SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL - CAMP & COTTAGES (Autumn 19)

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SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL

This walk is a beauty - following the Rabbit Board Fence for approximately 35km from near Killarney to the foothills of Wilson's Peak. There are views you might know well but from a refreshing new perspective - tracing the crest of the mountains allows an eagle-eye view - far better than those from a car seat. At an elevation around 1000m the days and nights are cooler than the valley making for great walking conditions.

There's a steep start but after this the open trail and mostly moderate gradients allow for relaxed walking and conversation. Rolling along beside the fence and passing through open forests and tall timbers, lush farmland and World Heritage Rainforest this trail is simply lovely.

WHAT OUR GUESTS ARE SAYING:

This is a time traveller’s journey through ancient forests in the footsteps of pioneers, loggers, graziers and farmers - brought to life by Teresa and present day locals. We recommend this great walk for experienced and novice hikers alike – it is not just a walk!  (Guests: David and Jane)

… the Spring Creek Mountain Trail is great value for money and I would definitely pay it again with no hesitations - highly recommended!
It’s not just about following the rabbit fence – it’s the beauty and history of the surrounding areas that goes with it that counts. And that’s what we got with Horizon Guides! Experience, quality and an amazing time in the bush right from the start. (Guest: Gail) 

What a wonderful experience joining the rabbit board fence walk - as a newcomer to bush walking I learnt so much. Staying at Spring Creek Mountain Cottages was sheer indulgence and the food was to die for. I have enjoyed this walk so much I will be back to do it again next year! (Guest: Trish)

DAY 1 Saturday 13 April 2019

Walk:             Killarney Border Gate to Smith’s Farm Approx 12km. Moderate

Trans:            Ex Boonah. Transfer to walk start (approx. 115km)

Accom:           Tent Camp with bush loo and shower.

Meals:             L D (campfire dinner)

Nestled in the heart of the Scenic Rim, Boonah is where we meet before boarding our van for the drive across Cunningham’s Gap via the Settler’s Route to Killarney on the western side of the Main Range. After a break in Killarney we drive out of town to the starting point for this three-day walk along a section of the historic Darling Downs-Moreton Rabbit Board Fence. It’s a steep start, with a 280-metre elevation gain to crest the plateau! The track then eases into more rolling terrain through open Eucalypt forest with extensive views across Acacia Plateau and Koreelah into NSW and north Mount Colliery and the Condamine Gorge. The Fence traces the QLD-NSW Border passing through farmland and rainforest by turns.

Arriving at our camp on Smith’s Farm we are met by Mal – third generation farmer on this land. After setting up camp and having a cuppa Mal takes us to visit his favourite trees in the old growth rainforest on his property.

Dinner tonight is hearty fare around the fire and under a canopy of stars.

DAY 2 Sunday 14 April 2019

Walk:              Smith’s Farm to Spring Creek Mountain Cottages Approx. 13km Moderate

Trans:             None

Accom:            Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages

Meals:             BLD

Birdsong replaces alarms and traffic noise this morning as we enjoy our first cuppa of the day by the fire. After a hearty breakfast we leave camp and re-gain the Fence, walking across undulating country with ever-changing views bounded by lush pastures. Koreelah NP is our companion on the NSW side of the fence lending a rich green backdrop to the views.

After lunch we make our way through farmland and private rainforest to arrive at our home for the evening at Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages. Situated at 1050m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range this lovely award-winning accommodation perches above the Condamine Gorge with glorious views from the café across The Head to Wilson’s Peak and the World Heritage Rainforests of the Main Range. Dinner tonight is in the café.

DAY 3 Monday 15 April 2019

Walk:              Spring Creek Mountain Cottages to the White Swamp Border Gate. Approx. 10km Moderate + challenging downhill section

Trans:             Transfer to Boonah approx. 50km

Meals:             BL

As we follow the fence in Queensland we can reach out and touch Koreelah NP in NSW. Established in 1999 the park covers 53 sq km. Its creek flats, steep hillsides and deep valleys support a rich variety of habitats from wet and dry Eucalypt forests to cool sub-tropical rainforests featuring Black Booyong, Yellow Carrabeen, Rosewood, towering Hoop Pines and Giant Stinging Trees. This World Heritage Park is also part of the Scenic Rim Important Bird Area, identified as such by BirdLife International. Over 110 bird species are found here including Alberts Lyrebird, Noisy Pitta and Wompoo Fruit Dove. The songs from the forest will be our sound track on the walk from here on.

After an hour or so of easy walking the plateau suddenly narrows as the volcanic cliffs of the escarpment become prominent. The fence dives off the edge but we leave it for a short distance to wind down to the Head Road, re-joining the fence at the Moss Garden. There is very steep descent here before easier ground is reached. There are a couple of climbs over forested knolls but overall we are now headed downhill and the rainforest gives way to tall Eucalypts. Views through the trees reveal the slopes of Mt Superbus and Head Road and signal that our walk is coming to an end. At the White Swamp Border Gate our van meets us for the trip back to Boonah but not before we share lunch and a cuppa nearby.

GUIDES

Teresa Cause based in Boonah, founded Horizon Guides Pty Ltd in 2007. Offering a specialised bushwalking guide service, Teresa has a background in outdoor and environmental education, with a particular emphasis on natural history.  Teresa's extensive guiding experience includes tours in Australia and overseas. 

She is also the proprietor of Far Outdoors in Boonah.

Chris White is based out in the foothills of the Main Range NP. She is a passionate bushwalker and loves nothing more than getting outside and hiking through the landscape. Chris has been a guest on many walks but this time she will be providing logistical support for the trip and joining us on the track where she can!

GENERAL TOUR NOTES:

Accommodations

Smith’s Farm Camp Our tent camp on the first night is on private land. You will need to supply your own sleeping bag and a small pillow. If you wish to use your own tent and sleeping mat you are very welcome to do so – we will transport these for you along with your other luggage. If you prefer to hire a tent and / or a Thermarest self-inflating sleeping mat then we will provide these for you at a cost of $45 for a tent and $15 for the mat. You will need to indicate this at the time of booking.

There will be toilets and bush shower facilities.

Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages is a very well known and highly regarded destination. Bev Ruskey is the owner and host and we will receive a wonderful welcome as well as fine food and comfortable accommodation in one of three cabins. Each cabin has spectacular views and a wood heater. There is bathroom in each cabin. Two cabins have a queen bedroom and a double sofa bed. One has two bedrooms, one with a queen bed and the other with two singles, as well as a double sofa bed. Rooming arrangements will depend on the guest mix. For more information visit www.springcreekcottages.com.au

Packing List A detailed packing list will be provided with the tour reservation details.

Meals All meals and snacks are provided from lunch on the first to lunch on the last day. Every effort will be made to cater for special dietary needs.

Laundry With such a short tour there should not be the need to do laundry however it is recommended to pack a small amount of washing detergent for hand washing.

Alcohol At Smith’s Farm Camp we will provide wine/beer/non-alcoholic beverages for happy hour before dinner. If you prefer spirits (or more than a glass or two of your favourite tipple) then you may purchase this prior to the tour and bring it with you. Spring Creek Mountain Café is fully licenced with a good selection of beverages for you to purchase.

Daily briefings Each evening there will be a briefing on the walk or options for the following day as well as a re-cap at breakfast.

Mobile Phone Coverage There is adequate mobile phone coverage at some places along the walk. Emergency access via 112 is more available.

TRACK NOTES:

What do we carry? All you will carry is a daypack with personal items and your lunch. All other luggage etc is transported in the trailer with the van.

Distances and track section times The distance we cover is approximately 35km. We are travelling this pretty much all on foot unless the weather or other environmental factors prevent safe walking conditions. Where indicated the time taken for each section is approximate.

Grading Most of the track is graded Moderate. There are some more challenging sections where the gradient is steep. One of these is an ascent and the other a descent. Refer to daily notes for grading on each section.

Shortening walks. For those who don’t feel up to hiking on any given day you are more than welcome to travel in the van - one of the best aspects of a vehicle-supported walking holiday!

Toilets There is a basic loo at the campsite but no other facilities during the day hikes. We follow Leave No Trace principles and these will be outlined to you at the beginning of the trip.

Track direction is from west to east taking a roughly northeast direction.

Weather Mountain weather can be quite changeable in the region. Unless conditions are particularly hazardous we will walk even in rainy weather. Make sure you have a quality rain jacket with a decent hood.

Steps There is quite a lot of ‘up and down’ on this walk and it may not be suited for anyone with knee conditions.

Hydration / Water It is recommended to carry 2 litres of water in 1litre containers per day.

Snakes and other fauna hazards Snakes are common the area but not often seen. Of more general concern are paralysis ticks that may be associated with such conditions as Lyme-like diseases. Preventing bites can be done by using a good repellent and avoiding sitting in loose leaf litter.

We are looking forward to sharing this walk with you soon!

 

 

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Horizon Guides Summer Bushwalks 2019

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The 2019 summer walks program:

Walk 1: Lower Portals (Mt Barney NP) Approx. 6km return 5 - 6 hrs Easy.

Date:  SATURDAY 2nd February (Leave mid afternoon – return after dark)

We are kicking off the walk season with something a little different this time! With such hot days it makes sense to be like rock wallabies – resting in the heat and being active in the cool … so we are starting this walk at 3pm, walking into the Portals for a swim and dinner then walking out a bit after sundown.

The walk begins at the Lower Portals car park. The 2.4km easy/moderate track takes us to the Mt Barney Creek crossing. A short distance upstream is the Lower Portals waterhole – the perfect spot to relax and cool off and have a picnic dinner as we watch the light change on the cliffs around us before retracing our steps.

Walk 2: Westray’s Grave – Larapinta Falls (Lamington NP) approx. 8km return. Approx. 6 - 7 hrs. Moderate (with lots of boulder hopping requiring good balance)

The end of Christmas Creek Rd is the beginning of the track that takes us to the final resting place of Jim Westray. He survived the crash of the Stintson in February 1937 only to die a few days later during his brave efforts to seek help for the two other survivors. The story is a tragic one; forever part of Australian folklore. To walk in this place, knowing the role of Bernard O'Reilly in securing the rescue of Proud and Binstead, is a humbling experience.The rainforest here is beautiful and there are many cascades and pools to be enjoyed on this low elevation track. It’s not strenuous but care is needed on the roots and rocks that comprise the track in many places.

Larapinta Falls is one kilometer upstream of the grave site and in good conditions (dry creek boulders) should take about an hour one way. If it were slippery we’d add about a half hour to this.

Walk 3: Teviot Brook Loop (Off track – details to be advised)

Date: Sunday 17th February

Description: At the headwaters of the Teviot Brook are some magic places tucked away from the usual routes. Today we slow down and take in the peace and quiet to be found in the forests beneath the summits. More information to follow.

Walk 4: Paddy’s Falls – Paddy’s Ridge Loop (Mt Barney NP) Moderate

Date: WEDNESDAY 27 February

Description: This off-track bushwalk walk extends a regular walk to Paddy’s Falls into a loop walk that takes in Paddy’s Peak (546m) southwest of Mt Maroon. There are interesting cliff features and magnificent views that you won’t see on a regular excursion into this area. If it’s a warm day we can take a dip in Mt Barney Creek before we head home.

Note: This trip will suit beginner bush walkers keen for an off-track adventure.

Walk 5: Barney Gorge overnight pack hike – Lower Portals to Waterfall Creek Camp. Moderate / Challenging.

Date: Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd March

Description:  Mt Barney Creek has many route options for overnight camps – one of the best ways to experience the heart of this remote World Heritage area. Depending on conditions on the day we will take a combination of ridge / creek routes to and from our camp at Barney Gorge. If the creek level remains low, it will be an opportunity to walk / rock-hop the length of the creek from Lower to Upper Portals. Once out of the National Park the last section will be down the Waterfall Creek Rd to the camping reserve. As this is a ‘through walk’ a car shuffle will be required at the beginning and end of the weekend.

Note: If you have not carried an overnight pack before this is great time to begin! Experienced walkers in the group will be more than happy to help you out and share tips and advice J If you would like to chat about it – feel free to call!

Walk 6: West Canungra Creek Circuit, (Lamington, Green Mountains Section) 13.9km Approx. 7 hrs Moderate (done in a clockwise direction)

Date: Sunday 17th March     (You may choose to stay up on the mountain on Saturday evening – it’s two hours each way to the trail head from Boonah)

Description: Yay - the track is open again post Cyclone Debbie!! Beginning near O’Reilly’s guesthouse, “the circuit descends to 'Yerralahla' (blue pool) passing by some large rainforest trees including Red Cedar Toona ciliata, and then follows the creek for most of its length, crossing it several times. Eels inhabit the West Canungra Creek. They bite when threatened and injuries have occurred.” The circuit includes beautiful waterfalls and ends at the Box Forest featuring many forest giants of great age. To stand among them and enjoy their ancient presence is a fitting end to the hike. On overcast summer days, leaf-tailed geckos may be seen along this circuit. This gecko is endemic to the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area. Fossilized ancestors of this species, from over 20 million years ago, have been found in the Riversleigh Fossil Sites.”

NB For the protection of Lamington's sensitive waterways, habitat for a number of endangered and vulnerable frog species, no swimming is permitted in the creeks and pools of Lamington NP. (These walks notes adapted from NPSRS website)

 

Do you fancy three days of walking in a special place away from your usual world? Come with us on the delightful Spring Creek Mountain Trail!

SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL 3-DAY WALK – Camp and Cottage

Saturday 6 – Monday 8 April   One night camping on private property nestled beside spectacular old growth rainforest and one night at Spring Creek Mountain Cottages and Café.

SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL 3-DAY WALK - Cottage

Friday 14th – Sunday 16th June Two nights accommodated at the popular Spring Creek Mountain Cottages And Café.

SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL 3-DAY WALK – Camp and Cottage

Saturday 7 – Monday 9 September One night camping on private property nestled beside spectacular old growth rainforest and one night at Spring Creek Mountain Cottages and Café.

SEE WEBSITE FOR FULL DETAILS AND TO MAKE A RESERVATION.

Here’s what our guests on this walk are saying about the Spring Creek Mountain Trail -

           

“This is a time traveller’s journey through ancient forests in the footsteps of pioneers, loggers, graziers and farmers - brought to life by Teresa and present day locals. We recommend this great walk for experienced and novice hikers alike – it is not just a walk!” (Guests: David and Jane)

 “… the Spring Creek Mountain Trail is great value for money and I would definitely pay it again with no hesitations - highly recommended! It’s not just about following the rabbit fence – it’s the beauty and history of the surrounding areas that goes with it that counts. And that’s what we got with Horizon Guides! Experience, quality and an amazing time in the bush right from the start.” (Guest: Gail)

 “What a wonderful experience joining the rabbit board fence walk - as a newcomer to bush walking I learnt so much. Staying at Spring Creek Mountain Cottages was sheer indulgence and the food was to die for. I have enjoyed this walk so much I will be back to do it again next year!” (Guest: Trish)

 

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Contact info

7 Church St, Boonah QLD 4310

Phone +61 07 54634 114
Mobile +61 0417 760 966

teresa@horizonguides.com.au

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