Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

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Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Christel » Tue 20 Mar, 2012 11:03 pm

L.S.,

I'm a Dutchy attending a conference in Brisbane in June. I'd like to extend my stay to discover Eastern Australia. I have never been to Australia before, so far I haven't decided how long to stay and where to go.

I will be traveling alone. I love hiking, I'm an experienced hiker (Dutch lowlands, but also alpinism, walked glaciers, do toprope climbing, did trekkings), but not familiar with the accessibility of the nice nature areas and if it's responsible to walk there alone. Preferably I'd like to make (half) day tours from a hotel/hostel, so I can see different landscapes.

Do you have advice for me regarding nice walks and if it would be responsible to go there alone. If going alone is not responsible, do you know organisations that organise group tours I can join? (I found several organisations, but mostly offering 2 h tours max).

Best,

Christel
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby tomh » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 1:08 pm

Christel, if you have no experience of Australian walking conditions it would not be advisable to walk alone unless on a well-known signposted tourist track, and for a full day or more walk there are not many of them. My advice would be a to join one of the local bushwalking clubs while you are here. For Brisbane club contact information go to
http://www.bushwalkingqueensland.org.au/clubs_bne.php
and there are other pages for clubs outside Brisbane.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Christel » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 5:57 pm

Tomh, Thanks for your reply. I'll contact some bushwalking clubs.
As the websites I consulted and also you tell me it is not advisable to go walking alone, I will avoid that, unless I can do some of the more crowded tourist tracks. But, just being curious, what is so different about Australian walking conditions than about European conditions. Do the dangerous animals, the weather conditions or terrain make it irresponsible?

Could you recommend any well-known signposted tourist tracks? If there are hikes of a couple of hours or just places that I have to see, even if there are only short tracks, I will consider that, because even if I can join a bushwalking club, their trips won't cover my stay.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby gayet » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 6:28 pm

I'm not getting into the discussion on why Aus walking is different to Europe as I haven't walked in Europe, but if you have access to a vehicle have a look at this:
http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/lamington/index.html

Firstly, you can stay at Binna Burra or O'Reillys and take your pick of various day walks in the area. If you have time, stay at both as they are in different environments and offer a different selection of walks. There are a number of other National Parks in the area as well. The site will give a reasonable rundown on do's and don'ts and what to watch out for as well as what not to miss.

Hope that helps.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Pteropus » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 6:49 pm

Hi Cristel,

I haven’t walked in Europe either but if you have some experience in the outdoors and a healthy dose of common sense you should be fine. Dutch and Germans are the most common walkers of non-Australian origin that I have encountered out on the track. Obviously it is always a good idea to tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. If you are coming in June it will be winter and though Queensland is not cold compared with Europe overnight temperatures in the mountain areas, where most of the walking is, can drop to freezing.

I concur with gayet that Lamington National Park is probably the pick of the parks to walk in. Also, Springbrook National Park, which is close to Lamington, is another beauty. Plenty of rainforest and waterfalls. They are however, in very rugged terrain so staying on track is best advised if you have not experienced off track navigation in the rainforest before.

Also, as gayet mentioned, getting hold of a vehicle is almost a necessity for getting to the best hiking spots in South East Queensland. I think there might be busses to Lamington but you would have to do some research as I am not entirely sure. A friend from overseas once told me she caught a bus to Lamington but I do not know the details.

Other areas to walk are out on the Main Range, to the south-west of Brisbane. There are some very nice walks out that way. To the north Of Brisbane there are a number of places to walk on the Sunshine Coast and its beautiful hinterland (Glass House Mountains and Blackall Range).

Cheers
Andrew
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby kbm63 » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 8:05 pm

If you get a chance then the sand Island off Brisbane like Moreton or a little bit further North Fraser Island. One of the local guide books should have details.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Christel » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 8:43 pm

Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! I'll study all your tips carefully.

As I'm not sure if I'll be in the opportunity to go to Australia ever again (at least not with the flight paid by my boss...) I'd like to see a variety of landscapes. I'm especially interested in mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, coasts, not so much in desert landscapes (though I have never seen them). I have the impression I can get that variety in Queensland alone. Or would you advise to leave Queensland as well, go south towards Sydney/New South Wales (though not the topic of this part of the forum...)?
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Pteropus » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 9:06 pm

You will definitely get all those features you want to see, and the ones you don’t want to see, in Queensland. Obviously Australia is a big place and if you have a limited time and want to see mountain, rainforest and coast, the South East Queensland area is the place to be. You will not be disappointed. However, if you can get yourself to Sydney there are some amazing areas of natural bushland that are accessible by public transport, such as the Blue Mountains or the Royal National Park. Even on Sydney Harbour there are still many natural places.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby gayet » Wed 21 Mar, 2012 9:16 pm

It depends very much on how much time you have. Lamington is different to the Glasshouse Mountains area. Coastal Sydney is different again. Travelling between areas/states takes time, even when flying. If you have a week or more, look at Lamington - variety and proximity to Bris, then come down to Tas. Vastly different.

During June you could join the crowds and head up to Darwin. There are a number of areas relatively easy to get to from there with interesting environments (not desert) and you don't have the problems of cold or wet at that time. Litchfield Park is not far and it has plenty of interest. You don't have to head out to Kakadu or down to the tourist centres of Alice Springs or even Katherine. Although if you went into the centre it does get cold - ish. But bear in mind that the distances are greater between centres than in Europe (generally, apart from the east coast) and it will eat into the time you have to see things - not a lot to be really enjoyed from the window of a plane flying over.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby Christel » Fri 23 Mar, 2012 5:42 pm

Wow, before I was seeing all kinds of problems, but now, with all your advices, I'm getting really excited. Next week I'll book my ticket, I think I'll go to Brisbane and fly back from Sydney (because of the high amount of NP's that can be reached by train and because it might be nice to see a bit more of the country, also I heard that the train follows a beautiful route and otherwise I can have a nap to prepare for a new walk :)).

How long I will stay is entirely up to how much I can see. I'll be unemployed after the conference...

Gaye, would Tasmania be good to travel and walk in June? A friend of mine loved it there, but he said in June it's not really nice to go into the mountains. But, I might consider it as an alternative to NSW.
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Re: Brisbane and surroundings/Eastern Australia in June

Postby gayet » Mon 26 Mar, 2012 6:04 pm

Sorry for the delay in replying but I've been sort of in the mountains since Friday. First snowfall of the season.

"Would Tas be good to travel and walk in June?" - that depends. It is winter and it is full of all the normal winter dangers of an alpine area. It would require a different set of gear to that used in SE Qld at that time of year so you would have to be prepared to carry more stuff with you into Aus just to be able to cover 2 or more vastly different climates.

I have only been in Tas for 10 months, prior to that I was in SE Qld for 12 years or more so I am still acclimatising here. I would suggest leaving Tas in winter to another trip, simply because you need to be in Bris for the conference so concentrate on that climate for this trip. Saves excess baggage charges if nothing else. Sydney will be colder that Bris at that time of year and the Blue Mountains area west of Sydney, colder still, but neither will match the weather you are likely to find in the mountains of Tasmania. Sydney coastal areas should fit in OK with SE Qld conditions, albeit slightly colder. Stick to those areas if you want some variety and leave Tas to a more dedicated trip......
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