We made an early start that saw us outside the Esk Information centre at 8.15 am. We were surprised and relieved to find it open. We needed information on how to return to Esk, if we were to walk the full distance and not just an 'out and back', on this trail.
Our lucky day. They weren't actually open, but were happy to help us. Long story short, if we made it to Toogoolawah by 3pm [not a problem], we would be able to catch the High School bus back. Great news. A coffee was enjoyed in the park near the renovated Esk Railway Station and we were on our way by 9.15.
Trail south to Coominya.
North to Toogoolawah.
As we set off, the blue of the winter sky was dotted with fluffy cloudlets [altocumulus].
The first of many rail bridges. The trail bypassed them for safety reasons.
Picturesque rural vistas greeted us on both sides of the trail. I hope, for the sake of the farmers, that the 'winter' brown shades are not the cloak of drought.
Rachel's adventurous Yorkies, Peggotty and McGinty, joined us again today. Their hiking skills are exceptional.
a] View north from our first cutting. b] Looking south, fluffy clouds were still following us.
The trail passed quite large beef cattle properties. This one had a lovely Queenslander style farmhouse.
A patch of green greeted us briefly.
The longest rail bridge.
A shady area area to rest the feet, have a snack and take pics of the Yorkies.
Along this section of the trail we found an assortment of metal rail spikes.
Ottaba Station was the only station between the two towns. Below - all that remains of the Ottaba Railway Station house.
Interesting photographs of the settlement.
With only 4 kms to go, we stopped for another break. The clouds, fences and farmland begged for more photographs to be taken.
This stunning cloud bank drew us across the last kilometre to Toogoolawah.
To enter Toogoolawah, we had to cross Cressbrook Creek. The trail deviated quite a distance from the old rail bridge, taking us across a new and ingenious footbridge.
Spot the rail bridge.
On the edge of town was the Apostolic Church of Australia. Immediately in front was the Primary School where we had been told we would be able to catch the school bus back to Esk. As it turned out, the stop was on the left of the photo.
We continued on to the station to complete the trail, then made our way back to the park opposite the school. The time was 2.15pm. Time to relax before paying the 'enormous' sum of $2 for the fare back to Esk.
It was refreshing to to witness the smiling faces of these high school students, as they entered the bus politely greeting both their driver and us. We had been concerned that the noise level on this journey may have been a tad uncomfortable. In fact, it was a friendly hum, until the song "We are the Champions" came on the radio. We all joined in singing it!
A wonderful end to a great day of hiking in the countryside of our great outdoors, 'down under'.
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