Monday 15 July 2024

A Successful Return Hike

 Saturday 13 July

October 1, 2022, saw myself, Joc and Jan completing the O'Reilly's to Binna Burra hike of 21.4 km. It had been a hard slog in unexpected, appalling conditions, from about a quarter of the way through. We were  totally saturated and so cold that we couldn't undo buttons, zips or shoe laces. We agreed a few days later, that we should take this trail one more time, but in sunshine!

This is the link to the post titled, "Getting the Weather Right".

I am happy to write that on Saturday we did get the weather right! I had been concerned all week though, as showers kept passing through. 

A dramatic start to the day.

We arrived at O'Reillys to a sunny blue sky, 10C and a chilly breeze. Coffee done, we were on our way at  8.50am.
We very quickly entered an amazing, lush world of green. Soaring trees made a thick canopy which the sun found difficult to penetrate. Tree ferns, palms, vines, mosses, lichens, crow's nest, staghorns and elkhorns, filled the understudy. The track was narrow and for the majority of the hike, dropped steeply away.

Because of the earlier rain, there was many a boggy patch to contend with on the narrow path. Rocks and roots also slowed our progress. We were were also surprised at how much tree fall, impeded our progress. 

 Then/now images.

On our way! One kilometre done.

Dappled light.

Dappled light on Joc's trousers.

The path in its many moods.

Looking up.

Ferns, vines, moss and rocks.


In the last 5k we safely negotiated several, small tricky streams.

I was in total awe of the unexpectedly numerous, Antarctic Beech trees. Once the forest tree of Antarctica, we are fortunate to have them still growing on our doorstep. At over 2000 years old and needing a specific environment, there are only a few places where they will grow in Australia, and for that matter, in the rest of the world. They grow by coppicing. The tree sends out new shoots radially from the base of the original trunk, and these shoots eventually grow into clones of the parent tree forming a ring of trunks, all belonging to the one tree. Their eroded roots look like forest sculptures.

This trail was constantly below the forest canopy. There were however, five viewpoints.

A sensational coastal viewpoint, for us to rest and eat a sandwich.

In the tranquility of the rainforest, it was difficult to imagine the hustle and bustle taking place in the distance.

Job done!
We arrived at Binna Burra at 4.15pm very tired, but elated that we had successfully covered the distance without any mishaps. Jan's wonderful husband, and chauffeur for the day, greeted us with the news that a huge python was asleep just several metres from the car. We changed. Checked it out, and returned to Mt Warren park, where a very welcome hot meal awaited us. Frank had been left with instructions as to when to turn the oven on.

Just the best day, in the best rainforest with the best friends!

I would love to read your comment.