Moogerah Peaks National Park – Mt Edwards and Mt French

Happy first day of spring in Queensland! This weekend I’ve driven out to Moogerah Peaks National Park, about an hour south-west of Brisbane, to explore some of the vocalic peaks in the park.  Today I’ll be exploring two of the easier ones, while tomorrow I tackle the more challenging Mt Greville with my hiking group.

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Mt Edwards – 6.5km return
From Aratula, my usual starting point for walks in this region, Mt Edwards’ tree covered cone can’t be missed, it’s right there at the end of town.

To get to the trailhead, you drive about 10 km from town to the Lake Moogerah Picnic area overlooking the lake. The lake itself isn’t huge, but it’s larger than Lake Perseverance in the Crows Nest National Park, where I was last weekend. It’s beautiful although the noise pollution from jet boats can be heard for kilometres around. Mt Greville rises from the far side of the lake with the Main Range Ramparts behind it.

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At one end of the lake is a dam which must be crossed to get to the trailhead. The dam gives better views of the Main Range and Mt Greville, but also of Mt Edwards and it’s companion, Little Edward.

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The trail climbs at a fairly steep angle from the beginning, initially along a sealed path then up dirt steps with plentiful tree roots for stability. The trail cuts through the trees and gives a sprinkle of sun as you go. About a kilometre in, a family came back the other way, with two young boys and their father wearing sandals.

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The steep steps continue, weaving their way through the trees and up the side of the mountain. Other than the vista of Little Edward it’s difficult to get good views during the climb because of the tree cover, with the occasional view back at the lake.

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The trail pushes onwards without respite at the same steepness as it began. This constant climbing is the hardest thing about this walk, but it certainly gets the sweat flowing.

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Towards the top the trail changes, finally flattening out briefly…

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…before emerging at the summit.

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A trail leads along the top in both directions to different viewing points, all giving pretty much the same amazing views north. It’s a shame trees obscure views in all other direction as I would have liked to have seen better views of the lake or along the Main Range ramparts.

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I hung around at the top for half an hour to dry my shirt and have lunch before heading down again. On the way down, I heard a noise beside the path and stopped to watch a foot long grass snake slither past. It was the cutest thing and must have only been young for its size.

I was back at the van 2 hours after I’d started and after a quick stop at the cafe for an ice block, I was off to the next spot for the day.

Mt French Cliffs – 4km return 

Mount French is used by rock climbers as the cliff faces to the north are good for technical climbs.  The top of Mt French is long and flat with a car park at its summit.

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I walked to Logan Lookout and along the cliff tops for a few minutes admiring the views.

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I wandered back along the other side, where there is a short loop and some views of the Main Range.

20 minutes later I was back at the van and heading off again.

Main Range National Park – Palm Grove – 3.6km
With a couple of hours of sunlight to kill before I nestled down for the evening, I decided to head back out to the Main Range and do one of the short walks I hadn’t previously done. This one skirts the cliffs at the base of Mt Cordeaux.

From the beginning it’s easy to tell you are in the rain forest, as the heat of the day just disappears and it feels rather wintery.

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The walk wasn’t hard but to keep warm I had to walk fairly quickly. There were some short views west from the mountains but most of the walk is along the side of a fairly sheer tree-lined bank under the cover of trees. There are some large specimens here although many have been attacked by strangler figs.

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After an hour I arrived back at the van and headed off to the camping ground to get ready for Mt Greville tomorrow.

The Lone Trail Wanderer.

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