Some people live in the shadows of mountains their whole lives, without ever attempting to explore them. They take their majestic beauty for granted, chatting with the tourists who visit the region specifically to hike through their beauty, but never feeling the pull to climb it themselves.
Not so for best friend and favourite hiking buddy. When we first started exploring the ranges around Brisbane she promised to take me to her fathers home town to climb Mt Walsh. Her family is lucky enough to own a cabin on a secluded 300 acre property in the region, so we even got to explore it in style with a campfire, hot shower and comfy bed waiting for us at the end!
One of my favourite things about hiking is rock scrambling, when I find a mountain that combines the two I am in my own version of paradise
A late arrival the night before meant we decided to enjoy a bit of a sleep in on Saturday morning and watched the sunrise from our bed instead of the summit as we had originally planned! After a leisurely breakfast we finally got dressed and set off toward Mt Walsh National Park.
As we follow the signs towards Biggenden the Range becomes visible to our left and I begin to get excited. At 681 meters elevation its not that high compared to some of the other mountains I've done recently, but the rocky face near the top entices with its promise of scrambles and free climbs.
With the rainy season past the grass is long and dry and the breeze cool as we begin the trek in. Leaving the car park the well defined path passes over the creek bed and meanders gracefully around the base of the mountain through scrub and bush land
It doesn’t take long to reach a decent elevation and about half way in we come across a huge boulder, just perfect to climb on for a rest to catch our breath and look at the view back across the valley to Mount Woowoonga.
At the 2/3 mark the paths gives way to a rocky slope, although we found it easy to walk up in our approach shoes but I can see how it may be slippery during the wet season.
Once you get over this point if you leave the trail and climb out on the larger cliffs to the left you have amazing views to the east.
From here the path up is a nice mix of smaller scrambles and it doesn't take long to reach the summit.
From the moment I first glimpsed the summit I was in heaven, huge boulders are scattered around as though in an art installation and the views from every side are breathtaking.
One of my favourite parts about hiking with my best friend is that there is no rush to be anywhere other then where we are right now. We always take time to sit and meditate, appreciative of where we are and what we have accomplished.
Instead of going back down the tourist track we decided to traverse the gully and make our way across to the second peak via the ridge. We climbed back down to the base of the rocks face and followed the line downwards. As there is no track the growth is wild and the spiders webs prolific. Eventually we reached the creek we had passed on our way in and with a quick check of our watches, decided if we wanted to make the pub lunch in Biggenden we had better start heading back down!
The creek was cool, relatively spider free, and made the perfect rock hopping path to take us back to the cars.
We finished the day in the beer garden of the Grand Hotel in Biggenden (who were lovely about making me a huge vegan salad!) before a quick walk out to Utopia Falls to explore future swimming spots.
“Lost is a state of mind, I prefer to think of it as exploring” - Lia Skye
What to Expect
A lovely clear trail, amazing views and a little bit of mandatory scrambling (or a lot of extra scrambling if you want to go exploring around the edges if that's what your after!)
Although not overly long or difficult a medium level of general fitness is required, especially for the last rocky section.
How to get there
Put National Park Rd into your GPS and follow the signs to Mt Walsh Picnic Area and car park or click here for Google Maps
Water – Minimum 2L as there is no where to fill up while you're up there.
Gaiters are a must for any off trail hike but they would of been useful here even on track du to the large number of weeds ready to stick in your pants and socks as the slightest provocation!
As this was a shorter hike and we had already had breakfast before we left and were having lunch after I just took my standard arsenal of Primal Vegan Jerky and Clif Bars.
As always make sure to take all your rubbish and packaging with you!
Further Reading (for all the technical deets)
You can read more about Mount Walsby clicking here