Seven weeks ago, spring had passed straight into summer, with high temperatures, wind and drought-like conditions. The forecast for rainfall was looking grim. I'm pleased to report that the initial rainfalls in early October have continued with regular falls and we are again delighting in lush green vistas. What is even more wonderful, is that during the past 3 weeks, the temperatures have become spring like again. Rarely above 26 C, with cool nights. Bliss, especially when choosing when and where to hike.
This week the Hungry Hikers drove up to the Binna Burra rainforest, electing to hike the Lower Ballanjui Falls, 14 km return trail. It isn't one of the popular trails on the mountain and had never been on my 'to do' list, but that was to my loss.
We discovered it to be the hike of a towering waterfall, ancient towering brush box, red cedar and tallowwoods and vast vistas. The gradient as we dropped low down into the Nerang Valley, beneath towering cliffs was impressive, with very few steps. Retracing our steps back up was not difficult at all.
On arrival, we quickly decided that we definitely preferred our start to the day. These girls were on a boot camp and had been up at 4am!
Cliff - looking up.
Cliff - looking down.
Some of us were braver than others on this cliff ledge.
There were numerous dry creek crossings filled with boulders of all sizes.
Fruit of the blue quandong tree.
Vines of all different thicknesses hung across the path.
Much of what is now national park had been heavily felled in the late 1800's / early 1900's. On previous hikes in this area I have been spellbound by the sight of a scattering of ageless trees, but today I was overwhelmed by their numbers. They were just everywhere surrounded by the lovely piccabeen palms. One tree is estimated to be 1200 years old. I can only imagine that so many of the others were close to similar in age.
The 150 m drop of the Ballangui Falls.
Earlier in the year one of our hikes had taken us to its top. I had no idea that it dropped so far.
The dark clouds had been hovering and halfway back to the top rain began to fall. The thick forest canopy kept us reasonably dry, but did bring out the leeches. One thought my blood quite juicy and hitched a ride back down the mountain. I now have one very itchy foot.
Thursday - Gaiter Girls
An early morning drive took us to the Mt Gravatt Hill / Toohey Forest trail of 15 km. The initial climb from the carpark to the hilltop, brought this wonderful view of Brisbane City.
It is always an enjoyable hike and a scattering of wildflowers added to our pleasure.
Just loving this weather. What a difference rain and cool temperatures make.
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