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The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2018 5:04 am
by Aardvark
There are significant obstacles to anyone wanting to just turn up and walk the Scenic Rim.
There are accounts of people doing it but there are no published track notes with access details.
There is no continuous track with signs and directions.
There are numerous options to the route. It is comprised mostly of state forests and national parks. There is some private land nearby.
If walking the route fully equipped and with no re-supply, it is not realistic to complete it in under eight days. Ten days is perhaps more realistic. It really depends on the start and finish points.

Our fourth traverse will take place in Oct 2018, over 12-13 days, with numerous caches.
It is approximately 160km and covering several dozen high points if walking the watershed of the Main Range (Great Divide) and Macpherson range to the coast.
The terrain is varied. It includes Dry Sclerophyll forest, rainforest (even at 1300m alt.), clifflines, cliffbreaks, forestry road, farmland, narrow ridges and escarpments, fencelines etc. Much of it is off track.
The seasons throw in further elements such as ticks, leaches, snakes, heat, cold, and bushfires.
Ticks were numerous a couple of weeks back but the last week or more of rain has likely seen to that.

In 1998 i connected to bushwalking clubs in southeast Queensland and became aware of the opposition to the establishment of a walking track on the Scenic Rim.
Concerns existed over wilderness areas being opened for easy access to daywalkers. There are already limited options for remote throughwalks without encountering daywalkers.
My thoughts were that daywalkers could already access any part of it. The reality though, is that the majority of people don't undertake daywalks in remote parts of The Rim due to the off track terrain and the logistics (travel time) involved.
Brisbane is the nearest major population centre. It is not uncommon to have to drive 2.5 hrs each way to conduct a daywalk on the rim. To drive from Brisbane to reach the rim from the outside can involve 6 hrs + to and from the access point.

In Oct 2004 two of us traversed the rim from Mt.Beau Brummel on the Little Liverpool Range to Mt.Tomewin over the Currumbin valley. Initially it seemed too much bother with caches and re-supplies. We convinced ourselves it would be more authentic or traditional or something, to carry it all. We had done similar durations in NZ.
Repeat performances in Oct 2008 and May 2011 helped to refine our preparations and preferences for the route. Glen Rock Regional Park has been the start point too.
It would be expected that the best time to consider such a walk is in the Queensland winter (June, July, August). This next traverse was planned for August 26 but work commitments changed that.
Both the 2004 and the 2008 traverses were marred by bushfire incidents.

We took to caches in 2008. It is the natural thing to do in the heat of such a sub tropical environment, to want to carry less. The investment in 30lt and 60lt canoe barrels with watertight lids has been spread out now. They are very practical.
We lost a 30lt cache at The Head (Teviot Gap) due to bushfire. Fortunately, that was after the walk.
We live in Brisbane and anything we put out in the bush we can retrieve anytime afterwards. The comparison between, 'Carry it all' and 'put out caches' is a little swayed for us.
We've had countless daywalks on The Rim that are principally about depositing water.
On one occasion we placed dry ice in a cache, to be collected after three days. It worked well in that we had bacon and eggs available. It was a pity we didn't feel like having bacon and eggs at the time of collection. Overall, an expensive exercise.

Staying familiar with the various legs of the route and the many options does reduce the risk of frustration. An account i read of a group of guys traversing The Rim in 2016 suggested their experience was tainted by travelling over Mt.Gipps and Nungulba to Tweed Trig. Their progress was reduced to 1k per hour at best, due to the vegetation. It went on to Point Lookout.
Four of us took 12hrs to go from Antarctic Beech to Numinbah Gap in 2003. The Tweed Trig to Point Lookout section was done in appx 3hrs. I've done a few forays into there since and the track is easily lost, inundated with treefall, riddled with Lawyer Vine and Gympie. It seems these guys in 2016 took nearly a day for that leg. There are quite a few off track routes in SEQ that have gone through a period of minimal traffic in the last 10 years.
The Stretcher track, on the adjacent ridgeline to Mt.Gipps and Nungulba is still subject to the same conditions but it does get more traffic.

We hope to re-live an experience we had some years back. Walking amongst hundreds of fireflies in a dark rainforested tunnel of vegetation. It was around dusk or just after. It was not expected that far west. I have only read of such experiences near to the coast, around the Gold Coast hinterland. The time of year is critical, as is the proximity to some water.

We are also varying our route this time to include some of the waterways around Mt.Barney.
That is part of the reason we have chosen to allow more time for this traverse in 2018.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2018 5:34 am
by ofuros
Will be a great adventure, Aardvark.
Caches would be the go for me too, my ageing & worn back needs all the help it can get. :roll: G
Safe travels & breathtaking views to you both. :mrgreen:

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Sun 21 Oct, 2018 7:45 am
by Aardvark
Thanks Ofuros
I'm trying to slow time right now as this sundays' start speeds closer.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Mon 22 Oct, 2018 11:42 am
by Moocattle
Yes! Super jealous, and excited to hear how it goes Aardvark.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Wed 24 Oct, 2018 3:35 pm
by trekker76
interested as well, looking forward to the reports

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2018 7:38 am
by Aardvark
We arrived home last night after a train ride home from the Gold Coast.
The last day (11) was lengthened and we left a cache in Numinbah valley after exiting Lamington NP. That allowed us to travel with day pack size over Springbrook, down the Cream track and over the Cougals. Fortunate for us we hitched a lift and got all the way to the train station without a cab ride. We couldn't get a phone signal anyway.

Day 9 included a detour to O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat. There is some gear to collect from there. So, it's off to take a country drive today and gather those two caches.
Looking forward to tomorrow. We're continuing the exercises and will take a daywalk. The Christmas Ck, Stretcher track circuit. Got a Macpac Olympus to collect.
Hope to have some trip reports out soon.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Fri 09 Nov, 2018 10:44 am
by Aardvark
We walked out on to a movie set at the end of our walk. Literally.
We arrived at the top of the Cream track on Springbrook yesterday to find signage from the landowner at the top advising strict new guidelines. New since our last visit in 2011. Lucky for us the landowner turned up and sped up the process for us. He advised the track was closing for two days due to filming (involving helicopters etc). We took it that the cleared land at the top which has few if any rivals for unobstructed views of the whole Gold Coast from 800m alt was the focus of his filming venture.
We knew we'd be out and through Tallebudgera Ck in an hour or two.
At the bottom we walked into a group of what seemed campers and some extra (as he put it ) told us we should see the lady in the black cap. ????
A bit miffed that someone was telling us what to do, we wandered over because our path was somewhat unclear due to their numbers.
We were waved through and after a little further we realised they were filming. Security were puzzled where we came from. It appears the film was DORA.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Sun 11 Nov, 2018 1:51 pm
by isoma
Righto Aardvark,
Keen to hear about the Gipps to Tweed Trig section. Had a terrible time in there about 10 years ago.
Well done by the way!

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Wed 14 Nov, 2018 8:10 pm
by Aardvark
Yeah..real funny isoma.
├Łou might be waiting for a while to hear any more on that leg. Not wanting to will it to happen, i have been waiting since 2004 for a fire to visit that area before heading in there ever again. I did a daywalk up Black Snake Ridge and down Gipps whilst researching for our 2004 traverse. It'd be madness with a throughwalking pack.
At the time the going was good through to Point Lookout from Antarctic Beech. We were plying that regularly. It needs some work at present.
No ... we've always gone up Running Ck to Gap Ck saddle ( between Neglected Mtn and the Stretcher Track).
This was Monday 5th November 2018.
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Gap Ck Saddle ( end of the Stretcher track)


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Gap Ck Saddle (between Christmas Ck and Running Ck)

This was Sunday 11th November 2018
We booked a night at O'Reilly's and spent a night in Bushrangers Cave. That means we didn't need the tent after Point Lookout so we cached it and returned to collect it on a daywalk on sunday. We were surprised to see a fire had been through since. It only went to the edge of the rainforest at about 800m alt. northside of the Stretcher Track.

Re: The Scenic Rim - Southeast Queensland

PostPosted: Tue 20 Nov, 2018 12:35 pm
by isoma
Has there ever been a fire through the rainforests along the tops Aardvark?
I haven't made it to the Tweed trig from any direction. Got somewhere around Nnungulpa one time and its been bugging me ever since!