Saturday, October 5, 2013

Walking Turtle Rock

On Friday, we had promised to help our friend Tim cook dinner and breakfast for 65 bike riders on the 2013North Queensland Wilderness Bike Tour that raises money for the Cairns and Far North Environment Centre. The riders were slated to arrive at Davies Creek in the afternoon so we drove in from our new base (two weeks at a beautiful cottage near Yungaburra on the Atherton Tablelands) and parked at campsite ¾ where the cyclists would be gathering.

It was only 11.30 am so we had time to walk Turtle Rock circuit before getting stuck into preparations. This 8 km trail leaves (or ends) from campsite ¾ (look behind the outhouse for the trail sign) and ends (or starts) at campsite 5/6, and climbs steeply to a ridge line in the Lamb Range and wanders through boulders to the distinctive Turtle Rock. Turtle Rock is a big chunk of granite with a “head” that vaguely resembles a turtle from some angles sitting on an even bigger slab of granite (some potential rock climbing here).

It was hot, the trail was steep, my hiking shoes were worn out, so I proceeded leisurely up the trail while Doug sprinted ahead. Near the ridge top, the trail winds through big granite boulders and I found Doug sitting under a big granite overhang catching the breeze. Five minutes further on we were on Turtle Rock admiring the view.

Continuing on the trail towards campsites 5/6, the trail descends steeply for a few minutes only and then is much more gentle as it winds through open eucalpyt forest and emerges by Davies Creek. It's an easy walk back down the road to the campsite ¾. I think if I did this walk again, I would do it in the reverse direction as it may be easier to descend the steeper trail and hike up the gentler one.

Back at campsite ¾, preparations were under way for the arrival of the cyclists, but that is another story

Doug catching the breeze

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