Conondale Range Great Walk Day 1: Waterfalls and Heavy Packs

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We parked at the Booloumba Creek day use area under threatening skies. Mum and Dad helped each other hoist and adjust their packs while I swung mine on my back. This was my parents’ first overnight hike so loading heavy packs was a new experience to them.

The trail started with a climb out of the day use area. We wandered along for about 2km before we all had to stop to take off our jumpers and adjust our packs.

The trail followed Booloumba Creek, staying about 100-200m away from the creek bed. It was tough going, with the trail climbing a lot of short steep hills. But it was worth it for the views into the blue water in the rock pools below.

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We reached Artists Cascades on time for lunch. The stunning little falls were thundering away. We ate egg sandwiches, apples and mandarines on the rocky creek bed. It was a beautiful introduction to life on the trail.

After lunch we stripped down to our underwear, took off our shoes, linked arms for stability and waded through the cold, fast-flowing, knee deep water. The rocky bottom was slippery so we had to work together to stay upright.

The trail climbed steeply out of the creek bed to the top of Booloumba Gorge. At the top, the forest opened out and we entered open eucalypt forest.

Booloumba Falls were amazing! The water dropped a long way down stepped falls before plunging into a pool at the base of the gorge. The water took various paths down the waterfalls. In the gorge, the water formed a moat around The Breadknife; a tall rock formation the has resisted the water’s carving its way through the gorge.

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The last 2km to Wongai Walkers Camp took forever. The first day of a hike is always tiring as our bodies and minds struggle to adjust.

The camp was comfortable. National Parks have provided platform tables, toilets, toilet paper and tank water.

After a good meal of Backcountry honey soy chicken we shared 2 Mars bars and pretty much hit the hay.

Total: 11km @ 3kph.

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