Saturday 12 May: Finch Hatton Gorge reveals its Wheels of Fire

Author: Mrs A

Location: Finch Hatton Gorge

An early morning cycle was in order, so we jumped on our bikes for an explore. It was another blue-sky day as we pedalled out of the showground. The air was fresh and cool (for Queensland) – around 16 degrees centigrade as we set off, but soon warming up.

We are in sugar cane growing country, and the valley is full of small farms, gentle rolling hills and river crossings. All around us, the peaks of Eungella National Park make for a spectacular backdrop, taking our breath away with every corner turned.

It was just a short 9km ride, concluding with a wade across the knee deep and quickly flowing Cattle Creek behind the showground, returning us to Finch Hatton for breakfast.

Once again, Miss Tassie felt adventurous and set off with me in tow for a walk around the farm equipment and empty bull cages – so many enticing smells and interesting nooks and crannies for her to explore.After she’d had her exercise and adventure, it was our turn again, jumping into the car for a short 20 minute drive up into Finch Hatton Gorge itself.

We set off through the rainforest on our hike up to the Wheels of Fire waterfall, named after the spectacular blooms of the trees surrounding the falls, not the falls themselves. It was an uphill hike, and so we were quite warm by the time we arrived (though Mr A’s feet were cool after having slipped into the creek rather than balance over the stepping stones!). We decided to jump in for a swim – whew! It was icy cold – you certainly knew you were alive!We hiked back down and finished off with a diversion to Araluen Falls, recognising them from a hike on our honeymoon. Still warming up after our initial swim we decided not to jump into these.We drove back via a local organic cafe for a late lunch – delicious food, if very slow service…we were ready to eat our own arms off by the time it arrived – just over 5km under our belts, but 25 floors of climbing!We drove back the scenic route, returning to camp for a relaxing afternoon, fresh tagliatelle with bolognaise and a couple of glasses of Shiraz. A fine end to a great day.

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