Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

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Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Ticklebelly » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 8:38 am

Party of 7 started the Cooloola Great Walk on the 13 August. Average age 64; oldest 72. Walked out yesterday at about
14:00 in one piece, tired but happy.

Left a vehicle in secure lockup in Rainbow Beach and another in the QPWS office carpark at Tewantin. Used a hire bus to get to the third cutting on Tewah beach to start the walk at the end of the current detour at the start of the walk. Cut about 3k or so
off the first day.

A few hundred metres up the beach then onto the track proper. Interesting sand dune vegetation on a well marked track with
a few ups and downs until down to Tewah Beach for lunch. Did the small side track to the top of Mt Seward for an
interesting look back to where we started. Came to the first night camp site, Brahminy, quite suddenly. The site gives a
good view to the beach and to the hinterland. Good toilet and full water tank (good water) but the floor of the designated
tent sites is unimproved. Not really any problem,it would disturb a large area if work was done to flatten/build up tent
sites so all in accordance with the idea of minimum impact. About 14k that first day. Good weather and cool and a tiny
sprinkle overnight.

Left about 8 next morning for a 20k leg. Track runs along the coast and along the dune ridge tops. Saw some whales at one
point then away from the coast and into costal tyupe vegetation. Track is a good 1.5 metres wide and cleared/mowed where
the grass has grown onto the track. Easy walking, just long. A lot of regrowth wattle has been slashed just short of the
sandblow giving a good wide path. Lunch before tackling the sandblow. South to North is uphill but the start of the track
on the other side is pretty easy to see once about half way across. Very interesting and *&%$#! hot in the sun. Would be
more difficult on a hot day and the warnings about water are well placed. Track the other side is quite different in
character and more like you expect of a bushwalking track. Still well marked and wide and good footing but now weaves in
and out to the tree. A couple of big ups slowed us up but the track on the flat towards the river was like a footpath.
The track almost goes to Campsite 3 on the Noosa River then follows the river for about 3k to the Dutgee camp. The last 3k
is a bush track with lots of leaf litter and small fallen branches. Needed to watch your step here but the walking was flat
and mostly easy. The tent sites at Dutgee are nearly 100m from the communal area but nestled in low scrub (golden
candlesticks) that was in full bloom - great sight and nice to see. Same style toilet and tank (good water) and the tent
sites were again just cleared areas in the scrub - minimal impact stuff again. Between the river and the swamp behind, the
tents were as wet with dew in the morning as if it had rained overnight.

Away about 07:30 across about 2k of swamp land. A couple of bogged bits and would be a buggar with a bit of rain. I figure
10mm of rain would be enough to make it impassable. Off into the low foothills and lots of Banksias, lots of them and lots
of grass trees, again, lots of them. Good walking with a couple of big ups and little downs then to Litoria camp which is
on the top of a little hill at the bottom of a pretty steep down. Standard toilet and tank. Nearly everone was now
drinking the water from the tank. We all have a history of tank water supply at our homes.

Left before 07:30 next morning to tackle the 20 plus k leg to Kauri. The Litoria perched lake was a bit of a non-event as
you cannot really get to it and we complied with the request not to trample the reeds and vegetation in an effort to get a
good look. This day was a long walk, not that remarkable but lots of different vegetation and some really dark patches,
silent and giving that feeling of solitude and away from everything feeling. A nice day, although long. We expected a bit
more of a Kauri forest on the way into the Kauri camp but enough prime examples of the vegetation to have a good look at.
The Kauri camp was the nicest overall, set in rainforest type srroundings. A little negative crept in at the end of this
leg as some fool on a motor bike had ripped up about 3k of track. Made the footing difficult in parts because the leaf
little was disturbed and had left sand ruts. Ranger told me that at least one of the fools had been idenfified and would be
charged - Good!

Relatively short last day - about 16k. Everyone seemed pretty good, not stiff and only a few sore muscles. Past the
turnoff to Freshwater and another picinic spot and onward. Poona Lake was a highlight. Dead still, dark water giving
perfect reflections of the sky and clouds. Only injury for the trip (although one person did get a blister on day 2)
happened here as our oldest member was looking at the lake rather than where his feet were going. Took a tumble and got a
small head wound. Low dose asprin makes such wounds bleed buckets. But a couple of Anti-bacterical wipes and a bandaid
got him going again. And we seemed to arrive quite suddenly at the Carlo Sandblow. Another small negative here as I had a
confrontation with another fool on a motorbike. After I indicated I would take his head off with a large stick and tell the
cops I was defending myself when he tries to run me down, he left. Ranger is following that incident up, too. So back to
standing on the edge of the sandblow congratulating ourselve and feeling pretty proud of ourselves. Across the sandblow for
a final look south, then 600m to the carpark.

Packs on the roof rack and back to pick up the other cars at Tewantin. Coffee and cake then each to their own homes to tell
stories to friends and family.

All in all a great experience. I will make some changes to my kit but no-one had any real problems or gear failure or lack
of food or good experiences. Looking forward to the next one already.

I'll make a related post in the Bushwalking Discussion on Great Walks but on that topic now that I do have some relevant experience.
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Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 11:57 am

Great report,

The campsites? Are there plenty of tree where a person could hang a hammock from?
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Ticklebelly » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 6:41 pm

Phillipsart wrote:The campsites? Are there plenty of tree where a person could hang a hammock from?


I have no hesitation in replying with a clear No. Would be very difficult at the first two (Brahminy and Gutgee) if you wish to comply with the stated requirement that people stick to using the designated tent sites. Thinking back, I would say impossible at those two camps as all the individual sites I checked out had no suitable trees/anchor points as I remember; both camps are surrounded by low bushes/shrubs. Still a bit (quite hard) difficult at Litoria and Kauri but could be done if you get to the right site and you can bend the ethics (LNT) enough. My advice is to not consider using anything other than a tent on the ground.

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Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby ULWalkingPhil » Thu 18 Aug, 2011 6:55 pm

I will not be rushing to do that walk in that case, there's plenty of other great walks about that will cater for my hammock.
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby trecia » Wed 24 Aug, 2011 12:05 am

Hi Ticklebelly, thanks for such a thorough description of the walk. Am planning to do this in 2 weeks time. How was the mozzies situation like when you were there? Do you by any chance know if public transportation is possible at either end, as i will not be able to do the car shuffle most probably.

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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Ticklebelly » Wed 24 Aug, 2011 1:44 pm

trecia wrote:Hi Ticklebelly, thanks for such a thorough description of the walk. Am planning to do this in 2 weeks time. How was the mozzies situation like when you were there? Do you by any chance know if public transportation is possible at either end, as i will not be able to do the car shuffle most probably.

trecia


Public transport is a problem, more with timing rather than availability. Transport to and from was our biggest problem. We discussed it amongst ourselves on the track and wondered why some smart maxi-taxi owner has not recognised the need to facilitate walkers access.

On the Tewantin end, bus to Tewantin and maybe a taxi to the ferry would be best. Depending on how big the party is, I reckon hitching a lift from the ferry to the beach would be pretty easy. At the other end (Rainbow) I believe Greyhound comes and leaves twice a day. Have not yet checked out exact times yet. I suggest you investigate starting at the Northern end (first day would be pretty easy) if the bus would get you in at a reasonable time. We left Kauri about 07:30, stopped for one rest and lunch and got to the sand blow about 12:45 - as an indication that that stretch is pretty easy.

Mozzies - encountered a couple at Dutgee and one at Kauri. Not saying don't take repelllant, just reporting my experience. Given that Dutgee is on the river and in a swamp, I was pleasantly surprised.

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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Ticklebelly » Wed 24 Aug, 2011 2:01 pm

OK, Trecia, I was slack after finishing the walk. I had intended to further check out the public transport situation.

Try here for some better info on public transport.

http://www.railmaps.com.au/stationdetai ... elect=3392

http://www.greyhound.com.au/Bookings/tr ... pAodpkl-8Q

http://www.cooloola.org.au/Travel_Info/ ... ort_1.aspx

Greyhound schedule would be tight but maybe via Gympie would be possible North to South. The other way though seems doable if you can get into Rainbow Beach early enough.

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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby trecia » Fri 26 Aug, 2011 10:05 pm

Ticklebelly wrote:OK, Trecia, I was slack after finishing the walk. I had intended to further check out the public transport situation.

Try here for some better info on public transport.

http://www.railmaps.com.au/stationdetai ... elect=3392

http://www.greyhound.com.au/Bookings/tr ... pAodpkl-8Q

http://www.cooloola.org.au/Travel_Info/ ... ort_1.aspx

Greyhound schedule would be tight but maybe via Gympie would be possible North to South. The other way though seems doable if you can get into Rainbow Beach early enough.

Ticklebelly.


Thanks so much for the thorough info once again, Ticklebelly. I will most probably do south to north, just because Greyhound timing works a lot better for me travelling from Brisbane. Good to know that public transport is still possible. Hopes the rainy season subside in a few weeks time...

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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Major Icehole » Sat 27 Aug, 2011 7:30 am

Thanks for posting all this info. We have been looking at walking this track towards the end of September.
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby mysticalcheeze » Mon 05 Sep, 2011 10:17 am

Great info in here, thanks everyone! I'm planning on doing the Cooloola Walk sometime in the next week or two. Right now I'm planning on doing it alone but would love to find another person or party to do it with. Does anyone know a good way to find a partner?
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby trecia » Fri 16 Sep, 2011 4:35 pm

Hey guys, just finished doing the walk. fantastic weather! Didnt see a single soul the whole time (except at Freshwater campsite, with all the 4wd zipping across the beach). Very beautiful campsites, did it from north to south, greyhound to and back the track easy too. trecia
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Tiffany » Mon 21 Nov, 2011 7:29 pm

Has anyone crossed the river at Harry's hut?
I have been told I could walk across but I am not very happy to do this becausse the water is brackish and there can be bull sharks. If anyone has info on it I would really appreciate it. :)
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Re: Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby cams » Thu 24 Nov, 2011 5:27 pm

Tiffany wrote:Has anyone crossed the river at Harry's hut?
I have been told I could walk across but I am not very happy to do this becausse the water is brackish and there can be bull sharks. If anyone has info on it I would really appreciate it. :)


I've done the walk to the cooloola sand blow from either camp 3 or Harry's Hut a few times. The last time we didn't have a canoe so swam across with our day packs in a blow up boat from Harry's Hut.

Pretty sure the water its purely fresh this far up stream. Any bull sharks would have plenty of children to munch on in lake Cootharaba and Cooroyba before they got to Harry's Hut anyway. Swimming in the river is the main attraction of the camp ground to me.
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Re: Cooloola Great Walk 13-17 Aug 2011

Postby Ticklebelly » Sun 04 Dec, 2011 5:59 pm

Tiffany wrote:Has anyone crossed the river at Harry's hut?
I have been told I could walk across but I am not very happy to do this becausse the water is brackish and there can be bull sharks. If anyone has info on it I would really appreciate it. :)


Was camped at Harry's Hut this last weekend. Checked out the river depth between the hut and the walking trail the other side. About 14 foot in the middle (4.5 metres or so), good sandy bottom and no snags seen on the depth sounder. Water is very fresh (drinkable) but tanin stained and dark. Don't know about the bull sharks though. No reports from fishermen (or women) of any sightings or catchings. Lots and lots of kids and adults swimming as well and no blood curdling screams heard anywhere. I swim there. Bull sharks have been found in fresh water and I suppose they could get up there through the everglades. But, it does seem that bull sharks go to the fresh only to rid themselves of parasites, not to feed. Colleges Crossing near Ipswich has a population of bull sharks and they are often seen there. Does not stop people using Colleges as a great place to cool off in the hot weather. Kids and adults swim there all the time and I am not aware of any attacks on humans. I suspect QWPS mentions sharks for public liability purposes, rather than a serious warning.

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