On Wednesday my friends Trish and Dave came out to the caravan park and we enjoyed several hours of conversation on a deck that overlooked the view from the park over the Sunshine Coast, it was great to catch up.
We planned some walks for Thursday and a lunch, but the day was wet so the walks were cancelled and we met up for lunch, and that was very enjoyable, lots of reminiscing and friendly banter. I dropped Trish and Dave back into Maleny where they are staying at the showgrounds for the Maleny music festival that starts Friday.
So on Friday I set off to Kondalilla NP along a road the followed the ridge to Mapleton with wonderful views and big drops off the sides of the road. Sadly most of the rainforest had been cleared and prescribed burns obscured the views. The walk to the falls at Kondalilla NP was 3.4 Km return with over more than 300 steps and lots of declines and climbs, but it was through the rainforest and quite cool, so that was good. There were lots of staghorn ferns in the trees that looked wonderful.
In the Kabi language Kondalilla means “rushing water”, not so rushing at the moment. Views along the track were over valleys and forest and quite spectacular.
I crossed Picnic Creek where there was a small waterfall, especially small as the weather has been so dry, but it was still very pretty.
The rainforest also hosted lots of big grass trees with leaves much thicker and bigger than those at Cania Gorge.
I eventually made it to the lookout over the falls on Skene Creek that drop 90 metres into rock pools, again, not much water going over. Imagine them in flood.
From Kondalilla National Park I went to Mapleton Falls National Park, a very small park of only 26 hectares protecting remanent rainforest. I didn’t walk far at this park, just to the lookout, which looks over the falls and the escarpment. The viewing platform is about 200 metres above the creek and is a cantilever platform, so I had to take a big breath and tentatively walk to the edge to take photos. The falls drop 120 metres and must be spectacular when it rains.
In the bottom right corner you can see the rock face that the falls drop over, and the small flow of water.
On Saturday I went to Conondale National Park near Kenilworth about 40 Km from Ocean View Caravan Park. It was a winding road through steep hilly country with the final section through a Mary river valley. The road into the park became high clearance 4WD only, but I pushed on for a while, then stopped at a pretty picnic spot. The signage there advised to tackle the road in one direction to not conflict with oncoming traffic, but didn’t say which way (to find that out you had to go to Kenilworth Forestry Office! Also I was by myself and the road was quite rough and steep. So I turned around and headed home. I enjoyed the creek crossings though.
As you can see the rainforest is quite dense, and it was good to hear lots of different bird songs.
The map below shows my journey from Mt Eliza to Coonamble in NSW.
I am now in my fifth week away and have driven 5,700 Km, set up and packed up camp fourteen times, visited and photographed thirty-three silos and water towers. The journey since Coonamble is on the map below.
Tomorrow I move onto Brisbane for a couple of days to visit several water towers around the city