By Staff Writer Mozza
For many Bribie Islanders, leaving the island and surrounds is not something to look forward to but for others leaving for the day makes coming back over the bridge all the more special. The feeling of how lucky they are to be living here comes over them as they return to their little paradise.
So if you are going to make the trip where can you go that’s worthwhile and good for you?
Try the local bush walks within 30 to 60 minutes’ drive of Bribie; they are much more interesting than a trip to Cabo for the shops.
Your local options are:
Mt Tibrogargan Circuit (30 minute drive and 3.5km walk)
Landsborough Train Tunnel track (40 minute drive and 4km return walk)
Mapleton Falls (60 minute drive and 1.3km return walk)
Kondalilla Falls Circuit (60 minute drive and 4.7km walk)
All these options are an easy half day followed by lunch at the local townships like Mapleton and Montville which are an added attraction of country style, food and arts.
Mt Tibrogargan Circuit
This hour and a half gentle walk is punctuated by great views of the imposing mountain (above) as well as many other Glasshouse mountains and volcanic peaks around and below.
The path is flat and well-kept, snaking around the base of the mountain through casuarina groves, banksias and forests. Keep an eye out for the Black Cockatoos in the trees and the Peregrine Falcons circling above.
There are good picnic facilities there and you can watch the accomplished climbers going up and down the track to the top of the mountain while having lunch.
Captain Cook was very impressed with the Glasshouse Mountains and named them on his journey up the Queensland coast in 1770, and you will be as well we think.
Landsborough Train Tunnel
The disused rail tunnel is 40 minutes walk along a bush track that begins by running parallel to the current train line to Nambour and beyond.
Following that it veers off into the bush along the stony remains of an old rail line toward the tunnel. The track gradually cuts deeper into the rock as the tunnel nears.
For those not fussed on tunnels the good news is that the light of one end can be seen from the other and the torch on your i-Phone is sufficient to get you there and back and to check for ferns and microbats.
Formally known as the Dularcha railway tunnel, it’s one of only two tunnels built along the old narrow-gauge North Coast Line between Brisbane and Gympie. Building the tunnel was labour-intensive work undertaken by T.J. Jessor and Co. Their workers built the concrete-lined tunnel using basic machinery and horses to assist with carting heavy loads.
Some of the first passengers through the tunnel were troops sent from Brisbane to quell the Shearer’s strike in January 1891.
This is a short walk with stunning views from the start, with a lookout over the fall right next to the car park. The view down is heady but the view out over the valley and surrounding mountains is spectacular.
Your short walk takes you past native ginger and tobacco plants as well as palm and fern groves and towering forest trees. Mountain streams of clear water surround you and the Ranger has labelled the trees and plants with informative plaques.
After enjoying the second lookout over the falls you re-emerge near your car for the short drive back to Mapleton. Walking makes you hungry and the little streets of the town are lined with cafes serving home style quiches pastries and salads as well as all natural drinks and, of course, coffees.
Your drive home will take no time as you discuss the day’s highlights.
Your walk starts off a bit cool as you realise you are high in the mountains under a thick canopy blocking much of the sun, but you soon warm up along the track. The surrounding forest changes constantly between eucalypts and palms and rain forest.
Kondalilla, an Aboriginal word meaning 'rushing waters', describes this park's waterfall during the summer wet season. Skene creek drops 90 metres over the fall making it a spectacular feature of the area.
Look out for the small finches and other native birds along the track who seem totally unphased by human presence as they scour the trees for food.
Nearby Montville is also a charming village so perhaps allow some time to browse the local arts and crafts after lunch.
For detailed directions to these local gems visit the Department of Environment and Science website and go to Parks and Forests at parks.des.qld.gov.au/parks/list.php?region=66