In March of last year, Laurel and I and husbands, were returning from Fraser Island via a scenic tourist route. We spotted signs for the Noosa Trail Network and noted it as a lovely area to hike in. As the network is at least a 2 1/2 hour journey from where we live, the trails had stayed on the bucket list of must dos.
Towards the end of last year, I accidentally learnt of the existence of an annual 'Great Noosa Walk' of 3 days, covering approx 60 kms of these trails. I also learnt that numbers were limited, so I had organised possible accommodation and numbers, so that on the day the hike was opened to booking, we were one of the first to be accepted. Within 2 weeks all places were filled.
As the last weekend in September approached, [the weekend of the hike] our excitement was mounting. Unfortunately the drought and fire conditions were also increasing and 2 weeks ago we received an e-mail to say that the organisers were desperately sorry, but given the dry conditions and forecast for high winds and temperatures for the weekend, plus advice from the fire department, they were cancelling the hike. We fully understood, but were terribly disappointed.
Our accommodation booking was seperate to the event and our money was non refundable and non transferable. Midday Friday saw us heading north very very slowly, in the long weekend traffic jam, for a girls weekend at The Big House, with or without hiking.
The Big House delivered!
The views were distant.
The vast open living space of The Big House, made the most of these views. Its furnishings allowed us to relax in total comfort.
LHS of the verandah - nibbles and wine on arrival.
Breakfast at the large wooden 8 chair dining table.
View in from the verandah.
A change of sides for Saturday afternoon's glass of wine.
Sunset colours soon after our arrival.
As predicted, Saturday's temperatures rapidly rose to 36 C. We were quite happy to spend the morning relaxing in the cool interior of The Big House.
Late morning, we took the 10 minute drive to the small rural town of Pomona. Here we found one of the trail markers for the Great Noosa Walk and pretended to be sad that we weren't hiking the trail in the excessive heat.
It was an interesting town with some lovely old buildings. Its old, relocated railway station was a cool haven of gardens and memorabilia.
In July each year, Pomona hosts the King of the Mountain race to the top and back of Mt Cooroora, 446m [back RHS].
The finish line!
Saturday was also the grand final of the Australian Rules Football Code [AFL] in Melbourne. One of our group, Mary, is an enthusiastic supporter of the game, so when we chanced on a TV screen in the local pub in Kin Kin, we just had to join with the locals in cheering on the teams.
[Mary's team hadn't made it to the final.]
The weather forecast Saturday evening, announced an unexpected temperature drop to 26 C. Mary, Rachel and Lindsaye then became enthused to conquer Mt Cooroora before breakfast Sunday morning. A difficult, but rewarding ascent by them!
They then joined the rest of our group on a 14 km [return] hike of the trail near our accommodation.
So very brown, but its open vistas had us agreeing we want to return to this event next year.
The Big House [circled] with Mt Cooroora in the background.
Lovely rolling hills to the NW.
Distant views south to Mt Cooroy.
Distant Pacific Ocean and Lake Cootharaba.
Given the fire rating, we weren't keen to continue on through this bush. A short rest and snack ensued before retracing our steps.
Some highlights of the hike.
The delightful gardens of the property 'Our Lady's Hermitage'.
New borns in a farmyard that the trail passed through.
Several times a year the community of nearby Cooran, host an Acoustic Night. Its September date was made to coincide with the Great Noosa Walk, so we felt we should go along and show support.
As we drove home a light rain fell on the windscreen. The following morning our view was of misty rain falling across the valley, with the forecast now suggesting heavy falls by the end of the day. The drizzle kept us company all the way back to Brisbane.
By sunset I was being being thrilled by the constant drumming of heavy rain on our roof. Such a joyful sound after months of no rain. What made me even happier, was the fact that this unexpected event was widespread, with many of the drought areas of our state also receiving heavy falls.
Our much anticipated weekend of hiking didn't eventuate, but the comfort of the Big House, the company of wonderful friends and the relief of seeing heavy rainfall, made it simply the best!
[Follow up rain is definitely needed so I hope tonight's forecast brings more smiles for those farmers who have been doing it so tough.]
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