Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Mon 20 Aug, 2012 8:56 am

tecais wrote:I too have been following this thread with some interest. Tasman's thorough documentation and pictures are a fascinating glimpse back in time.

Some may be interested to know Bert Salmon climbed the Cougal Twins on August 12, 1931 with Jean Easton, Nora Dimes, Eddie ?, Eric ? and Harry Payne.

Not to hijack the thread, but much later in 1964 we climbed all three pinnacles of Boyd's Butte but never made it to the Cougals. Even then the Butte was a crumbling pile of loose blocks embedded in a dirt matrix so perhaps little has changed.

We didn't use ropes and found the north pinnacle to be the most perilous, involving a scrabble up vertical dirt on the south arete.

Don't remember much about our approach route except we came up the north ridge then descended the west flank to the creek. The descent was was some of the worst bush bashing I have ever done through dense lantana.


Thanks tecals for these great photos :D In the third photo, the ridge that the Cream Track follows shows up clearly on the right, with the banana plantation on its north eastern side. We also did a lot of lantana bashing on the way up this ridge in 1974, and I had noted that time up took 5 hours and down only 2 hours!
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Pteropus » Mon 20 Aug, 2012 9:48 am

Nice pics everyone! I still haven't got back to Mt Cougal or attempted a traverse from Springbrook to Mt Cougal and on to Tomewin Rd. Or Boyd's Butte for that matter. I am curious about the two waterfalls at the base of Mt Cougal, near the track at the end of Tallebudgera Road. I wouldn't mind exploring those too. I really need to make some time....
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Mon 20 Aug, 2012 11:23 am

There are some interesting photos of Mt cougal and the areas east of Springbrook linked in Google Earth. Here's a panorama by John Houston from the top of East Cougal from here - http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer ... er=3430892

Panorama from Mt Cougal.jpg


He also has a photo of the cave on Mt Cougal here - http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer ... er=2083250
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Sat 08 Sep, 2012 10:55 pm

My dad and I did the cream track last sunday - from Springbrook down to Tallebudgera Valley (we left a car down there).
It took about three hours; and with the 687m elevation change I would recommend the downward trek rather than from the valley up.
There is a giant (living) New England blackbutt (Eucalyptus campanulata) about three quarters of the way up that would rival the "big stump" at the Springbrook National Parks Info Centre on Old School Rd.

Additionally, I can confirm that the "private property" sign at the end of Tallebudgera Creek Rd is inaccurate - according to the latest government cadastral records (I checked this last week), it is public road all the way up to Springbrook.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Haribolman » Sun 09 Sep, 2012 8:50 pm

Our plan was to walk to Mt Cougall yesterday (Saturday). Whether was absolutely perfect, but my wife wasn't up to it, so we did a short walk along the border fence where it starts at the Eastern end of Currumbin Valley. It allowed us a great view up the valley and perhaps someone can tell me the name of this peak in the center of these photos.

DSC_0232.jpg


DSC_0230.jpg


The Border Fence
DSC_0239.jpg
Border Fence


The view north towards Elanora, Palm Beach and Burleigh in the distance.
DSC_0244.jpg
Elanora
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Sun 09 Sep, 2012 10:55 pm

Haribolman wrote:It allowed us a great view up the valley and perhaps someone can tell me the name of this peak in the center of these photos.


Bally Mountain according to Google Earth. It has an interesting razorback ridge - http://www.panoramio.com/photo_explorer ... ser=430378
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Sun 09 Sep, 2012 10:58 pm

Springbrooker wrote:My dad and I did the cream track last sunday - from Springbrook down to Tallebudgera Valley (we left a car down there).
It took about three hours; and with the 687m elevation change I would recommend the downward trek rather than from the valley up.
There is a giant (living) New England blackbutt (Eucalyptus campanulata) about three quarters of the way up that would rival the "big stump" at the Springbrook National Parks Info Centre on Old School Rd.

Additionally, I can confirm that the "private property" sign at the end of Tallebudgera Creek Rd is inaccurate - according to the latest government cadastral records (I checked this last week), it is public road all the way up to Springbrook.


Did you take any photos of the tree and evidence of the track in the rainforest?
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook - and Bally Mountain

Postby tomh » Mon 10 Sep, 2012 9:54 am

tas-man wrote: ..Bally Mountain according to Google Earth. It has an interesting razorback ridge -...

Good find Ian. A Google search unearthed some recent interesting developments around Bally Mountain - it was private property
http://blogs.abc.net.au/queensland/2011/11/bally-mountain-conservation-area.html?site=goldcoast&program=gold_coast_weekends
http://www.goldcoast.qld.gov.au/attachment/communityconsultation/bally-mountain.pdf
The adjacent state forest areas on my 1:25000 Springbrook (edition 3, 1999) map are now part of Springbrook NP and the Gold Coast Council doc shows the new (2011) Bally Mountain Conservation Area with page 62 outlining bushwalking opportunities. Gold Coast Bushwalking Club probably know the area well.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Mon 10 Sep, 2012 10:36 am

Thanks for those links tomh - the interview with locals (quote below from first page link above) with some history of the "Cream Track" is great!
"Not only did I go bushwalking at Bally Mountain, I also got in touch with a couple that own land further up the Tallebudgera Valley. They took me walking on an old historic route from the top of the Valley to Springbrook. Doug and Lyndria Cook are third generation residents of the Tallebudgera Valley and told me a couple of stories about the history of the valley."
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 8:25 pm

tas-man wrote:Did you take any photos of the tree and evidence of the track in the rainforest?


I've got this one from near the Springbrook end of the track - the track-work seemed in good condition at either end (Springbrook and Tallebudgera Valley) with cuttings visible and all, but for a long section in the middle I couldn't see any evidence of any track other than a very faint pedestrian. This doesn't make much sense to me given that I have heard repeated reports that the track was initially established as a horse and cart track, and that at least once a jeep traversed it. I find this very hard to believe - the sheer grade of the track is insane.

My Dad has some of the tree - I'm getting him to send them to me and I'll post them then.

Tas-man, your photos of Springbrook in the 70's are great - I live at Springbrook near the Canyon Lookout and am keen to find out where that farmhouse in your photos is. Can you provide more details? It looks like it is near the old Bilborough's Lookout?
A lot of the land around there has been purchased by the government in the past 5 years and converted to National Park. Most of the buildings have been demolished - I'm interested to know if that farmhouse is one of the demolished ones.
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Cream Track near Goomoolahra Falls
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Haribolman » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 8:37 pm

Springbrooker wrote: I live at Springbrook near the Canyon Lookout and am keen to find out where that farmhouse in your photos is. Can you provide more details? It looks like it is near the old Bilborough's Lookout?
A lot of the land around there has been purchased by the government in the past 5 years and converted to National Park. Most of the buildings have been demolished - I'm interested to know if that farmhouse is one of the demolished ones.


Hey Springbrooker, is it still possible to walk the track to Bilborough's lookout? I walked it years ago, but last time I looked it had been closed.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 9:08 pm

Hi Haribolman,

It is definitely still closed - I've walked part of the old walking track, but found an easier way was to drive to the top of Bilborough Circuit and walk up the bitumen maintenance track to the TV towers which are now right near where the old lookout was. As part of the government buy-backs, the land associated with the TV towers has been reduced to approx. 1000m2 immediately around the towers, and the rest of the land converted to National Park, so as long as you stay clear of the towers & associated buildings, you are on public land. The Bilborough Trig. Point is still there in the forest about 200m east of the easternmost TV tower building. There is absolutely no view to be had from it anymore due to forest growth around it.
There is another old lookout west of Bilborough's that used to be called Read's Lookout (Mt Springbrook); I took the attached photo from a spot just below it a couple of months ago. It's only just been bought back by the government and converted to national park - absolutely magic spot.
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IMGP1506_stitch.jpg
Looking North Just Below Read's Lookout
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Haribolman » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 9:22 pm

Springbrooker wrote: but found an easier way was to drive to the top of Bilborough Circuit and walk up the bitumen maintenance track to the TV towers which are now right near where the old lookout was.


The photo is brilliant!

Are you allowed to walk up the maintenance track?
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 9:35 pm

Haribolman wrote:Are you allowed to walk up the maintenance track?


I'm not 100% on that - the signs on the gate simply state that the area is National Park, protected under the NCA 1993 and that vehicles are not permitted on the track. I took that to mean that walking on the track is OK.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Tue 11 Sep, 2012 11:29 pm

Springbrooker wrote:<snip> I live at Springbrook near the Canyon Lookout and am keen to find out where that farmhouse in your photos is. Can you provide more details? It looks like it is near the old Bilborough's Lookout?
A lot of the land around there has been purchased by the government in the past 5 years and converted to National Park. Most of the buildings have been demolished - I'm interested to know if that farmhouse is one of the demolished ones.

The old house was marked on the 1971 Springbrook National Park map I posted earlier in this topic - download/file.php?id=17108&mode=view
As It was derelict 40 years ago, I would think that nature has taken its course and nothing would be left now. However, I have had a close look at the series of aerial photos in NearMap and think I have located where the old house stood, as there appears to be an old rainwater tank in one of the 2011 photos that I have attached below. If you are able to check this out it would be interesting to see what the views from this spot are like now with forty years of regrowth, compared to the open paddocks in 1971.

Springbrook old house 1.jpg

Springbrook old house 2.jpg
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 9:28 am

Springbrooker wrote:<snip>There is another old lookout west of Bilborough's that used to be called Read's Lookout (Mt Springbrook); I took the attached photo from a spot just below it a couple of months ago. It's only just been bought back by the government and converted to national park - absolutely magic spot.

That's a fantastic panorama springbrooker ! Did you get any photos from this spot further to the east and south over Mt Cougal? Read's Lookout is named on my old 1971 Springbrook NP Map, and I have scanned a section that shows its location. It is very interesting to cycle through the NearMap aerial photo coverage from 2011/2012 and see all the building removals that have taken place on the Springbrook plateau. Just to the north of Reads Lookout there was a large house and outbuildings that have been totally removed in 2011, although the collection of four water tanks near the lookout are still there.

Springbrook NP 1971 map2.jpg
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 11:17 am

Springbrooker wrote:<snip>
A lot of the land around there has been purchased by the government in the past 5 years and converted to National Park. Most of the buildings have been demolished - I'm interested to know if that farmhouse is one of the demolished ones.


One of the most striking examples of the property buy back and building removal is here at Read's Lookout. I assume that the old access road to this residence can be used to walk up to Mt Springbrook/Read's Lookout now?

Reads Lookout 19th June 2011.jpg
Before!

Reads Lookout 5th Aug 2012.jpg
After!
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 8:59 pm

tas-man wrote: Did you get any photos from this spot further to the east and south over Mt Cougal? Read's Lookout is named on my old 1971 Springbrook NP Map, and I have scanned a section that shows its location. It is very interesting to cycle through the NearMap aerial photo coverage from 2011/2012 and see all the building removals that have taken place on the Springbrook plateau. Just to the north of Reads Lookout there was a large house and outbuildings that have been totally removed in 2011, although the collection of four water tanks near the lookout are still there.


Hi Tas-man,
The panorama is taken from where the demolished large house stood - it would have been a magic mansion! The government paid over 2.5 million for it.
Thanks for the compliments about the pic, I wish I had done a better job - that day was the clearest I have ever seen the air and I just happened to be up there with a camera, so had a go with my first ever panoramic. Ideally I would have had a better camera and a tripod so I could make the stitch a little better.
I did take a couple of extra photos east and west which I intended to incorporate into the stitching, but I didn't overlap them enough, so the stitching program rejected them. You couldn't see the Cougals though, the ridge on which your old house stood blocks them.
I've attached some photos of the actual top of Read's Lookout which now has absolutely no view (I read a newspaper article from the 1930's which says you used to be able to see from Cape Moreton to Byron Bay just by turning your head). There is a small circle of rocks in the forest at the top which I assume marks the old lookout spot.
See also the photo of the four water tanks (must have been too hard to get them out).

I walked east from there along the border fence and came to another old lookout which had views of Mount Warning and cliffs to the West.
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IMGP1494.JPG
Site where mansion stood (north of Read's Lookout)
IMGP1502.JPG
Looking direct East from mansion site - Cougals blocked by ridge
IMGP1507.JPG
Concrete tanks near Read's
IMGP1508.JPG
Read's Lookout present day
IMGP1516.JPG
Another old lookout east of Read's
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Wed 12 Sep, 2012 9:20 pm

tas-man wrote:One of the most striking examples of the property buy back and building removal is here at Read's Lookout. I assume that the old access road to this residence can be used to walk up to Mt Springbrook/Read's Lookout now?


Yeah, that's how I have walked up there - Once again the signs on the gate say it's National Park (recovery) and that vehicles aren't permitted on the track, however, the last time I was up there, when I returned to my car, I had been parked in and some people were waiting for me (Aila Keto & Keith Scott from the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society - ARCS). They weren't too happy about me being there, saying something about vandals etc.
I pointed out that the signs gave implied permission for walkers to be on the track, and that it was National Park, but they said they didn't want people up there due to the possibility of introducing diseases to a sensitive area (they did concede that the signs needed to be updated if they expected people to keep out).
This seems a little over the top to me, and I'm not sure if they actually have any right to regulate who goes there, but a google search does reveal they have a license agreement with DERM to rehabilitate the blocks.
I would suggest if anyone intends on visiting this site, they contact the Springbrook National Parks Office to clear up this issue first.

I suggested that a formal lookout be established on this block, given that no more vegetation needed to be cleared and the bitumen driveway made a great walking track, but they didn't seem keen on that - these people are extreme greenies....
It seems such a shame given the cultural heritage of the historic "Read's Lookout" could easily be preserved and enjoyed responsibly by today's generation.

On another note, i'm keen to check whether the old house in your pics is still there - however, that block is still privately owned, surrounded by high voltage fence and has a big nasty bull roaming around the paddock. I might just stick to aerial photos...
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Mt Warning from unnamed lookout east of Read's
IMGP1528.JPG
Another photo from demolished mansion site
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Thu 13 Sep, 2012 9:11 am

Springbrooker wrote:<snip>
On another note, i'm keen to check whether the old house in your pics is still there - however, that block is still privately owned, surrounded by high voltage fence and has a big nasty bull roaming around the paddock. I might just stick to aerial photos...

That explains my initial confusion on identifying the old rainwater tank as one of the first NearMap images I checked out was this one where there were cattle grazing in the area.
Old house site 2.jpg

The latest image does confirm that it is most likely to be the old rainwater tank and not a bull 8) There might still be evidence of the stone drywall foundations if you can get access one day.
Old house site 1.jpg

I imagine that the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society would be keen to have this property revert to national park!
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Thu 13 Sep, 2012 10:33 am

Springbrooker wrote:<snip> . . . however, the last time I was up there, when I returned to my car, I had been parked in and some people were waiting for me (Aila Keto & Keith Scott from the Australian Rainforest Conservation Society - ARCS). They weren't too happy about me being there, saying something about vandals etc. <snip>

You certainly got the attention of the ARCS "big guns!" I have a copy of her tome "Rainforests of Australia" from 1982 that her husband Keith Scott also contributed to with other experts. I was interested to discover the ARCS involvement in the nearby Koonjewarre Accommodation and Activity Centre - http://www.koonjewarre.com/index.html

Picture 8.png

Link to this page for further information - http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/spring ... /arcs.html
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Thu 13 Sep, 2012 10:42 am

Details of the recent Qld Gov acquisitions to expand the Springbrook National Park have been updated today!

Picture 10.png
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http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/spring ... -park.html
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Sun 16 Sep, 2012 10:59 pm

Springbrooker wrote:There is a giant (living) New England blackbutt (Eucalyptus campanulata) about three quarters of the way up that would rival the "big stump" at the Springbrook National Parks Info Centre on Old School Rd.


Here is that photo of the tree.
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Giant New England Blackbutt on Cream Track
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Pteropus » Mon 17 Sep, 2012 9:09 am

tas-man wrote:Details of the recent Qld Gov acquisitions to expand the Springbrook National Park have been updated today!

I hope you are right, that they plan to expand Sringbrook. Unfortunately there are whispers of the new state government de-gazetting some NPs.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tomh » Mon 17 Sep, 2012 3:54 pm

Pteropus wrote:Unfortunately there are whispers of the new state government de-gazetting some NPs.

Much more than a whisper. Brisbane Courier-Mail 19 July 2012:
Mr Dickson (National Parks Minister in the Qld. LNP government) told The Courier-Mail about 875,000ha of state forest and former cattle stations recently gazetted as national parks were likely to be the first to be rescinded.
http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/newman-government-plan-to-open-national-park-areas-to-logging-and-grazing/story-e6freoof-1226429460287

The effect would be a dismantling of the South-East Queensland Forest Agreement. Parts of Springbrook NP were, until recently, Austinville State Forest and Numinbah Forest Reserve (changed 2008).
tas-man wrote:Details of the recent Qld Gov acquisitions to expand the Springbrook National Park have been updated today!

Ian, I assume you were being ironic.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Mon 17 Sep, 2012 6:08 pm

tomh wrote:
tas-man wrote:Details of the recent Qld Gov acquisitions to expand the Springbrook National Park have been updated today!

Ian, I assume you were being ironic.

My tongue was definitely "in cheek" as an ex-Queenslander who lived through the Bjelke-Peterson era :wink:
Some years back I uploaded an old program about the Bellevue Hotel demolition on my YouTube channel which might illuminate some Queensland history for those not around at that time :evil:
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby firstTimeCaller » Sun 23 Sep, 2012 9:49 pm

We finally made the full distance of the cream track from Tallebudgera to Springbrook. GPS log of the walk is here http://en.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=3385458

We did it in 2.5hrs going uphill. Thanks for the pointers in the right direction.

Very pretty walk. Nice to link up the valley and plateaux in a 9km walk. Doing it by car is 50km+.
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby tas-man » Sun 23 Sep, 2012 9:56 pm

firstTimeCaller wrote:We finally made the full distance of the cream track from Tallebudgera to Springbrook. GPS log of the walk is here http://en.wikiloc.com/wikiloc/view.do?id=3385458

We did it in 2.5hrs going uphill. Thanks for the pointers in the right direction.

Very pretty walk. Nice to link up the valley and plateaux in a 9km walk. Doing it by car is 50km+.


Look forward to seeing some photos of the track :wink:
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby Springbrooker » Sat 29 Sep, 2012 9:37 pm

Tas-man,

Using your directions I went up to Gorge Falls at the end of Tallebudgera Valley last weekend - it's a very nice spot.
See attached photo.

Cheers
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Re: Mt Cougal/Springbrook

Postby firstTimeCaller » Thu 24 Jan, 2013 1:53 pm

tas-man wrote:Look forward to seeing some photos of the track :wink:


Better late than never...some pictures of the walk. A creek crossing and the big tree that is shown in Springbrooker's photo.

Cheers!
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firstTimeCaller
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