Ravensbourne National Park

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Ravensbourne National Park is a small park only a handful of kilometres from Crows Nest National Park.  The weekend I was here it threatened rain, but I still intended to walk as many trails as I could.

Day 1 

Cedar Block Walk
With the threat of rain I headed up to Gus Beutels Lookout.

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Cedar Block is a very short walk through the rain forest and served as a warm up for the day. I guess if I had to write a description, I would say… ‘there are trees and then it ends’. Warmer after the brief walk, I headed down the road to the beginning of the next walk.

Rainforest, Palm Creek and Buaraba Creek Circuits.
While these three circuits are separate hikes, the Buaraba Creek Circuit traverses both of the others before heading off track and into the forest. Off Track, that doesn’t sound like me? Never.

I headed out from the car park along the trail and into the trees. It was not long before I came to the beginning of the rain forest circuit to the right, so I climbed the steps and headed off around it. While it was a nice walk, all those tree-like things really got in the way of any kind of a view. After about 30 minutes I arrived back at the main trail and continued on.

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It was not long before I came to the Palm Creek Circuit. I headed along this trail and guess what? Trees. While I like walking in the forest, I do find it a little boring. I prefer rocky ridges and mountains for the challenges and the views. But often, hidden away in these forests are cool things, like waterfalls, creeks and caves. And that’s what I found at the end of the Palm Creek Circuit, a series of low caves.

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Beyond the caves an ungraded track continued – the Buaraba Creek Circuit. The trail soon turned into a dirt road that headed further into the National Park. The road slowly climbed towards something, although it was hard to tell exactly what. At a crossroads I turned north to another junction, where the path descended steeply towards the creek.

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At the bottom, I took a break.

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On the other side, I climbed a steep rocky hill until it too reached a junction and I headed back downhill. For most of the walk, I had seen Lantana along the side of the track, but here it started to encroach upon the trail. I fought through some of it as I followed a lesser walked track. But after a fair distance – and only a few scratches – I decided I had gone too far and decided to climb down a thin trail towards the creek. Somewhere along the other side of the creek there was a graded track leading back to the other circuits, I just had to find it.

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It was about then that it began to rain – only lightly at first, but slowly gaining momentum. Thankfully I’d brought my jacket and a bag cover. Off trail hiking in the rain is dangerous; rocks and dirt get slippery and I did end up on my arse a couple of times. I worked my way along the creek slowly and carefully, crossing back and forth I eventually came to a grove of palms and soon after the steps I was looking for.

At the top of the steps I found a rocky ridge line. Yay for rocks!

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The graded track continued ahead of me as the rain grew heavier. And what happens when it rains in the rainforest? Mist. The forest took on a whole different and very beautiful appearance.

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In the rain, I quick marched for about three kilometres back to the car park and dry clothing. Then I was off to the caravan park for the night and a hot shower.

Day 2

Mt Perseverance Circuit
Today it was back to the usual beautiful Queensland weather with no signs of rain.  While yesterday I did the official trails, today I am going to do a trail only found in the book: Take a walk in SE Queensland.

Because it’s not an official hike, finding the Mt Perseverance Circuit became the biggest issue of the day and the entrance is not clearly marked. After driving along gravel roads for a while, I did eventually find it.  It’s near Lot 20. Ignore the old ‘keep out’ sign which near it as it relates to the paddock next to it.

The trail for the entire hike is a wide dirt track and is an easy grade through the rainforest for 7.5km.

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About half way in, the dirt road climbs to Mt Perseverance. It’s not a hard climb and at the end there is a fire tower, but it’s a little anti-climactic as the tower is fenced off and the views are pretty sparse. I stopped for a break before continuing with the circuit. After another 45 minutes I returned to my van.  Over, a good stroll, but not a very exciting walk.

The Lone Trail Wanderer.

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