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Saturday, February 10, 2018

Mount Mee Forest Trail Drive, D'Aguilar National Park, QLD: Mount Mee section.


The Mount Mee Forest Trail follows a loop through the northern section of D'Aguilar National Park. The road is unsealed and listed as Easy 4WD. There are plenty of things to do along the way for an enjoyable days outing or you can extend the trip by tent camping in either Archer Camping Area or Neurum Creek Camping Area. For the 4WD enthusiast there are also tracks listed as Moderate and Difficult in the park. A PDF map of the trail can be found here .

Rocky Hole
It is a short walk to Rocky Hole Lookout from the car park and from there only a few stairs down to this inviting swimming hole.

Rocky Hole
Orange Threadtail at Rocky Hole.
Mill Rainforest Walk, Class 3, 1.4 km circuit.
We particularly enjoyed the Mill Rainforest Walk. Magnificent strangler figs and epiphytes abound.

Strangler Fig
Footbridge along the Mill Rainforest Walk.
There are more catbirds here than we have encountered anywhere else. While we often hear catbirds on our travels, seeing them is another matter, but here we saw several. Getting a good photo of one is always a challenge though. Another highlight was watching a male Paradise Riflebird as he searched for insects.

Green Catbird
Paradise Riflebird, male.

Falls Lookout, Class 2,1 km return to the lookout.

A short walk to a lookout overlooking the northern side of D'Aguilar Range and Neurum Valley. The walk continues down to Bulls Falls.


The view from Falls Lookout

The Gantry Day Use Area



The Gantry
The Gantry Day Use Area is accessible by 2WD via Sellin Road. It is a large grassy area with toilets, picnic tables, gas BBQ's and wood BBQ's (BYO wood). Two walks start opposite the entry to the Gantry car park.

The Gantry Day Use Area

Somerset Trail, Class 4, 13 km circuit.

We had a quick peek along the trail and decided to come back for this walk at a cooler time of year.

Piccabeen Walk, Class 2, 1 km circuit.

This is a very pleasant walk. The entire path is either bitumen or boardwalk, making it just perfect for wheelchairs or families with strollers.

Resting area on the Piccabeen Walk.

Broadwater Day Use Area

The Broadwater is a small day use area close to Archer Campground. There is access to Neurum Creek, a small toilet block and a few shady picnic tables. 


Broadwater Day Use Area
Swimming hole at the Broadwater Day Use Area, Nuerum Creek
Spectacled Monarch at Broadwater Day Use Area
There are two campgrounds in the Mount Mee section of D'Aguilar National Park: Archer Camping Area and Neurum Creek Camping Area which I will cover in separate blogs.

Wildlife List for Mount Mee section of D'Aguilar National Park:
Lace Monitor, Elf Skink, Bar-sided Skink, unidentified skink, Cane Toad, Yellow-faced Whip Snake, Red-bellied Black Snake, Black-striped Wallaby, Red-necked Pademelon, Red-legged Pademelon.
Insects:  Razor Grinder Cicada.
Butterflies & Moths: Monarch, Meadow Argus, Yellow Albatross, Orchard Swallowtail, Clearwing Swallowtail, Small Grass-yellow, Blue Triangle, Blue Tiger, (Unidentified dark brown) Skipper, Varied Eggfly, Leafwing, White-banded Plane, Common Crow, Orange-spotted Moth, Heliotrope Moth.
Dragonflies & Damselflies: Scarlet Percher, Blue Skimmer. Orange Threadtail.
Birds: Satin Bowerbird, Australian Brush Turkey, Green Catbird, Sulphur-crested Cockatoo, Fan-tailed Cuckoo, Pied Currawong, Torresian Crow, Pacific Black Duck, Brown Cuckoo-Dove, Emerald Dove, Spangled Drongo, Rufous Fantail, Red-browed Finch, Tawny Frogmouth, Wompoo Fruit-Dove, Rose-crowned Fruit-Dove, Brown Gerygone, Lewin's Honeyeater, Yellow-faced Honeyeater, Azure Kingfisher, Sacred Kingfisher, Forrest Kingfisher, Common Koel, Rainbow Lorikeet, Spectacled Monarch, Olive-backed Oriole, Australian King Parrot, Wonga Pigeon, Eastern Yellow Robin, Yellow-throated Scrubwren, Large-billed Scrubwren, Brown Thornbill, Russet-tailed Thrush, Eastern Whipbird, Golden Whistler.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Archer Camping Area, D'Aguilar National Park, QLD.

Archer Camping Area, in the northern end of D'Aguilar National Park, is a grassy, tent only, campground less than two hours drive north of Brisbane.

Archer Camping Area

Each campsite has a numbered car park and a fire ring.

Laughing Kookaburra in Archer Camping Area.

The campground is near Neurum Creek and has access to the water. Swimming here is popular with families.

Neurum Creek at Archer Camping Area.

As well as a few turtles, we saw a particularly light coloured Yellow-faced Whip Snake going for a swim when there was nobody else around. 

Yellow-faced Whip Snake.

Take extra care to secure your food and rubbish as Lace Monitors and Brush Turkeys were constantly foraging in the campground. 

Lace Monitor

Red-necked pademelons are found around the campground; especially early morning and during the evening.

Red-necked Pademelon

A pair of Tawny Frogmouths were easily visible during the day. Olive-backed Orioles and Kookaburras also frequent the campground.

A pair of Tawny Frogmouths.
Olive-backed Oriole

On our January visit, there were a huge variety of butterflies about. We saw Monarchs, Meadow Argus, Yellow Albatross, Orchard Swallowtails, Clearwing Swallowtails, Small Grass-yellows, Blue Triangles, Blue Tigers, Varied Eggfly, Leafwings, White-banded Planes and Common Crows; as well as a few Skippers, Blues and Yellows that we were not quick enough to ID. Orange-spotted and Heliotrope Moths were also present.
Leafwing. Closed and open.

At the causeway between the campground and Broadwater Day Use Area, Yellow Albatross and Blue Triangles were puddling. There were a large number of White-banded Planes, also known as Common Planes, flying about the campground in their distinctive gliding patterns.
Yellow Albatross puddling and a White-banded Plane.

The shells of Razor Grinder Cicadas were a common site and around dusk the waves of sound created by these aptly named cicadas was excruciatingly loud.

Razor Grinder Cicada

Details for Archer Camping Area, D'Aguilar National Park:

Where: Just north of Woodford, take Neurum Road, turn left into Stanton Road, right into Rasmussen Road and continue past Neurum Creek Bush Retreat. The campground is signposted shortly after entering D'Aguilar National Park. Or enter the national park by Sellin Road and drive north via 4WD road to the campground.
Access: 2WD if entering via Rasmussen Road. Very low clearance might be a problem closer to the campground.
Camp sites: Tent camping only. Open grassy area with 9 numbered sites. Maximum 6 people per site and only 1 car per site. Bollards between vehicle and tent. Near Neurum Creek.
Booking and Fees: Normal National Parks QLD fees. $6.30 per adult. Online and phone booking only. No phone reception at the campground.
Facilities: Individual car parks, fire pits BYO wood, flush toilets, limited tank water. 1 shower cubicle without plumbing; BYO shower and water. No bins. No phone reception at campground. We had Telstra reception at the Gantry picnic area and on a small section of the 4WD road south of the campground.
Prohibited: pets, generators, collecting wood.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Gardner's Falls, Maleny, QLD.

Gardner's Falls
Gardner's Falls is worth a visit any time of the year and is a popular nature based swimming area in the summer. From the car park there is a pleasant walk alongside Obi Obi Creek for about 700 m passing a series of small cascades. Several picnic tables are placed on the shady side of the walk.


Cascades along Obi Obi Creek
We're always on the lookout for any wildlife and despite the busy time of year we weren't disappointed
Juvenile Eastern Water Dragon and Scarlet Percher.

We saw quite a few Spangled Drongos and watched them chase away a Pacific Baza.

Pacific Baza

Details for Gardner's Falls:
Where: Obi Lane South, off the Lansborough-Maleny Road.
Access: Obi Lane South is a narrow strip of bituman and there is no turning area for caravans in the car park.
Facilities: Car park, bush toilets, picnic tables. BYO drinking water. Free. No camping.
What's Special: Popular nature based swimming. 
Caution: There are no lifeguards.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Seventeen Seventy, QLD.

1770 Beach
Seventeen Seventy is a beautiful place with wonderful walks and beaches. As soon as we had set up our tent at Workman's Beach Camp Area in Agnes Water we drove to 1770 headland. There is a large car park with parking on the side for long vehicles. Large parts of the peninsular are protected by the Joseph Banks Conservation Park. 

We saw a surprising amount of birds in the vicinity of the main car park. There were lots of Welcome Swallows darting about but our favourite sightings were of a male Sunbird and a Pheasant Coucal.

Olive-backed Sunbird.

Pheasant Coucal, male.

Countess Russell's Anchor

Countess Russell's Anchor, Joseph Banks Conservation Park.

1770 Headland Walk
There are two lookouts on this short walk. Wave Lookout is on the eastern side of the headland.

View south from Wave Lookout.
Bustard Bay Lookout is on the tip of the headland and the views are spectacular.

Bustard Bay Lookout

View of Bustard Head and Bustard Bay
Beach Access Walk
From the car park there is also a beach access walk where we saw families fishing on the rocky shore.

 Access to the beach and the Round Hill Creek Walking Trail


Round Hill Creek Walking Trail (1770 Butterfly Walk), 1.2 km one way.
The northern entry to this walk can be found part way down the beach access walk. From here the walk follows the western edge of the peninsula down to the Captain Cook Monument in the Town of 1770. 

Part way along the walk there is a short detour to the water's edge.

Looking north.

Looking south.
During autumn and winter the walk is transformed into the Butterfly Walk due to large migrations of butterflies; including the Blue Tiger from March to June. Even in our summertime visit we spotted a few Caper Gulls and Glasswings.

Glasswing
There are a few steps just before arriving at the James Cook Memorial and the end of the walk.

Captain James Cook Memorial Cairn.

1770 Camping Ground and Endeavour Park
Just south of the memorial cairn is the 1770 Camping Ground which, as it turns out, is more of a caravan park than a campground. This caravan park has an excellent location right on the beach. 

1770 Camping Ground
Beach in front of Endeavour Park and 1770 Camping Ground.

Endeavour Park is a lovely park with a playground, amenities, picnic tables, electric barbeques and a walking track.

Endeavour Park

1770
The town of 1770  has restaurants and holiday accommodation overlooking yet another stunning stretch of beach. The park has a playground, picnic tables, barbeques and a charming boardwalk.

Beach at 1770
Playground at 1770

1770 Marina and Boat Ramp.
Tours to Lady Musgrave Island and the "Larc" tour to Bustard Bay leave from the marina. There is an excellent boat ramp next door.

Boat Ramp at 1770

SES Grounds
We had heard from a National Parks Ranger that there were "birds" nesting in the ground at the local SES facility. We discovered that the birds were Rainbow Bee-eaters and they were nesting in a large area. The area was fenced off so as to protect the nests but we could see these colourful birds constantly flying in and out of the ground. We saw a couple of their nesting holes outside the fenced in area as well. We have seen Rainbow Bee-eaters nesting in sandy banks before but this is the first time we have seen them nesting in the ground on mass. We were aware that these birds do nest in this way but it was still a thrill to actually witness it.

Rainbow Bee-eater at the SES Grounds 
Rainbow Bee-eater nesting burrows
There were a few other birds wandering around the grounds as well.

Bar-shouldered Dove and Wonga Pigeon