Townsville Bushwalking Club has been active – and has been keeping its members active – since 1960 but I only came across it recently. My first walk with them was a couple of days ago, on the inland side of Paluma Range.
Fourteen of us met at Paluma village at 8.00, set up the car shuttle, and began the walk about 9.00 from a spot on the Paluma Dam road. It is rough country, cut by the deep narrow valleys of seasonal creeks (all flowing well at this time of year). The beginning of the walk was through rainforest but that transitioned to dry forest (“dry sclerophyll forest” is the technical term) as we progressed. Much of it has been logged, but not recently; the logging tracks still provide access for walkers but that’s all.
Leaving Undara Lava Tubes we drove towards the Atherton Tablelands through flat, dry country generously sprinkled with volcanic cones (we counted nine from the car at one point). The change between Mount Garnet and Ravenshoe was dramatic: hills! and rain! and big trees!
Ravenshoe prides itself on being the highest town in Queensland and one of its pubs, naturally, claims the title of Queensland’s highest hotel.
On the short trip which included Jourama Falls and the Dalrymple Track I seized my opportunity to visit the Cardwell Lookout and nearby Attie Creek for the first time.
The Lookout is a few kilometres out of town on a good, mostly-gravel road which leads through pine plantations before winding uphill to a parking area and a lookout with very good views to the North over Cardwell and Rockingham Bay towards Mission Beach and Dunk Island. A walking track leads further uphill from this point for even better views to the North and panoramic views across the channel to Hinchinbrook Island. The extra walk is worth the effort but I have to say it was also more effort than I had expected: it’s only a few hundred metres but it’s quite steep.
The Townsville region received quite a deluge between mid February and early March, after a dry start to what we hoped would be a good Wet. Green Path recently posted photos of the Town Common after rain, and here are some from Hervey’s Range to the West of the city.
My third visit to Wallaman Falls was a day trip with Wildlife Queensland. A full report will appear on their blog in due course but I thought I might quickly share this photo and mention my previous posts – from almost exactly one year ago and two years ago, as it happens. (This is a good time of year for camping and bushwalking, since everything is still quite green after the Wet but the weather is reliably fine and not too hot.)
I have added the spider and insect photos from this trip to my existing Wallaman Falls album on flickr.