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Sunday, September 28, 2014

Woondum National Park, QLD

Woondum National Park is 16 km south-east of Gympie. There is no camp ground in the National Park but I have heard many enthusiastic reports about Cobb & Co Nine Mile, a nearby private campground. After travelling two kilometers on a dirt road we arrived at a car park and the Rock Pools Day Use Area. There are toilets, picnic tables, water and wood fired barbecues (bring your own wood). The picnic area overlooks a beautiful boulder creek with pools suitable for swimming. Lace monitors are known to frequent the day use area.

View from the Rock Pools Day Use Area

Our focus for the morning was conquering the summit of Boulder Mountain. The Boulder Mountain Hiking Trail is a Class 5, 3.2 km, 2 hour hike to the summit of Boulder Mountain. This walk is only for the very fit. You know you are in trouble when you see a sign like this:

We climbed up and up and when we were nearly at the top we were greeted by this encouraging sign:

From Steep to Very Steep

Unfortunately the view at the top was largely overgrown.

View From Boulder Mountain

 And the summit was singularly unattractive

Boulder Mountain Summit

We made our way down again and had a picnic lunch in the excellent day use area.

Going down looks good

We wandered along the Turpentine Circuit, a Class 5, 500 m, 20 minute loop alongside the boulder strewn creek.

Turpentine Circuit 

On our return to the picnic area we noticed that the forest road was signed as "Easy 4WD". We decided that it was about time we got some 4WD practice in preparation for our National Park Odyssey and a rated track seemed like a good place to gain experience. We asked a guy in a 4WD ute what the track was like and he assured us that he had previously driven his Commodore sedan along the forest drive without problems (ha ha, very funny). Since buying a 4WD we have only driven at Mt Mee on an easy and a moderate 4WD track so we decided to try this one out. The biggest challenge was the large drainage humps across the road and some exposed rock; making it unsuitable for vehicles with low clearance. Fortunately, there were no other vehicles about and we slowly proceeded until we eventually came out of the forest at Tablelands Road. With a big sigh of relief we headed home. Somehow I don't think we are 4WD enthusiasts at heart.

Woondum National Park Forest Trail

Next time we visit Woondum National Park I think we will skip the summit climb and the forest trail and do what everyone else does; enjoy a scramble along the beautiful Boulder and Woondum Creeks.

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