Horizon Guides Bush Walks Autumn 2021

HORIZON GUIDES: Autumn Day Hikes 2021  

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1 Paddy’s Ridges Loop (Mt Barney NP) Moderate

Sunday 28 February 2021 Cost: $65 pp

Description: This off-track bushwalk walk extends a regular walk to Paddy’s Falls into a loop walk that takes in nearby ridges and features southwest of Mt Maroon. There are interesting cliff areas and magnificent views that you won’t see on a regular excursion into this area. NB We cross Mt Barney Creek near the trail-head at the start and finish of the walk.

Note: The trip will suit beginner bush walkers with reasonable fitness and agility who are keen for an off-track adventure.

2 Mt Mattheson Circuit (Main Range NP) 8km. Easy, some moderate rough sections. 

Sunday 7 March 2021 Cost: $65 pp

Description: Today’s walk is one of the most diverse and historically interesting circuits on the Range. Starting at the Spicer’s Gap picnic area near the pioneer grave site the track climbs gradually through rainforest before coming onto a ridgeline of open eucalyptus forest. From Mt Mattheson (752m) the track follows a sharp ridge with birds eye views of the Great Divide. Small volcanic cliffs add variety with ferns and orchids sheltering in their crevices. Turning southwest the track meanders through rainforest before opening out onto old logging tracks and joining the historic basalt-cobbled pioneer road. This takes us back to the start via the Governors Chair lookout and Moss’s Well.

3 Knapp’s Peak Reserve (Private access) Approx. 7.5km Elevation +/- 270m approx. 5-6hrs Challenging.

Sunday 14 March Cost: $65 pp

Description: This striking peak lies to the north of Mt Maroon on private land. Significant cliffs and sedimentary rock outcrops support diverse flora and fauna. This is an OFF-TRACK bushwalk so be prepared for long grass, uneven footing over rocks and steep sections throughout. The easterly views from the top are rewarding and we may be entertained by peregrine falcons in the updraughts! A great introduction to off-track walking on a little-visited peak.

GONDWANA FESTIVAL 2 - 21 March 2021 : events across the Scenic Rim.

4 Toolona Circuit (Lamington NP Green Mountains Section) Toolona Creek circuit 17.4km return Approx. 7.5hrs Moderate +

Sunday 28 March Cost: $80 pp

Description: A glorious immersion in GREEN! The Toolona Creek circuit branches from the Box Forest Circuit near Elabana Falls, then continues beside Toolona Creek, up through a gorge, and past its headwaters to emerge on the Border Track near Wanungara lookout. The narrow Toolona Gorge creates a protected moist and shady refuge for many ancient flowering rainforest plants. The king fern Todea barbara is a relict of one of the oldest fern families, Osmundaceae, evolving even before Gondwana formed.

The return trip via the Border Track passes Mount Bithongabel. Many large clumps of Antarctic beech Nothofagus moorei trees are found in the area. …. Leeches are highly likely…

5 Lizard Point (Main Range NP) 8 - 9 hours return. Challenging. +/- 400 m Elevation.

Easter Monday 5 April  Cost: $80 pp

Lizard Point juts from the Main Range as a prominent shelf on the skyline north of Mt Roberts. It’s quite a spectacular view-point from which to survey the headwaters of Carneys and Wild Cattle Creeks and many of the peaks of the Fassifern. This ridge walk through dense rainforest is rough and challenging. From Teviot Gap it involves a steep climb following the line of the old rabbit fence to gain the ridgeline and then takes a rough rocky foot track through rainforest and over Mt Roberts (1327m) before the trail brings us out to Lizard Point. We return by the same route.

 

ABOUT OUR WALKS Our day-long eco-interpreted bushwalks are open to anyone with an urge to get out and experience the magnificent Scenic Rim region – and beyond. Groups are small and walks are spaced out to allow time for recovery (and training) for the next walk. You can do as many or few walks as you wish but bear in mind that it’s a good idea to keep up regular walking in between to maintain fitness for the next hike. The hikes offer a range of challenges so read the notes carefully before reserving your place.

These are group hikes and natural history interpretation is an integral part of the guided experience. You are expected to stay with the group. These are NOT fast-paced races to a destination!    No drones please. 

Our aim is to get out and explore the many facets of our amazing region, note the changes and develop a deeper understanding of the natural richness on our doorstep and, of course, become walking fit with a wonderful group of like-minded bushwalkers.

The nature of the Scenic Rim terrain means that there are few ‘easy’ walks on graded trails. The majority of routes feature uneven ground and ascents and descents, often with rocky sections. The gradients are sometimes very steep. We always allow plenty of time to complete walks so that there is not the necessity to speed through walks or to feel you are not keeping up.

Participants transport themselves to the start of the walk after meeting at the pre-arranged rendezvous point for the day. (Usually an optional car pool is arranged on the day.) Details of the meeting place and times are emailed one week prior to the walk, along with the names of fellow walkers and a list of necessary items to bring.

Come walking with Horizon Guides this season! 
See you all very soon - yours in bushwalking.

Teresa

 

 

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Horizon Guides' Creative Connection Weekend!

Now, more than ever, people are expressing a desire to connect with the wild. There are myriad ways to fulfil this need and walking is naturally the time-honoured way to experience nature, exercise the body and ease the mind. Often a beautiful scene, towering tree, flowing water or tiny creature will give us pause on the walk ... but on we push as the destination beckons ... 

This weekend is about truly lingering in those moments and responding with pencil on paper.

Glynn Kelly will be your creative guide over the weekend. No experience is necessary - you are welcome even if you have never drawn a thing! Equally you are welcome if you simply want a weekend away to focus on your art practice and learn a few tips, as well as perhaps share some. There will be six art sessions across the weekend, each with a different focus. 

About Glynn: training in watercolour painting as part of the Bsic Architecture course at UNSW, lead to a lifetime of sketching and painting and to teaching art at high school level. Glynn has a particular love of Plien Air painting which combines his passion for the Australian landscape and art. To see some of his Plien Air work check Glynn's Instagram account @glynn7115  

And as a very special treat, Bev Ruskey (of Spring Creek Mountain Cafe fame) will be on hand to keep us well and truly deliciously fed! 

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to reserve your place and we will respond with more details, packing list, reservation form (including a Covid-19 declaration) and a medical consent form. Don’t take too long to decide as we think this event will book out quickly! 

  • Price: $445 pp (Deposit of $100 is required upon booking).
  • No art or bushwalking experience necessary.
  • Six art lessons - all art materials provided.
  • Location: Spring Creek Mountain, The Head Qld
  • Accommodation: Shared bunk house. Hot showers.
  • Personal tents welcome if you prefer your own space. Plenty of space for tents/camper. 
  • All meals and snacks provided from morning tea on Saturday to lunch on Sunday.
  • Participants to take own transport for the weekend. 
  • Easy short walks.
  • Small group: maximum of 12 participants + guide/s. Minimum 6 participants.
  • Led by experienced and qualified bushwalking eco-guide. 
  • Natural history interpretation.
  • Great creative fun with like minded people! 
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SPRING CREEK MOUNTAIN TRAIL - 2021 dates coming soon

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.

 

DAY 1  

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

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

            Transfer from Smith’s Farm to SCM Cottages

Accom: Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages

Meals:   LD

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 300-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 Smith’s Farm Mal – third generation farmer on this land - takes us to visit his favourite trees in the old growth rainforest on his property. From here it’s just a short drive to our accommodation. Situated at 1050m above sea level on the Great Dividing Range this lovely award-winning property 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.

DAY 2 

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

Trans:  SCM Cottages to Smith’s Farm

Accom: Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages

Meals: BLD

Birdsong replaces alarms this morning as we enjoy our first cuppa of the day with spectacular valley views. After a hearty breakfast and packing our lunch we head back to Smith’s Farm and re-gain the Fence. Today’s walk again follows the Fence over 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 the views open up spectacularly across the Head as we make our way through farmland and private rainforest to arrive back at Spring Creek Mountain Café and Cottages.

DAY 3 

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

Trans: Transfer to Boonah

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 decent 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:

Accommodation

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 upon receipt of a reservation and deposit for the walk.

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 are no toilet 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. July on The Head is renowned for being cold and frosty!

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 the Spring Creek Mountain Trail with you soon!

 

 

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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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