Date: 12 – 14 February 2010
Walkers: Myself, Tom
This was the second attempt that Tom and I had made at this walk. The first time ended after one day. It poured rain all day and we were soaked through. The final straw was when we discovered that the lid had come loose on Toms water bladder and leaked about 2 – 3L of water all through his clothes, tent and sleeping bag.
Day 1 of the walk involved walking the boarder track from O’reilly’s to Binna Burra. This track is well marked and graded. This would be my 4th time walking this track so there wasn’t too many surprises. There had been some work along the track to clear some of the lookouts which was good. A few snakes were encountered including one red bellied black which took some convincing to get off the track. This stretch took around 7 hours.
Setting off from Binna Burra Day 2 started along the Ships Stern track and eventually turned onto the Lower Bellbird Circuit. This was one of the best parts of the entire three day walk. Some very picturesque views.
Eventually the great walk turned off this circuit and headed down off the main plateau. This section of the track followed a fire trail and was very steep and ungraded. This continued for quite a while and was very hard on the knees. Eventually the trail crossed a creek and levelled out. The track left the fire trail at another creek crossing and headed up through some swampy scrub. This section was fairly overgrown and one section was completely submerged by a pond. We were able to bush bash around this without getting our feet wet while dodging the giant spiders.
Eventually the track met up with the fencline of the jail and followed this down to the Numinbah Valley where it met the road which we then followed to the Numinbah township. This section of the track was horrible. It was completely exposed, was very hot and took a lot out of us. An hour or so later we arrived at the Numinbah Cafe. This is where we stopped for lunch and filled up our water. They were nice enough to fill up our water behind the counter at the cafe.
Soon after leaving the cafe the track headed for some more fire trails.We followed these up and over a ridge and down into the valley next to the Springbrook Plateau. The track followed some farmland and crossed over quite a large flowing creek. This required getting feet wet. The creek ran next to a cow paddock so we collected water here but only for boiling. The final stint followed the creek upstream for a while before crossing it again and starting the trek up Springbrook. This section followed a road and was ungraded and reasonably steep. At least it felt steep at the end of the long days walk.
We were very pleased to see the campsite. It had a toilet block and some very nice grassy campsites with an amazing view out over the Numinbah Valley.
Day 3 started off up hill immediatley.The track climbed the Springbrook Plateau with over 900 steps. Despite this being a very tiring climb there was some amazing views out over the valley with a really nice breeze to help cool us off. Eventually the track arrived at Apple Tree Park. There was no potable water here when we went through despite being back in civilisation.
The track then crossed the main road and then heart-breakingly back down to Little Nerang Creek. We stopped and filled up water at the creek and had a snack. The creek had quite a lot of water in it. Tom as usual skipped across the nearly completely submerged rocks while I blundered my way across using a stick to help keep my balance. The track then followed the creek up to Warringa Pool where it met the day walk track system.
Despite another steep ascent up to the top of Purling Brook Falls this was one of the other more enjoyable sections of track. The track first stopped at the base of the falls where you could walk behind them and get thoroughly drenched. This was awesome after the past 2 days. Eventually it came out at the top of the falls before continuing on to The Settlement campground (2014 edit: The track behind the falls is no longer accessible due to storm damage)
It wasn’t long after we finished lunch when Maree showed up to take us home to a nice shower.