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The 3 hikers in the car travelling across the city of Brisbane, just after peak hour, all new 'the best route' to our starting point! I was the driver today and still not wanting to acknowledge that my once perfect sense of direction is now less than reliable, I continued to follow my chosen route. The result was that we found ourselves nearing Samford and not The Gap - the suburb at the southern end of the D'aguilar Range and Brisbane Forest Park. The trails in this park are not long, so we had planned to progress along the range, walking as many as we could before having to return home.
The best thing about our small group is that we are highly flexible in all situations, so we quickly agreed that we had really wanted to start at the northern end of the D'Aguilar. It was not long before our vehicle was travelling the steep, scenic, winding, Mt Glorious road, delivering us to the peaceful picnic grounds of Maiala Park. The sky was crystal blue, the sun was shimmering on the leaves of the trees and the birds were singing. It was a unanimous vote to enjoy coffee in this wonderful open space before heading off on the trail.
From the moment we entered the rainforest we were saddened by the extent of storm damage from earlier this year. From their size, so many of the fallen trees would have been extremely old.
As we continued our walk, nature constantly reassured us that she has a plan and that time heals.
We were in constant awe of the soaring heights of so many of the trees, as we lifted our eyes skywards.
Their heights impacted on us no matter which way we turned.
We had to remind ourselves to focus downwards, as the odd root or two were eager to trip us, and the forest floor was displaying its own beauty.
The Maiala Forest walk is noted for its number of Strangler Figs, Buttressed Trees and Sydney Blue Gums which once dominated this area.
After enjoying our lunch in the warm sunshine of the picnic area, we debated should we rush off and not to be caught in crawling peak hour traffic, or, should we explore the short walk near by, which was mentioned to us by another group of walkers. Thankfully our hearts ruled our heads, otherwise we would have missed the 'burning tree'!
Our morning walk had been an undulating path on the eastern side of the range. As we set off now, a map showed that this walk would follow the cliff escarpment facing west. It was not well trafficked, narrow and dark, which made the discovery of the 'burning tree' at 2pm, all the more spectacular. We had enjoyed shafts of light pushing their way through the forest canopy all day but this truly caught our breathe!
We turned around and retraced our footsteps at the only lookout of the day. A view south west of the D'Aguilar Range from 638 metres elevation. For my North American friends, our highest peak in SE Queensland is Mt Barney at 1359m.
We only walked 7.38 k's with 259m's elevation, but distance isn't our main goal of 'walking Tuesday'. Fresh air, nature's beauty and friendship tops the list. So glad I made a wrong turn this morning!
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