Visitors to the hinterland are invited to take a short train trip and walk through the townships of Palmwoods and Woombye, which are located just down the range about 10km drive from Montville.
Walkers are invited to begin the one-hour adventure at the Woombye Railway Station on Barts St, which includes great car parking.
For $5, purchase a single station train trip to Palmwoods, before exiting the station and a short walk to Chevallum Rd and the rainforest walk in Kolora Park (also known colloquially as the Ducks Ponds).
Kolara Park is home to various bird life, a nice rotunda, playground for children and some history boards to read. There’s also a water fountain and toilet blocks.
From here, watch out for traffic to cross over Woombye-Montville Rd to Koorawatha Lane. This is where a well-paved 5km path begins – walkers on this route burn some 500 calories and can get their step count up to about 10,000.
There’s plenty of bird life in the tree canopies, so keen photographers should have their camera handy to capture the colourful array of parrots feasting on the native trees, some more than 100 years old. Check for information plaques mounted on rocks at the foot of some of the huge trees.
Walkers then come to crossings over Holly Green Crescent and Tarong St, as the pathway continues heading up a slight incline. The pathway is ideal for those looking for a brisk walk for fitness, but also for those keen for a quiet leisurely relaxing stroll.
Just on the right is Cittamani Hospice, which provides compassionate palliative care.
Further along the leafy pathway, after crossing Colsak Close, is Brady’s Fruit Stall on the right. It’s a popular spot for buying fruit and vegetables, or a quick drink or a fresh snack.
The next street along the walk is Abbotts Rd, followed by Sir Francis Nicklin Park, a historic park named in honour of a former Queensland Premier. It’s also handy for a toilet break or a sit down, or, for the children, some timeout playing on the playground equipment.
Next along the walk is Woombye War Cemetery with Commonwealth War Graves and considerable local history. Beside it is the Woombye Cemetery, established in 1889, and the final resting place of the pioneers of Woombye Cobbs Camp. It is well worth a wonder through the grave sites, pausing to read the headstones, many more than 100 years old, to give an insight of challenges of pioneering life in the area.
The walk up Woombye-Palmwoods Rd now gets a little steeper as the walker passes a majestic stand of pine trees on the left, before getting a first glimpse of the green valley and ranges of the Woombye hinterland. Walkers can’t miss the huge water storage tank that holds some six-million litres and feeds many of the homes in the local area.
As you pass the water tower and cross Taintons Rd, get the camera ready again for a perfect panorama shot of the lush green valley below, and toward Montville and Mapleton in the ranges beyond.
Walkers have the option here to walk down Taintons Road and back to Woombye, however it is steep and there is no walking path, so it’s advisable to stay on Woombye-Palmwoods Rd toward Pine Grove Road for an easier downhill walk back towards the starting point at Woombye.
Under the mango trees, past the stag and elk horn-infested tree, and 130-year-old Cobbs Cottage at Woombye State School, and you are now on the old Cobb & Co route used in years gone by to journey to the Gympie gold fields. Woombye was once called Cobb’s Camp, and was roughly the halfway point between Brisbane and Gympie.
As the path dips under the tallest gums, you’ll see an alternative path back to the village through a new estate built on the original pineapple farmland of the past era.
Further along Pine Grove Rd, walkers will arrive at The Pioneer Woman Statue (known to the locals as the Goddess Of Woombye). The accompanied plaque pays tribute to the early settlers of 1877. There is a time capsule here as well as a brass orientation map of the area.
Following the path, walk past a life-size fibreglass white stallion at a local paint store, and you turn onto Blackall St.
As walkers make their way back into Woombye township, they pass more impressive stag and elk horns and close in on the local convenience store, gift shops, newsagent, and what locals regard as the best coffee houses on the Sunshine Coast.
On the left is historic St Margaret’s Anglican Church. Across the road, on Hill St, is the Woombye School of Arts Hall. Nearby are Woombye Bowls Club and further down the road the historic Woombye Hotel.
My suggestion is to catch the 6.57am train on Saturday, but the timetable also includes trains at 6.13am, 7.43am, 9.13am, 10.43am, 12.13pm, 1.43pm, 3.13pm and 4.43pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
The walk does include a number of road crossings so please be sure to take extra care to look out for traffic and cross safely. It’s also possible to take the walk on its own, without the train ride, but that would require the walkers also making the return trip.
Article written by Wayne Knetter and published in June/July Edition of Come on Up