Girraween at this time of the year~

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Sat 19 Jun, 2010 8:30 pm

Hi guys,
I'm the newest member in this online meeting place, thought would be nice to bring a present for my first visit to you guys who have been roaming and discovered so many nice place within the bush.
my present is questions regarding to Girraween area.

I'll be heading to Girraween or Bald rock area probably soon with some friends, either me or my friends had experience spending the night in the area, in fact, I might be the only one with some camping experience, which was so many years ago for only couple occasions.

I'm sure we need to hunt some gear also. What would be nice to bring along?
and if there's anything we need to look out for?
apart from the established camp sites, is there anywhere nice to spend 2 nights in the park?

Thanks very very much in advance~

Cheers,
Ed~
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby Pteropus » Sun 20 Jun, 2010 7:13 pm

Hi Ed

Girraween and Bald Rock are in the Granite Belt/New England regions of south Queensland and northern NSW and in winter they can be quite cold. The region around Stanthorpe near Girraween National Park regularly posts the lowest temperatures in Queensland (it snows) so it would most likely be a good idea to check the Bureau of Meteorology to check what conditions are like before you go. However it is best to expect and prepare for the cold with temps below zero over night. A good sleeping bag, and perhaps blankets or a doona if you are car camping, lots of layers as the days can still be quite warm.

Girraween has a number of large camp sites, however its best to call the ranger before hand for information. The website for Girraween is http://www.derm.qld.gov.au/parks/girraween/index.html. The camp sites at Girraween have toilet and shower facilities though I personally have not stayed the night there to comment on their condition, though driving by the facilities look modern. I think one of the camp areas in Girraween is actually called Bald Rock Creek camp ground which can cause mistakes between groups of friends planning to meet up at either Bald Rock National Park or Girraween’s camp ground! (yep, personal experience!). I think there might be limited bush camping but you need to ask National Parks.

Bald Rock National Park is actually the same patch of bush but on the NSW side of the border. It has a smaller camp ground of 20 to 30 sites. Facilities are in the form of two pit toilets and a small kitchen set up and camp sites have fire places with timber supplied by National Parks. I think it is a nice quite place to camp in the region for a few nights.

The walks in both Bald Rock and Girraween are well marked and maintained. The region is characterised by granite out crops, of which Bald Rock is the largest. Most tracks originate from the camp grounds. The only issue between staying at one park or the other is that there is no marked track linking both parks and it is ~1 hour to drive from one to the other.

Hope that helps

Cheers
Andrew
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Sun 20 Jun, 2010 10:08 pm

Thanks for your reply, Andrew~ It sure does help a lot with any information gathered~

From your description of Girraween, especially the 'sub-zero over night' and 'snow', it certainly make this trip sound exciting enough for myself. I've only been to Girraween and Bald rock on different occasion during the warmer months for a day trip.

We're planning to do a base camp sort of trip this time due to the experience level of the current participants. I've lay my eye on the 'Deuter Orbit 500' sleeping bag which is rated "comfort temp +10oC, Limit Temperature +6oC and Extreme Temperature -7oC. Additional to the sleeping bags, some downs jacket, fleece jacket, hard-shell jacket, thermal under-wears and sleeping mat with some more accessories for warmth to conquer the chilly night temp. Even if the sleeping bag's rating sounded like its on the edge, providing that the recent temp at Wyberba was recorded at -1.9 last night at its lowest & at -, additional layers of clothing in the sleeping bag show provide some more oC and in the tent.
Would you say this will be sufficient? Or should I take an extra step up?

Other than the mentioned above, it's nice to hear there's gas powered hot water shower facilities at the established camp sites, so the girls can enjoy a warm showers if not hot to make them feel more at home.
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby Pteropus » Mon 21 Jun, 2010 2:07 pm

Hi Ed

Hopefully someone else can explain the modern temp ratings on sleeping bags as I am not that familiar with them, but I have been researching a new bag and recently come across this link http://www.oneplanet.com.au/sleeping-ba ... -i-be.html to the One Planet website which explains the ratings. At present I get away with a bag rated to -4 for most situations a Queensland winter throws at me and that includes a lot of time out in the arid/semi-arid zones of the Mulgalands Bioregion where night time temps drop to < zero at this time of year. Thermals, gloves and a beanie are definitely important for a comfortable life around camp too! Unlike many members of this forum I do not have any experience with hiking and camping in snow and so cant give much advice on that, except that it is best to be prepared for anything during winter in the Granite Belt/New England regions which are at an altitude of ~800 metres or so.

Cheers
Andrew
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Tue 22 Jun, 2010 10:26 pm

Hi Andrew,
I've now purchased a sleeping bag more than enough for this trip and perhaps some cooler trips in the future.
Just want to point out the temp. ratings I heard from the sales in the shop: the rating are for a naked/semi-naked person to tackle the cold without assistance, ie. tent, clothings.
Now, my inventory are complete, at least for this trip.

Has anyone been to the area during this time of year???
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby 22F » Wed 23 Jun, 2010 2:35 pm

I have mate.

I did some car camping in the area some years ago, and the wind chill even during the day had to be seen to be believed.

At night, I was fortunate to be sharing a double swag with another warm body, generating some more *ahem* heat :oops:

As an aside, what sort of rating system/standard is your bag measured for?? There's a few standards around, I'm told the latest European rating system is probably one fo the best around for a quantative assessment of cold ratings. Can't remember the name of it (my memory is shocking on the current contract I'm working on, with it's constant repetitive, mindless tasks).
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby Drifting » Wed 23 Jun, 2010 3:25 pm

Lots and lots of possums there. Lovely place.
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Wed 23 Jun, 2010 8:07 pm

the bag I have is rated to 0oC, -6oC and -23oC respectively according to EN 13537 temperature rating.
taken into account I don't usually feel the cold much, based on my diving experience when compared with others.
So, I should be fine maybe up to around -10oC without assisting tools in my 3 season tent.
if things turn ugly, we could always use the car next to us when necessary.

The pyramid, the junction are planned must-visit during this trip, other than that, any other interesting trails which I can show them the beauty of camping in wilderness?

P.S. One of the female sales rep I came across to during the hunt of sleeping bag, she advised me that during her stay back in June, July last year, there was a layer of ice instead of frost built up on their tent fly. I have not experienced such scenario in the past, so, I can't imagine how fun/serious that layer of ice implies.
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby facebox » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 8:21 am

Spent 3 nights car camping (think large canvas tent)at giraween early June this year with partner and 3 year old.

Plenty of formed sites (crushed granite) as well as grassed areas. Drive thru sites for caravans and seperate camper trailers area.

2 camp sites divided by the pyrmids road.

Hot showers, flushing toilet both cleaned daily. loo paper plentiful (even on the nite 40 school kids camped!)

Over nite temps 2, -4 and 3. Day temps around 15-20. Don't believe forcasts - minus 4 night was predicetd over night low of 5!!

Possums very active at night. air tight strong containers a must.
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Fri 25 Jun, 2010 2:12 pm

Hi guys,
Thanks for pointing out the possum issues. I have never thought about that, such as when Drifting mentioned it previously.
I'm in the stage of laying out my gear and testing it prior to the trip, such as testing the water proof-ability of the tent fly, Brisbane's forecasted cloudy with a chance of shower, if it doesn't rain, I'll have to produce some artificial ones.

Apart from the mentioned above, are there anything which I need to be aware of as a total newbie after all these years spent in sheltered environments?
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Sat 03 Jul, 2010 12:35 am

Just back from the site this afternoon, was really happy about the facilities over there, especially the hot shower facilities which was a luxurious enjoyment against the winter chill and after a day's walk in the stunning landscape~

As mentioned previously, the 'lovely possums' are truly lovely and stayed very active after 6:30pm, they are very used to people which makes them creepy when they stayed close to you and stared straight into your eyes with a potential fly towards you pose. Although the chance of it really happening is extremely rare~
I think only part of the campsites are open right now until 9/7/10 due to maintenance, so, it was quiet packed. We were originally expecting a more remote experience, but wasn't too bad at all for this time~

Oh~ and a pack of firewood are no doubt advisable at this time of year, it provided more than warmth plus lifted up our morale~

regarding to the temperature, I was woken up by the chilly temperature on my frozen face couple times on both nights (my sleeping bags was more than enough to keep me warm, except the only exposed part, my face).

Since bush camping is allowed within the park.
Has anyone done bush camping before?
Do you camp near the tracks? or go deep into the bush?
What was it like?
There was couple places up near the rocks with grass, and rocks ground. What are the techniques required to set camp on these grounds?
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby Area54 » Wed 21 Jul, 2010 5:12 pm

We stayed there around easter, in the gap between qld and nsw holidays and was not too bad with the crowds. I bought a sit in harness for our 4yo daughter and she happily clambered up the cols with us, attached to me with a safety line gave us confidence for her to choose her own lines. Possums - ha - do not sit under trees when they are about - they will urinate on you on purpose! I pre-empted their behaviour, watched them edge out onto a branch with no food or connecting foliage from another tree (no reason to move out there) we acted quickly and moved the chairs, not 2 secs later down came a spray onto the ground. Possum 0, human 1.:)

We also did some rides around the place, over to Bald Rock etc so worthwhile taking a bike along to explore the country roads for a bit of variety.
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby shiawase » Mon 26 Jul, 2010 9:51 pm

ahmondjai wrote:Since bush camping is allowed within the park.
Has anyone done bush camping before?
Do you camp near the tracks? or go deep into the bush?
What was it like?
There was couple places up near the rocks with grass, and rocks ground. What are the techniques required to set camp on these grounds?


As far as I'm aware, most of the bush camping sites that are commonly used (by outdoor educator types) are not near the main walking trails. There are a few different ways to do a 2-4 day circuit through Girraween/Bald Rock NPs that follow the fire trails that you see on the topo. It is along these trails where bush camping would most commonly occur (typically bush camping in a tracked area used for daywalks is not encouraged).
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby ahmondjai » Wed 28 Jul, 2010 7:10 am

When I was there, I've found this:
Image
and wanted to camp there if I can, it's quite, away from the crowd and with a nice open grassland views, on this type of ground
Image.
so, is camping on this type of site not preferred?
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Re: Girraween at this time of the year~

Postby jetjackson » Wed 22 Sep, 2010 11:21 am

Just to add to the knowledge base here.

We did this as an overnighter back in April. We left our cars at the campsite and arrived just after lunch after stopping in to grab a couple of bottles of wine at one of the local wineries. We then climbed to the top of Mount Norman with heavy packs on in about 4 hours. We did take it easy getting up there. We had a group of 6 from memory. We set up camp at the top of Mount Norman. We found a good spot up there. Bush camping is allowed but you have to speak with the ranger and book in advance. We then walked back down the mountain a bit to watch the sunset. Then the next morning because of where we were camped on the mountain we could get up and watch the sunrise on the other side. We walked back down and climbed the pyramid the next day as well as making it out to the waterhole for a swim. This is a perfect overnighter. It got very cold at the top, even in April. If you were going in winter and wanted to camp at the top of the mountain you would need to be very well equipped. The wind up there bites hard.
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