Trip Diary

08-2012 Peel Island (An Ekka tradition)
08-2012 Moreton Island
07-2012 Rocky Point
06-2012 Blakesleys
06-2012 The Bedroom
05-2012 Breakfast on Karragarra
05-2012 St Helena
05-2012 Perigee Bedroom
02-2012 Queen Mary II
02-2012 Mud Island
11-2011 St Helena
11-2011 Shorncliffe to Redcliffe
10-2011 Weinam Ck to Dunwich
10-2011 Peel Island
10-2011 Breakfast on Karragarra
10-2011 St Helena and Green Island
09-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
08-2011 Fraser Island
08-2011 Canaipa Passage
08-2011 Karragarra
08-2011 Stradbroke Island
07-2011 St Helena
07-2011 So long, and thanks for all the fish.
05-2011 Green Island
05-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
04-2011 Upper Noosa River Weekend
04-2011 Easter at Woodgate
04-2011 Mud Island
04-2011 Karragarra for Breakfast
02-2011 Bongaree
02-2011 St Helena
01-2011 Weinam Ck to Blakesleys
10-2010 Moore to Blackbutt Rail Trail
10-2010 Whitsundays
09-2010 Mud Island
09-2010 Redcliffe
09-2010 Girraween
08-2010 Upper Noosa River
08-2010 Potts Point
08-2010 Peel Island
08-2010 Gateway to City Bike Ride
08-2010 Mud Island
07-2010 Blakesleys Afternoon Paddle
07-2010 Kedron Brook to Scaborough (and return)
04-2010 Colmslie Beach
04-2010 Brighton Park
01-2010 Nundah Creek
01-2010 Blakesleys
01-2010 Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
01-2010 New Year Paddle
12-2009 Potts Point
08-2009 Raby Bay to Peel Island
08-2009 Wynnum Creek to King Island
07-2009 Sandgate to Redcliffe
05-2009 St Helena
04-2009 Wellington Point to Peel
04-2009 Breakfast on Karragarra
03-2009 King Island
03-2009 Mission Point
03-2009 Mud Island
01-2009 Morning Tea at The Pin
01-2009 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
01-2009 New Year Recovery Paddle
12-2008 Caniapa
12-2008 Pine Rivers
11-2008 Coochie Night Paddle
10-2008 Breakfast at Karragarra
10-2008 Girraween
10-2008 Coomera Falls Circuit
09-2008 Hinchinbrook Island
09-2008 Manly Harbour Festival
09-2008 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2008 Weekend at Blakesleys
08-2008 Old Woman Island
08-2008 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
07-2008 Upper Noosa River
07-2008 Weinam Creek to Dunwich
06-2008 Scarborough to Bongaree
06-2008 Wellington Pt to St Helena
06-2008 North Stradbroke Jazz Weekend
05-2008 Point O'Halloran to Blakesleys
04-2008 Upper Noosa River
04-2008 Aquatic Paradise to St Helena Is
04-2008 Eprapah Creek
03-2008 Paradise Point to Moreton Island
03-2008 Wynnum Ck to Tangalooma Point
03-2008 Amity Point weekend
03-2008 Bremer River
03-2008 Brisbane River - Gregors Ck to Barneys Rocks
02-2008 Play Day - Coochie Mudlo
02-2008 World Wetlands Day Paddle
02-2008 Brisbane River night paddle
01-2008 Australia Day Week
01-2008 Blakesleys 3/4 Moon Paddle
01-2008 Shorncliffe to Nudgee
01-2008 Brisbane River - Barneys Rocks to O'Sheas Crossing
12-2007 Raby Bay to One Mile via Blakesleys and Potts Point
12-2007 Diamond Head to Tipplers
12-2007 Wynnum Ck to Green and St Helena Islands
11-2007 Bike Ride Bay Islands
11-2007 Tingalpa Creek
10-2007 Potts Point Night Paddle
10-2007 Return to Gilligans Island
10-2007 Salt Water Creek and Coomera River
09-2007 Elimbah Creek
09-2007 Scarborough to Caboolture River
09-2007 Fraser Island Whale Watching
09-2007 Circumnavigate Russell Island
08-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
08-2007 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2007 Brisbane River City Reach
08-2007 Peel Island
08-2007 Brisbane River
08-2007 Green Island Day Trip
07-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
07-2007 Mooloolah River
07-2007 USS Kitty Hawk in Brisbane River
06-2007 Black Tie on Peel Island
05-2007 Harrys Hut Camping Weekend
04-2007 Theodolite Creek
04-2007 Upper Burrum River
04-2007 Circumnavigate Big Woody
04-2007 Walkers Point to Toogum
03-2007 Boat Passage to Big Sandhills
12-2006 Woodgate to Mon Repos
10-2006 Fraser Island Whale Watching
04-2005 Keppel Islands
12-2004 Fraser Island
10-2004 Munna Point Camping Weekend
10-2004 Mooloolaba to Maroochydore
09-2004 Coochie Mudlo Island
08-2004 Karragarra Island
07-2004 Wellington Point to St Helena Island
06-2004 Noosa River Camping Weekend
05-2004 Brisbane River Night Paddle
04-2004 Budds Beach to Moreton Island
10-2003 Bulwer to Tangalooma
05-2003 Eatonsville to Harwood Island


SEQSK Discussion Group
SEQSK Newsletters
Adventurer Anthony Malloch

Date: 18-10-2008
The stunning granite landscape of Girraween National Park alone would be enough to draw a crowd. Add to that the spectacle of spring flowers, a beautifully landscaped camp ground adorned with flushing loos, hot shower privileges and an information centre, you would think the place would be overrun. Even with a pupil free day on Monday (in Queensland), it was surprising that there were not more people parked up for this weekend.

After taking the back roads via Woodenbong, Urbenville, Tooloom National Park and Wilson's Downfall we arrived late on Friday afternoon. Along the way we had relocated a long necked turtle off the road. Sure it is a good idea to be wary of how far that neck can stretch, but watch out for the other end too as the vertical lift off clearly unsettled the little critter. Coiled up on the gravel road nearer the park was a red belly black which we admired from a generous 20 feet. Beautiful king parrots, some very colourful smaller parrots (possibly turquoise parrots), brown cuckoo doves, sulphur crested cockatoos, galahs, and swamp marsh harriers were some of the birds seen along the way.

With a host of green and pink tents arranged in a large circle at the Castle Rock grounds (and not reading directions) we decided that Bald Rock was pick of the two campsites. By the time we did the circuit of the grounds, 4WDs were flooding in and assertive land claims being made. It was a matter of a quick decision. The tent was set up opposite the loo block where it could be easily seen from the entrance and there was a spare possie either side.

It looked like this weekend was going to be the mortal blow for the plastic tent peg hammer as it copped a thrashing driving pegs into compacted granite sand. Our efforts were watched from above by a satin bowerbird and ignored by an impossibly dumpy wonga pigeon as it continued its walk around the grounds. After the recent solitude of tropical islands I confess to being irritated by people who just wandered through 'our' patch enroute to the loos and the intrusive squawking of brats. We smiled as new neighbours placed their big fat tent right in the middle of the loo route. The Pajero cruising the grounds turned out to be Steve & Kylie who on their third take spotted the kayak carriers. With a persistent and bitey SE breeze we were quick to give the others up for lost and retreated to tents primed with double the usual number quilts or sleeping bags.

As 'Bush Peoples Guide to Walking in South East Queensland' asserted, we found most of the area can be easily covered on day trips from the camping grounds. On Saturday we headed for Mt Norman, turning off to Castle Rock along the way. This was where I was reminded that unobstructed heights are not my speciality. After walking through a crevice in the rock you come out to the southern face of Castle Rock. From here, for me at least, it was a bumbling traverse before heading to the summit. Caramel scrolls were relished along with the brilliant overview of where to go and what to see in the park. By the time we left, the crowd crush was on as we passed two other groups huffing their way up the incline.

Onto Mt Norman the tracks remain wide and smooth with with crushed gravel underfoot. Clusters or drifts of wild flowers as well as exquisite single specimens gave the cameras a work out. A compact colour guide 'Wildflowers of the Granite Belt' is available from the Information Centre for $2.00 and a worthy companion. As would be a guided walk with the Rare Wildflowers Consortium - see Stanthorpe Shire Council for details

As on Castle Rock, painted white marks drew you across the open expanses of granite. On one we met up with Tom and Maureen, Mark and Kimberley on their descent from the summit, which all but Tom had scaled. Crossing the open expanse in full sun, it was clear that the earlier start had been a wise move. The cool shaded caverns at the base of the final ascent of Mt Norman were most welcome, although we did not know that the cave on the northern side was worth exploring. Steve came back with a definite 'no' in his assessment of the route to the summit as it involved scaling a chimney. We shared lunch on a large split boulder. Steve helped us all get up as he was the only one who could spring up with agility often seen in bushwalkers and cats. Over lunch we figured there had to be some porky tellers amongst the Castle Rock group regarding their ascent to the summit and devised our own version of events.

By now the idea of walking to the Sphinx and Turtle Rock had lost its shine on account of the time of the day or state of the legs. After arriving back at the campsite Mark and I headed off to The Junction. Here the wild flowers were out in full force with swathes of colour streaking the hillside. Bald Rock Creek had fractional flow and really looked more like a series of stagnant pools, the larger ones of which were home to solitary catfish.

Back to a hot shower and thermals. Some back packers were redirected to another fire place as the prevailing breeze would have had tents smoked out or potentially pocked by embers. Sundowners were shared with the crew visiting from Castle Rock grounds and there was not much time between dinner and bed.
Next Page
Going the back roads
Bridge over Koreelah Creek
Bald Rock campground
Well maintained tracks
Abundant wildflowers
Seat of a giant
Exquisite colours
Pass through here
To the summit of Castle Rock
Heading back down for Mt Norman
Pointed drumsticks
Crossing a creek in a ferny gully
Lavish colours
Castle Rock crew descending Mt Norman
Feverish masses
Follow the white splotches
Mountain dampiera (possibly)
Giant's arm chair
Ascending Mt Norman
To find more flowers
Including the distinctive flannel flower
Walking around Mt Norman summit
Getting a leg up
Cat like agility
Kentucky pea
Heading back
Keep following those white splotches
And stand up man
Looking under the giant's chair
Bald Rock Creek
Polished granite
Meadows of flowers
The Junction
Trip to Girraween

Next Page