Mount Louisa walking track

The relatively new Mount Louisa walking track is a worthwhile addition to Townsville’s outdoor recreational spaces. The council’s announcement of its opening (October 2020) is quite clear about its intentions – taking some of the pressure off Castle Hill walking tracks was a priority.

Mayor Jenny Hill said the trail – which extends from the end of Bayswater Road to the landmark’s new lookout – has been highly anticipated by the community. … “Unlocking Mount Louisa’s potential has been a priority for Council and will help keep our city active and reduce pedestrian traffic on Castle Hill during peak hours.”

The track was quite busy when we walked it this morning. When we started about 8.00 we met lots of younger adults, alone or in pairs, coming down the track after a pre-work workout. By the time we finished around 10.00 (we didn’t hurry!), most of the other walkers were family groups.

Mt Louisa track
Near the beginning of the track

The landscape is very dry at this time of year, and there were signs of a fairly recent fire near the lower part of the track, but the open bushland was pleasantly varied. Wattles, grevilleas and poplar gums were all flowering, and some kapoks had both flowers and fruit. Not much bird life, however, and even less insect life: too dry.

There are good views from all parts of the track, not just the summit – northern beaches, Palm Island, the Town Common, Magnetic Island, Castle Hill (and Cape Cleveland behind it), Mount Stuart and Hervey’s Range. Put them all together and it’s a 360 degree panorama.

view from Mt Louisa track
View over the Town Common to Many Peaks Range (left) and Magnetic Island (right)

The track rises from the end of Bayswater Road, forking a few hundred metres later to form a long loop around the ridge. Veering left at the fork gives walkers a gentler climb and a steeper descent but it’s not particularly hard either way. The peak is 160 metres above sea level, according to the marker, which makes it about 140 above the starting point – a respectable climb but much less than Castle Hill (286 m).

Mt Louisa track
The easy track (lower) and the harder one (right)
Mt Louisa track - summit
The summit

The Town Common in September

The Town Common Conservation Park, to give it its full name, is a valuable wetland year-round but changes with the seasons. Now, in mid-September, it is drying out. Grasses and small shrubs are dying off except where they are in or near the remaining open water. Water birds are returning to the Common as other resources dry out even more, but insects and other birds are not so numerous.

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Capping Uanda Bore

Guest post by Jessie Alford

Diane Alford wrote about Rainsby, a cattle property near Aramac, here nearly ten years ago. Jessie and her husband Tim have taken over its management since then; Jessie wrote this for her Facebook page but was happy to share it more widely.

The people of Western Queensland have depended on artesian bores for a century but have realised that the supply is not endless. Here’s one small step towards reducing waste.

Bore drain on Rainsby
Uanda bore – permanent water in dry country

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Ross Dam and the Borrow Pits

We visited Ross Dam recently with members of Wildlife Queensland’s Townsville Branch for a morning of birdwatching and botanising.  We wandered along the dam wall, back to the park at its foot, and then down to the Borrow Pits nearby.

The dam was much lower than on my last visits, in March and May of last year, but the Borrow Pit made me a liar by being emptier than when I saw it in December 2013. Perhaps we had had more rain before that visit than we have had in the last few months?

Views from the dam wall

Ross Dam
Looking along the dam wall

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Soft launch, soft anniversary

Green Path should have celebrated its tenth anniversary earlier this year but (frankly) didn’t notice at the time. The first ‘real’ post on the blog is dated January 10, 2011, and features a young Golden Orb Weaver. The ‘official’ launch post is dated April 21 and notes that, “Part of my [development] process was to write posts for the blog-to-be. It seemed a shame to waste them all so [the blog] therefore has entries going back several months although today is its official launch.”

Since then I have republished some earlier writing here under its original publication dates, so it may look as though Green Path began in February 2005 with a visit to Western Queensland, but that’s a bit of a stretch: I’m happy to claim ten years but not sixteen.

Ten years ago I had no idea how long the project might last. I’m pleased that it has gone on so long but I still have no idea how long it might continue; “as long as I enjoy doing it” is probably the best answer I can give.