Here’s a trip report from our last walks. We’re trying to have a walk every weekend during this cool weather.
The next upcoming walks for this month are:
19/06/22 - Keith - Three Lagoons
25/06/22 - Madoc - Butterfly Falls
Paradise Beach and Castle Rock
On Sunday the 15th of May, Wilfred led a group of 13 hikers to Little Beach, Paradise Beach, and then on to Castle Rock. These beaches represent an untouched paradise waiting to be enjoyed. Castle Rock is aptly named, as it resembles a fortress atop the hillside with scrambling involved to ascend and exposed ledges once on top. After enjoying the views from Castle Rock across the rugged landscapes, Wilfred's suggestion of heading to Balancing Rock was soon dismissed by the others who preferred to return to civilisation. This walk provided valuable insight into remote bushwalking through bushland and clambering over boulders, and it was a good challenging walk for some of the temporary members.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CeH3s2vFcMv/ Photos and video by Gary Hutcheson
Lower Little Crystal Creek Falls
On the 21st of May, Luen led a group of 7 through some pretty amazing country where we explored the Lower Little Crystal Creek Falls. It was a short pleasant walk down the ridgeline and straight to the monolithic granite outcrop just above the main falls. Three sides of this rock are exposed cliff edges, and this vantage point provides grand views. As we peered upstream, we were in awe of the surreal turquoise colours of the water and the photo-worthy cascades. Below us was the mini-slot canyon that, at the time, was flowing down around a corner, plummeting down into the main attraction, the lower falls. We then walked back off the granite platform, carefully scrambling around and then down the scree to be greeted by a 5mm cord tied to the tree. After scrambling down the last obstacle, we were rewarded with the falls and a beautiful swimming hole. After enjoying a swim and some deep water soloing, we returned via the same route for an early mid-day finish back in Townsville, just in time for lunch.
https://www.instagram.com/p/Cdz075eJhiz/ Photos by Leah Denman & Peter Birch
The Terraces and High Camp
On the 28th of May, Ian led a group of 15 on one of the Club's classics -- The Terraces, a walk that was pioneered back in 1966. After gaining access via private property, we headed off-track and upstream of the St Margaret's Creek system to The Terraces. Here we were faced with one of the most difficult obstacles of the trip -- a scramble up the righthand side of the waterfall. After enjoying The Terraces, we decided the rock hopping and cliff climbing was not enough challenge, so we bashed through the rough scrub, loose rocks, steep slopes, and fallen trees blocking the way, to reach further to Ultima Falls, which was our ultimate destination on the day. After turning around, to avoid a mutiny, we took the easier path along the creek bank. As well as the many glorious waterfalls, there were several high locations with spectacular views across the surrounding landscapes and out to the ocean. This creek-based walk is one of the most scenic creeks in the region (and the state) and is considered by many to be Townsville's best walk. It was a great opportunity for temporary members to experience many stunning waterfalls but also rough creek rock-hopping, boulder scrambles, and cross-country hiking.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CeJ5Lllt25u/ Photos by Ian Wallace
Lower Big Crystal Creek
On the 11th of June, Hue led a group of 8 through the rugged Lower Big Crystal Creek. We were lucky enough to experience these remote hidden waterfalls that aren't often seen, let alone enjoyed. It was a hard but short day out with a good number of temporary members.
https://www.instagram.com/p/CeufHBdPj4p/ Video by Thea Nitschke
White Mountains Eastern Section
Written by Keith:
Some members joined a private walk to White Mountains National Park Eastern Section to re-visit the bushwalking ideas from the club’s past Anzac weekend trip.
The club has bushwalked in the spectacular White Mountains National Park west of Townsville for many years. It provides some of the best remote bushwalking experiences you will find anywhere. There are different sections that we have historically explored in areas inaccessible to the public, but this year we are concentrating on the eastern section for a change. Can the eastern section be as good as the magnificent western section?
The plan was a four-day trip, with three days bushwalking and one day car exploring. This was based on the club’s Anzac weekend plan. One of the criteria for timing was to go before it gets too cold out there – well, that went well with ‘minus 2’ temps and iced tents!
Friday was an easy explore of Sawpit Gorge. In the past having visited it several times I have been disparaging about this area as compared to its western siblings I felt it was inferior, but this time we explored more and I must apologise, dear Sawpit, we love you. It has many hidden nooks and crannies, small canyons and gorges and sandstone formations to explore, and is very good.
Saturday was the big walk plan –an exploratory adventure. A grand plan to do a 15-20 km loop based on Sunset View Creek. Twice before I have stood at Sunset View and dreamed of this walk. Today was the day to achieve it. We started down Sunset View Creek staying initially on the sandstone plateau, a myriad of sandstone formations, canyons, crevasses, and grottos. Pure spectacular!
After an hour we descended into the canyon creek bed, to wander down the sandy creek with sandstone formations towering above. Surprisingly there was water in the creek, mostly small pools but one larger pool downstream. There are so many nooks and crannies to explore, that time got away from us as we enjoyed this spectacular scenery, so the full planned loop was not viable for a day walk this time.
At 1:15pm, we turned back (we were 2/3 of the way to the planned half way mark for the full loop!). We departed the creek for the easier plateau walking – yeah, good plan Dyso -up top on the plateau, was thick saplings and wattle, and when clear of them we were frequently blocked by deep long side canyons. These side canyons where spectacular in their own right and worth more exploring, but it was getting near camp Happy Hour time and the pack was thirsty, and we had seen so many canyons already! The side canyons forced us further inland to get around them. Then we came to the really deep impassable long side canyon – and the map showed there was another beyond it. We now had a choice, a long way inland bashing through saplings and wattle and head for the road, a long detour to get back to Sunset View - or try to get back into Sunset View Creek and retrace our steps there, a more direct route. After exploring along the sheer sandstone walls, we found a route down into the side canyon creek bed, for an easy walk back to Sunset View Creek. Then an easy walk retracing our route back to the start. This was an impressive bushwalk in magnificent sandstone country - almost as good as the almighty western section. Back to camp for a well deserved Happy Hour.
Sunday was the impressive Canns Creek canyon, probably the highlight of the area (a highlight amongst highlights). We have explored this creek canyon system previously, but plan today was to go further.
We head upstream, inside the canyon on the creek bed. There is more water in the creek than last time, and at some points even flowing water. Exploring grottos and nooks and crannies, I showed the others where we would find Red Hands Cave later, high above. Canns Creek Canyon is a deep sheer sided canyon in most parts, very impressive.
Eventually we were blocked by a large deep pool and overhanging boulder and steep side walls, and to detour along the canyon side wall was hairy, so we decided to get out of the creek on to the plateau. Up top, spectacular views looking down into the canyon.
We re-entered the canyon upstream, to explore new areas, finding fascinating sandstone features. We then returned downstream, along the plateau to Red Hands Cave. Then back to camp for another Happy Hour, a good way to finish another great days bushwalking. However, there is still more to explore in the system, so more time is needed to fully explore the whole Canns Creek system.
Sunday was the drive to Poison Valley. Of most interest was to find the heart-leaf poison bush Gastrolboum grandiflora that is common in the area. This plant contains the poison mono sodium fluroacetate, more commonly known as 1080. We found one bush of it on Burrah Creek bank – but nobody wanted to suck on the flowers or leaves – wonder why ?
Along the way we passed Big Swamp.
White Mountains National Park Eastern Section is spectacular and provides magnificent bushwalking. You need to be proficient with remote area bushwalking and navigation and be fully self-sufficient.
The western section is still the most majestic part of the park, but the eastern section is very good and easily accessible in comparison. We will do many more trips to White Mountains National Park. We lead and explore – others follow in our footsteps.
Quiz – how many times was spectacular used?
Thanks for reading.
We hope you enjoyed reading this and that it provides insight into what we do.
exploration is in our DNA
March 2021 Newsletter
It has been a busy start of the year with many fantastic activities already held. And the upcoming period will be very busy with activities on all weekends for the next six weeks.
Upcoming Activities Plan
Check out our great upcoming activities plan :
- 14th March – Swamp Creek to Birthday Creek, Mt Spec area – leader Luen.
- 21st March – Terraces or Killymoon Creek – leader Luen / Keith.
- 27-28 March – two dayer exploratory – Keelbottom Creek and Little Star Gorge / Cascades – leader Luen.
- 27th March – ½ day - lower Little Crystal Creek gorge and waterfall photographers jaunt – leader Keith.
- 28th March – Mt Spec track and lagoons walk – leader Keith
- 2-5 April Easter 4 days – Porcupine Gorge remote wilderness bushwalking – leader Keith (limited numbers - members only at this stage)
- 2-5 April Easter 4 days - Pelorus Island – leader Phil (limited numbers - members only at this stage)
- 11th April – Little Birthday to Big Birthday, Mt Spec area – leader Luen
- 18th April – Williams Creek and Forgotten Falls – leader Keith.
- Dolby and Crystal Creeks explore – very scenic, fantastic exploring.
- Alligator Creek Falls – yep, very good.
- Creek crossing training – dancing with ..... ? And, that’s my toes you are standing on, not a rock !
- Three Lagoons - Crystal Creek Falls, Junction Falls and Blue Lagoon – just awesome.
- Rope and Loop Falls photographic walks (several trips).
- Mine Creek waterfalls photographic explore – flowingly good.
- Double Barrel Creek – barrels full of adventure, wetness, and laughs.
- Upper Gold Creek - pure rainforest gold !
- Blue Gum circuit – lovely bushwalk, even the leeches liked it.
- Saddle Mountain / WW2 Mosquito wreck site – sprint to the top - finished by 2pm !
- Plus a cycling tour de force, and kayaking on Ross River.
Within this time period, there may be some other adventures to be announced, probably speciality activities like photographer walks to waterfalls, chasing fungi etc.
The week leading up to an activity, the club will promulgate details to the email list. Also keep an eye on Facebook and the website for activities announcements and changes as well. Weather and conditions may force some short notice changes, we remain flexible and adaptable as usual.
Activities Calendar 2021
The website has the activities calendar for 2021 which lists the scheduled fortnight dates for bushwalks. This is based on the standard fortnight schedule – obviously at times (like upcoming) we do have activities on other dates as well.
We are planning some extraordinary long weekend and multi-day remote wilderness activities for the rest of the year, so stay tuned.
Recent activities have included wilderness bushwalks and exploring in Mt Spec and other areas, plus cycling and kayaking.
Too much to report in detail in this newsletter, so go to Facebook or Instagram for the photos which tell the stories very well, and also Luen’s website Wanderstories for his bushwalk led trip reports – great resources.
Sometimes you gotta pay attention to the leader briefings ya know – they are not that bad :
News and Fluff
Monthly Meetings - The club is reinstituting monthly meetings on 2nd Monday each month, at this stage for committee and walk leaders only – restrictions in the meet room still apply.
Meet and Greet - We will also use these Monday monthly meetings as an opportunity for meet and greet for prospective new walkers. If you haven’t walked with the club before, this is a good opportunity to meet and greet our walk leaders and have a welcoming chat, so contact the club for details if interested - we would love to have a friendly meet and greet with you. If you cannot make a Monday meeting, let us know, a coffee shop meet and greet is always available. Or even join one of our leaders on a training walk one afternoon after work at one of their regular mid-week training sites e.g.Castle Hill, JCU hill/ Douglas Mtn, Mt Louisa etc.
We can even do a ‘show and tell’ of bushwalking gear if required, especially for the long distance remote multi-day trips, to give you an idea of gear we use. We like ‘lightweight minimalist’ as much as possible, makes the trip more enjoyable than a lugging a heavy pack, especially by the end of the day or that slog up a steep climb. Albeit, some reduce the weight to make nice and light but then add heavy camera and luxuries gear ! One trip (a 298 km 18 dayer), one illustrious highly esteemed member even carried a portable solar panel on their pack (very lightweight). And port or liqueur is not a luxury for some, but a necessity (it is medicinal isn’t it?) ! Oh well, as long as the photo or the luxury is worth it – you take it, you gotta carry it ! For JW – no chair allowed – and we will camp up in Thunderbolt !
AGM – the club Annual General Meeting will be held on 10th May. Details to members separately.
BWQ - Townsville Bushwalking Club now has representation on the Bushwalking QLD committee – Keith is fulfilling a non-executive committee position on the BWQ Committee. Bushwalking Queensland Inc. (BWQ) is the peak body that represents the interests of its affiliated bushwalking clubs in Queensland. It also acts in the interest of the wider bushwalking community, through its advocacy role with land managers and various government departments. Recent examples include : Zoom meeting with clubs; Walking Alliance Qld Meeting; and Coffee & Conversation - Outdoors Qld. BWQ is a not-for-profit, non-commercial association, run by volunteers drawn from the club network.
There are 24 bushwalking clubs in QLD, with 1,763 members. If you are travelling in other parts of the state and keen to walk in great areas not known or accessible only to the clubs, contact one of the clubs in that area to join their walks. Club contact details are at the BWQ website.
Donations – the club is making donations (from profits of the wall calendar sales) to AWC (for the Northern Bettong Enclosure), and Wongaloo Conservation Reserve.
Wilfred – as most of you know, Wilfred was nominated for two Australia Day awards. The contributions Wilfred has made to bushwalking and exploring in the region and in particular the club is exemplary and very much appreciated. He has achieved many accomplishments. He is even the chief UFO spotter in Paluma. Congratulations Wilfred !
The mighty 10 - Joy is celebrating 10 years as a club member – starting as a novice bushwalker 10 years ago, her accomplishments have been amazing. Includes the State 8 (highest peak in each state/territory), Aussie top 15 peaks (top 10 was not enough, Joy pushed on for the top 15), Hannel’s Spur – highest ascent in Australia and culminates at the highest point of Australia, NZ North Island three highest peaks (volcanoes), numerous other peaks and hard core hikes like Western Arthurs traverse in Tassie, and even has a local feature named after her - Joy’s Cliff. And she is chief purveyor of jam, cream, and caramel pikelets or scones when we achieve lofty goals – sitting at a peak eating treats like that is a great reward. What is next (apart from Mt Fuji) ? Congrats and well done Joy. (Oh, and she is well known for a particular prank activity).
We feel sad to have to say farewell, because Anneliese and Oliver are leaving Townsville this month. We will miss them, but remember them fondly. Anneliese is one of our great explorers and adventurers. We wish you both the best for your future, and hope to see you on a bushwalk (or probably side of a cliff or a log crossing) again in the future.