Friday 6 April: With the sunshine comes hiking

Author: Mrs A

Location: Maleny and Landsborough, Queensland. Distance hiked: 10km

Finally we opened the blinds this morning and saw blue sky and sunshine beaming through fluffy white clouds, such a relief after several days of grey gloom and rain. We excitedly pulled on our hiking shoes and drove a short way to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

This is a significant part of the just 1% remaining rainforest between here and Gladstone, donated in the 1960s by the Cairncross family in memory of their mother. It’s run by Sunshine Coast Council and funded largely by donations. There is an excellent information centre, lecture theatres, a café and viewing platform looking across the Glass House Mountains.After checking out the views, we followed a walking trail through the rainforest. Many of the trees are centuries old, with ancient creepers climbing up to the canopy. The birdlife is prolific but very hard to see – mostly up high consuming the rainforest’s riches in fruits and seeds. The scenery is so rich in new sights, with rare trees on every corner, and twisting undergrowth. This rainforest is home to many furry creatures too – we saw flying foxes (fruit bats), and hidden away there are also pademelons (little wallabies), sugar gliders (flying possums), snakes, lizards and more.Finally our walk came to an end, so we returned to the Maleny Showgrounds, hitched up the caravan and moved just 17 minutes drive down the road to Landsborough. We’d booked this site a while ago, when we noticed it would be Easter holidays when we were in the area. We pulled in realising the campsite is actually nowhere near the actual village of Landsborough, and at the top of a very steep and busy road. Ah – so no cycling from camp down to the local pub from here then. Ah well. In its favour, we are fairly centrally located, and it was just a 20 minute drive from another walk we were keen to do, down in the Glass House Mountains themselves.This was the circuit walk around Mount Tibrogargan, one of the hikes recommended by our friend Karel, who’s house we stayed at last weekend. It’s not a challenging walk, with some great views around the way and only some short climbing. We tacked on another trail, the Trachyte Circuit onto our walk at the end to extend the distance and experience.The walk took us through casuarina groves, past giant eucalypts and through melaleuca forest. Dwarf and yellow candle banksia flowers accompanied our journey, along with the odd frog brought out by the wet weather.

We mostly stayed dry, but a heavy shower hit us just as we reached our final lookout, making for a dramatic viewpoint and a nice cool down before we hiked our final kilometres back to the car.Back at the mobile apartment, showers were definitely welcomed, before cooking up a fasting-day Friday dinner of vegetarian red curry followed by fruit, with some more Netflix to entertain us – a couple of episodes of Jack Taylor this evening (thanks Mr Ward for the recommendation!).

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