Conondale great walk

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Conondale great walk

Postby kneighbour » Mon 17 Jul, 2017 10:04 pm

I am thinking of doing the Conondale Great Walk next month (the middle of August). I will be solo and taking the full 4 days - maybe even 5 if I need to pace myself. I have seen a few posts around about this walk, but most are from years ago.

My first concern is getting in - I don't have a 4WD, but I might be able to get someone to give me a lift in. Otherwise I will simply hike the extra 6km (or so?) in if I have to.

My big concern is the timing. I understand that this time of year might not be the best time to go - it being the wet season and all. There seems to be a lot of leeches and ticks at this time of year.

The other issue is the reported mileage. The official mileage is 57, but one trekker accurately measured it and it is more like 75km. I don't mind either way - but it would be nice to get some accurate information on this for planning purposes.

I have done a lot of day walks over the past few years, and 3 or 4 overnighters. This would be my first multi-day hike. I live in Brisbane and have mainly hiked Mt Barney and the Lamington/Green Mountain area up until now.

I have looked at the Sunshine Coast Great Walk, but frankly it looks awful. Too much on main roads and you need a car shuttle (from what I can work out). The Gold Coast Great walk is similar in that parts of it are on main roads. I don't see the point of doing those sorts of walks. The Conondale is good in that it returns to the starting point, and it is all in bush.

If anyone has any comments on this walk, or can recommend another walk that is similar, I would be most appreciative.
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby cams » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 9:28 am

You're right. The Conondale GW is more appealing than a lot of the others. Although, it still traverses a lot of fire trails which is a bit boring compared to walking tracks.

Isn't the wet/leech season summer?
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby kneighbour » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 9:43 am

cams wrote:Isn't the wet/leech season summer?
I don't know. It has been raining a fair bit lately, so I assumed that this is the 'wet season'. Not that Brisbane has an exact wet season, I guess. The important thing to know is if this is the time when there will be heaps of leeches. Not too keen on those.
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby cams » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 10:05 am

Brisbane's wet season is typically summer with winter being pretty bone dry. I haven't been there this year, but if it has been raining alot over winter maybe this will bring the leeches out more than usual for this time of year, but the cooler temperature should hopefully still keep them in check. The foliage isn't as dense and moist as Lamington for the most part so I don't imagine them being a big problem. They weren't when we did it. A few here and there won't kill you. Take plenty of bug spray if you react badly to them.
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby RonK » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 3:32 pm

The wet season in SEQ is from January through March.

Winter is definitely scrub tick season.

The Australian Paralysis Tick
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby Gadgetgeek » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 8:03 pm

It will be warming up by then, but its been pretty chilly, and the last time I was up around mt allen it wasn't to bad for leeches, we found a couple, but nothing like some have reported, back when there was more frequent rain. I think its worth doing. The only hard part is that the starting parking lot has a pretty harsh crossing that does require high clearance, and it is also not a big area to park in. Unfortunately they don't really allow parking overnight on the charlie mooreland side unless you are camped. But you can be dropped off right before the trail-head with some careful driving in almost anything, I've seen all kinds of cars go through the first water crossings when the level was low.
I have not done the full walk, the group I walked with cut a day out. And I mostly work between the Charlie side and the boolomba creek area. We don't use the great walk as such yet, but I can tell you that summer falls is a very nice little spot well worth the walk.
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby Champion_Munch » Tue 18 Jul, 2017 8:40 pm

Leeches aren't much trouble in Winter. I was up at Lamington on Sunday after all the rain we had on Saturday night/Sunday morning, not a single leech!
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby kneighbour » Wed 19 Jul, 2017 7:57 am

All very encouraging comments!
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby phenomenomenom » Thu 10 Aug, 2017 4:08 pm

I did the Conondale Great Walk in July. It was a pleasant walk through a variety of different environments. We were there a few days after some heavy rain so the waterfalls were flowing beautifully. There were a few leeches in the damper areas, but they were very slow and easy to avoid.

The first two creek crossings on the way in are manageable by most cars. We had a 4x4 and were glad of it for the last crossing. There were a few smaller cars parked before the final crossing. It's just a 100m walk from there to the track.

The length is definitely more than 57km. Nowhere near 75km though. Our GPS measured it somewhere over 60km. Day 3 (Tallowwood to Summer Falls) is significantly longer than the official route says. There's an extra 3-4km stuck in there somewhere.

The campsites were all in good condition although make sure to bring a good method of water filtration. Tallowwood water was especially lively.

While there's a fair bit of elevation, don't expect any mountain lookout views! The waterfalls a great, and the Mt Allen fire tower is a highlight, but the rest was quite dense rainforest/bush, which somewhat blocks any potential views. The bush itself was very interesting and varied.

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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby kneighbour » Thu 10 Aug, 2017 4:32 pm

Thanks for all the info. I have finally decided to do it, and am off this Monday to do it. I have borrowed my daughter's SUV (not 4WD) to get across the last creek. Should be ok.
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Re: Conondale great walk

Postby Gadgetgeek » Thu 10 Aug, 2017 7:23 pm

yeah, its been super dry up here for a while, so the creeks should be pretty low.
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