Hinterland Tourism President Angus Richard shares his knowledge on the best walks in the Hinterland.
One of the major attractions of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland is the profusion and quality of its walks. Having completed seven years as an Information Centre volunteer in the early days I can attest to the interest from visitors in the variety of walks this region has to offer. Some 60% of enquires through the Information Centres were about the walks. Visitors just wanted a map, some directions and into it!
It is all very professional now but in the early days of the Montville Information Centre I confess that some of the walks I had never done. However my creative description of such ‘unexperienced’ walks was almost Shakespearian in its imaginative depths. I would wax lyrical about glades, dappled sunlight and gentle waterfalls and send the visitor bubbling with excitement on their way.
Surprisingly no one ever came back to complain that there was no moss encrusted stream or nymphs draped in flimsy veils cavorting in some ferny grove. I reasoned that my fanciful descriptions might just have been unexpectedly fulfilled (because the area is pretty special) or the visitors I had inspired were kicking themselves in in the belief that they had taken “a wrong turn” and so missed the highlights I had created!
Over the years I somewhat redeemed myself and have walked most of the menu the Hinterland has to offer. Sadly however the nymphs remain elusive.
Churchill enjoyed walking. He did it to combat the stress that wartime leadership generated. Someone suggested to him that golf would deliver similar relaxation to which he famously responded that “golf is a good walk spoilt!”
Let me share with you four of my favourite walks but before you rush off, some common sense advice about walking in the Hinterland:
1. Carry water with you, wear a hat, and take a rain coat and wear good walking shoes. It blows me away when I see a young couple embarking on an 11km hike in thongs, no warm clothes or food and carrying a Coke bottle….true!
2. Ensure you have enough time to finish before dark. We had a young single lady from Manchester embark on a half day walk at 3pm. No water, no warm clothing and her mobile phone battery was low. Night fell and it is VERY dark in a rainforest. She was lost but managed to call us which was lucky in that in many areas of the walks there is no phone coverage. We ended up getting the police and instructed her to follow the path in the direction of their vehicle sirens.
(The greatest excitement after the sirens went off was the fleeing procession of battered Ute’s that departed the forest at speed in every direction with strange crops in pots in the back! We retrieved the young lady successfully but it could have been a cold and frightening night for her. So make the time to finish your walk in daylight.)
3. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. If you don’t show on schedule your family may be delighted if your will is in their favour or they may raise the alarm. It’s a sensible precaution and particularly if you plan to walk some of the more remote tracks.
4. Don’t climb the Glass House Mountains unless you REALLY know what you are doing or you will fall off which is messy. Always check at the Glass House Mountains information centre for track conditions and the degree of difficulty of the walk you may be thinking about. State Emergency Services are forever picking up bits of overconfident climbers. Don’t become a statistic. There are great walks around the base to be safely enjoyed.
5. No dogs are allowed in the National Parks and on the walks described.