Thursday, 2 March 2017

Araucaria Trail - Binna Burra.

Thursday 23 February

The Gaiter Girls headed back to the rainforest, arriving at 6.40am. As we sat drinking our pre-hike coffee, there was a definite chill to the mountain air, such that Mary had to put a light coat on. A good sign of a temperature for a pleasant day's hiking.

The Araucaria is a 19 km return trail and new for all of us. It panned out to be an all but effortless hike along the ridge line of the Beechmont Range. Except for 3 small view points, we were encased in the beauty of sub tropical rainforest, with occasional sections of amazing Antarctic Beech. The path was relatively even, with hidden drop offs on one side. After 7 kms we came to the Orchid Bower. The next 5 kms return to here, the track wound, steeply down towards the the Araucaria Lookout. Walking was made easier as a result of the very extensive dry stone rock construction of the path. The tracks builders used the local available stone to bring the surface to a reasonable slope for comfortable walking. I admire and thank them.

I am having issues with my camera, so some images are of a poor quality. It seems I will have to make  a new camera purchase. These photos are taken on my phone and an old camera.

               The trail.

The tree ferns in this short section were quite dense. Spot Mary. Now you see her.........

Now you don't!

Rachel and Mary descending the steps back to the Orchid Bower, after our snack and rest stop, as we soaked up the vista across the Mt Warning Caldera.

Perfect position for the view, but it was very fortunate there was only 3 in our party. The king orchids [not flowering] are in the foreground. We must return in the spring.

There were a number of fallen trees to scramble over or under, to break the monotony.
Sorry, there was no monotony. They just gave us a little breather.

As we made the scramble to the Araucaria Lookout, we were able to look back across the valley to the cliffs of the Daves Creek circuit, which we had completed the first week in February.

Again there was limited space at the viewpoint. The ridgeline we had hiked is in the background.

Mary's bag of snakes brought smiles to our faces. 

Half an hour earlier, a snake on the side of the track had scared us no end. It was lying in grass, immediately beside the track. This grass was behind a tree on a slight curve. Rachel was leading our peloton at this point, and as she put her foot down, spotted it, inches form her foot. 
The track was narrow here, with a drop off to the left and thickish bush with deep leaf litter to the right. The snake didn't react in any way, which is unusual. Brave Mary bolted passed and so I had to do the same. The sound of my rapidly, beating heart should have caused the snake to stir, but still no reaction.
We knew we had to return along this same path, so drew a large arrow in the dirt and hung my whistle from an overhanging branch to warn us we were approaching the danger zone.

Path view as we returned.
Spot the snake! Yes, he was alive and now had inconveniently put himself across the trail. There was still no reaction, so we assumed that the cold of the night had reduced his energy levels, but his position was such, that this time we felt we just had to bush bash. Having seen one snake, it is not a good feeling pushing yourself through the bush and feeling the deep forest litter under foot.

Mary was our hero again, and quickly forged a path for us to follow.

In just over 4 years of regular hiking, I have spotted no more than 10 snakes on or near tracks, as they hastily slither off trail. This is the closet I have been to one. This incident didn't mar our enjoyment of the day, but was a timely reminder to be always on the alert for them.

Up until today, we have been very fortunate not to have had to 'wait awhile' from the barbs of the lawyer vine, most commonly known as the 'wait awhile vine'.
The top photos are of Mary trying to release the vine.
Bottom left is the thin thread that hangs not seen, because of shadows across the path.  Bottom right is the main stem of the vine.
The barbs of the vine act like a fish hook. You have to reverse very carefully to become unhooked. If not seen as you walk, it quite quickly rips across your skin. The faster your pace, the more painful the tear.

Our notes suggested that there was a high degree of chance to hear the song of the native Australian lyrebird. After listening to this U-tube of his song, we would have had to see him singing, to know that it was actually him.

It was good to see our little friends had enjoyed this relaxed, [except for the one scary incident] trail, as much as we had.


I would love to read your comment.


  1. The name of the Lawyer Vine gave me a smile. Fishhooks! Nice walk!

  2. I am not really a fan of snakes either so I would have been none to impressed to come across him resting in the path!

  3. Beautiful viewpoints! Glad your snake encounter was uneventful.

  4. What a lovely walk -- even if it was with snakes...

  5. Such gorgeous views and plants, even though your flora and fauna can be rather scary too. :)
    The video is amazing. Does the bird r e a l l y make all those sounds? :D
    Thank you again for your comment. True, on a cloudy winter day, you mainly see white, black/brown and different shades of grey. That's why we love summer so crazily.
    Take care!

    1. Yes Sara. Totally amazing isn't it. We hear a many of the bird sounds it was making as we hike, but was it the lyrebird or each individual bird? We will never know, unless we are very fortunate to spot one singing.

    2. ... And it was exactly your previous comment on our grey winter weather that inspired me to post the grey photos and the tulip photos yesterday! :)
      Have a happy week ahead!

  6. Boa tarde, maravilhosa selecção de fotos da bela e perfeita natureza, passear pelos trilhos e desfrutar de toda a beleza que rodeia é fantástico, foi uns belos momentos fotográficos.

  7. That's a big snake! What sort was it? Stunning views as always

  8. A black snake of some sort. We didn't want to get too close. Red belly blacks are the most common, but we couldn't see any red.

  9. Sounds like a great walk! I love the Beechmont area!