Monday, October 21, 2013

Misty Mountains Walks

Our last day on the Atherton Tableland we drove down to the Misty Mountain area to do a couple of hikes. The Misty Mountains is in the Wet Tropics World Heritage area and, as far as I can make out, spans a few different national parks – Tully Falls, Tully Gorge and Wooroonooran. The tracks don't appear to be purpose built for walking, instead, they are on old logging tracks that are, at least in the case of the tracks we walked, sketchily recleared of vegetation.

Our plan was to walk the Koolmoon Creek trail from Rhyolite Pinnacle trailhead through to Dilgarrin trailhead. I left Doug at the north end (Rhyolite Pinnacle) and drove down to the south end (Dilgarrin). My track began as an old road and was reasonably open for walking. The vegetation either side, however is dense, and it definitely felt pretty steamy. After an hour or more, I came to a sign indicating Walter's Waterhole was 600 metres down a side track. A very narrow, overgrown side track. I gotta admit I was pretty nervous about stinging trees walking down this track as it was very narrow and overgrown and virtually impossible to avoid brushing against the vegetation. I am sure I saw one stinging tree right on the trail which I managed to duck around. 

Walters Waterhole

After some slow travel, I got to a series of pretty round pools separated by small waterfalls on what I presumed was Koolmoon Creek. It would have been nice to have a swim here, but I thought I was walking slowly and that Doug would be waiting for me, so I turned back after a short wander and few photos. Back out on the main track I was a little disappointed to see that the Koolmoon Creek trail plunged off the old road and into dense rainforest. It took me about an hour to cover the next 3 km as I had to wade across two creeks and search for the trail a time or two.

At the junction with the Walter's Waterhole track that leads out to the Tully Falls Road, I found Doug waiting for me. We both decided to walk out this shorter route as, much as I like walking, I was not enjoying this overgrown, no appeal track. I needed lunch so I while I ate, Doug walked out and retrieved the car.

Our next walk was along the Wabunga Wayemba track and was completely different. Again we walked through with one of us starting at the south end and one at the north. This track is broad and well cleared and a short side track leads down to a small pool on the creek where we had a quick swim.

Finally, as we were heading back to the Hobbit cottage we stopped at The Millstream. A beautiful set of falls into big deep pools with a short well graded access track. There is another access to The Millstream further down the river and it would be nice to walk/swim between the two along the route of the river. Perhaps another time.

The Millstream

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