Monday 3 January, 2022
We booked this date in early December, so that friend Jan's husband would be able to join us. We gave little thought to what the date might mean in terms of holiday crowds. We visit regularly on week days and usually own the mountain.
Alas this was not to be the case on this occasion. Australians are very fortunate with the number of public holidays they are given. If this holiday falls on a weekend, then they are given the Monday off. New Year's Day was Saturday and so the mountain was the destination to enjoy the final day of the Christmas holiday break. It didn't help that there was also a cyclone in north Queensland that was whipping up our seas, forcing beach closures.
Thankfully we arrived at Kamuran Lookout by 8 am. We were greeted by a freezing, gusting wind. The coffeee didn't stay hot for long.
On arrival at the parking lot at O'Reillys, we were stunned by the force of the wind blowing. It seemed madness to be setting off. Thankfully our trails were on the lee of the mountain and once on trail we were unaffected. I'm sure the main trails would not have been very safe from falling branches.
Heading to Python Rock Lookout.
Impressive nature along the way.
So lovely to spot a family of blue fairy wrens as we completed our walk through the leafy accommodation section of O'Reillys. I might add that yesterday, I was thrilled to spot these birds in my garden. They have been absent for 18 months thanks to the territorial, noisy minor birds. I think however, that their stay will be brief.
Python Rock Lookout
The damp, view to the east and Morans Falls.
Looking to the west and a sunnier sky, but still showers across the valley.
Different moods and views as we watched and enjoyed the vista.
Approaching Morans Falls.
View from above Morans Falls. Python Rock Lookout is on the left.
A damp trail leading back up to O'Reillys.
O'Reillys infinity pool was a surprise find.
On our return to the carpark we were gobsmacked by the number of cars and people that had arrived during our 4 hour's absence. The carpark was full and the narrow road leading back down the mountain had at least 50 cars wedged into any tiny space allowing parking.
Our 25 min journey back down to Kamuran Lookout for lunch, took an hour. We had to constantly pull over to allow up to 4 or 5 cars pass at a time. We kept thinking poor fools, leaving it so late and knowing what was ahead for them.
This image was taken a few years ago. It gives some idea of the road to the top. There is a layby on the right. Many were too boggy to pull into.
2pm saw us back at our lunch spot. The wind had improved considerably and the sky was clearing. Thankfully we had put in a folding table and chairs and were able to find a sheltered spot to enjoy a delicious lunch provided by Jan and soak up the fine distant views.
Hiking in 2022 was off to a very memorable and enjoyable start.
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