrrr….Ice, Ice and more Ice! – Fantastic! Fantastic -a must if visiting South America

I had always wanted to try trekking with crampons and my chance came when I travelled to South America for 2 months and whilst researching hikes I found a ‘mini’ trekking experience on the Perito Moreno Glacier, Los Glaciares National Park, Southern Patagonia, Argentina. The only thing was that there was an age restriction of 65 years of age and I would be that when I arrived in South America so I quickly booked it before my birthday and it was accepted!

 Downtown El Calafate

Downtown El Calafate

After trekking 7 days on ‘W’ Trek in Patagonia I caught a local bus to El Calafate.

Whilst there I enjoyed a visit to the Glaciarium- interpretation glaciological centre and had a drink in the Glaciobar Branca – ice bar. The ice bar is below zero and you are handed coat and gloves to keep you warm – there is a maximum stay of 20 minutes – just enough time to get down a couple of drinks.

Venturing down the stairs as I opened the door it looked like a night club with all its strobe lights and loud music but the walls, seats, tables, bar and the drinking glasses are all made of glacier ice. They have a temperature gauge on the wall – it showed -5 degrees. I ordered my first drink and am I glad they gave us gloves as holding the ice glass without them would have been impossible. As I went to sit down on the chair it was good to see cushions or I could still be stuck to the chairs!

 Love the jacket - certainly needed it - and especially the gloves when holding the glass made from ice

Love the jacket - certainly needed it - and especially the gloves when holding the glass made from ice

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 Hmm... no wonder it is cold. -5 degrees

Hmm... no wonder it is cold. -5 degrees

The next day I caught a bus for the 78km trip to Perito Mareno Glacier. They were picking up people from different hotels on the way and to my surprise 2 of my trekking mates, father and son from England that I hiked the ‘W’ trek were also heading to trek the glacier.

On arriving at Bajode las Sobras pier I caught a boat crossing over the Argentino Lake which took me up close to the glacier. Pieces of ice float in the lake that have broken off from the glacier earlier in the day. It is hard to believe the sheer size, jagged peaks and beautiful turquoise colour.  Hanging out on side of the deck trying to get a spot for a photo was a bit frightening with everybody pushing and shoving – decided safer to use my camera with its strap than take the chances of my mobile going overboard as everybody jostled for a position.

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 Even this boat is dwarfed by the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier

Even this boat is dwarfed by the magnificent Perito Moreno Glacier

Perito Moreno Glacier is the world’s 3rd largest freshwater reserve. It rises 75 metres above the surface (whilst 170m of it is underwater) and is over 30km long and up to 5km wide. All up, it covers a mind-boggling 250 square kilometres. It is unusual that it is advancing and not retreating. The best time to go is between November to March when the weather is at its best.

Best to layer your clothes, fleece top, good rain/windproof jacket, hiking boots, beanie, good merino socks, sunscreen and definitely gloves for warmth and sunglasses to prevent glare and reflections from the ice. You could wear waterproof over-pants, although I didn’t on this trip but I had a pair of thermals underneath my hiking trousers. We weren’t allowed to take a backpack as the guide said we could over balance, a small bum bag would be a good idea. There are lockers at the beginning of hike where you can leave valuables.

After leaving the boat a short picturesque walk along the beach to the edge of the glacier where we had an introductory talk about the glacier and were fitted for crampons by experienced mountain guides ready for our trek on this breathtaking glacier.

 Excitement builds as we get closer to the glacier as we walk along the rocky beach

Excitement builds as we get closer to the glacier as we walk along the rocky beach

I had never walked in crampons before so it was good they explained how – walk flat and firmly so metal tips dig into ice, slightly raising the feet, not dragging, separate feet slightly to prevent catching crampons on clothes or metal on metal and to prevent you from falling. Going up slope – short flat steps like a penguin  – follow in a line behind guide. Descending – keep your centre of gravity, bend your knees, stomp the ice, engage all vertical crampon points – easier said than done

 

 So many different size crampons

So many different size crampons

 My first steps on Glacier with crampons

My first steps on Glacier with crampons

Stepping onto the ice for the first time is an amazing experience as you are still getting used to walking with crampons and now have to negotiate the steep ascent and watch the crevices. The huge expanse of ice peaks, ice sculptures, turquoise crevices, lakes, valleys is so mesmerising and then the creaking /cracking noise followed by complete silence make you appreciate the wonders of nature.

We had to follow the same line of the guide so we didn’t take a wrong step and end up down a crevice.  The guides have checked out the trail we will walk early in the morning to make sure they are safe. The glacier is constantly moving slowly so all the crevices and valleys will never be the same each day.

 Just getting my glacier legs

Just getting my glacier legs

 Looking dangerous - thank heavens I didn't need to use it!

Looking dangerous - thank heavens I didn't need to use it!

 One of the many beautiful lakes peeping over the top of the glacier

One of the many beautiful lakes peeping over the top of the glacier

 Incredible ice sculptures

Incredible ice sculptures

 Hmmm... a bit close to the crevice. What beautiful colours

Hmmm... a bit close to the crevice. What beautiful colours

 Pleased the guide is hanging out over the edge

Pleased the guide is hanging out over the edge

As we came around the bend in the middle of nowhere was a small table setup with whisky. What a way to celebrate the awesome experience with a glass of whisky and glacier ice followed by chocolates. Lucky for my friends from the ‘W’ trek I am not a big whisky drinker so after a sip I let them enjoy it. Probably a good thing as we still had to walk downhill to get off the glacier and I needed to concentrate so I didn’t fall. – at one stage I had the guide help me down as I felt like I was going to topple over and plant my face into the ice

 

 Anyone for a whisky with glacial ice?

Anyone for a whisky with glacial ice?

 No it isn't a dunny!

No it isn't a dunny!

After our walk we returned to the shelter to eat our lunch and sit and admire the glacier from a different view.

 

 Back at the shelter

Back at the shelter

 View from near the shelter

View from near the shelter

After my boat trip back I was picked up by the bus and taken to the Glacier’s viewpoint where there is a maze of wooden walkways that you can walk and view the glacier from all angles and hear and see pieces calving from the glacier

 

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Absolutely fantastic adventure. A must do if you travel to South America.

Love to hear about your experience trekking with crampons. (You will need to click on the main heading 'Ice Bar to Ice Trek' to comment.