Well our training was interrupted by Cyclone Debbie who wreaked havoc on the whole Whitsunday/ Mackay area so we have been unable to finish the walk because the trail was closed. We are still unsure if is open but we are heading down to check it out, so fingers crossed.
We wanted to get on trail early and Crediton Hall was four hours from home, so we decided to leave on Saturday night and drive to Crediton Hall. It would mean we would arrive after dark and have to set up camp in the dark with the only light coming from our new headlamps. So on arrival, we donned our headlamps and proceeded to set up the tent, from whoa to go in less than 15minutes. The tent went up easy and effortlessly. For ease of erecting the tent , David’s hours of research has paid of.
We worked out that it was about 26km to Denham Range campsite and the brochure indicated that it was a challenging track with long difficult descend , so we wanted to give ourselves plenty of time. Well it was challenging made worse by the track being damaged by the cyclone .
The day started with us unable to find the trailhead, we left Crediton Hall, followed a farm road until the road finished with a gate with a huge bull on the other side. Neither David or I wanted to take on the bull so we hunted around to see where else the trail could be. We had been warned that the trail had been quiet effected by the cyclone and only rudimentary maintenance had been done. After a few false starts we eventually found the trail hidden by a few fallen trees and obscured by other cyclone debris. The morning was slow going numerous times David had to scout ahead to find the trail.
Although cyclone damage was very evident the bushland was still very beautiful. Going was slow with a few exciting adventures climbing over and around build up of trees, and rubble, including having to climb over a huge fallen tree which came up to waist height.
Lunchtime found us on a forrestry track rather than the small walking track we had been following. We stopped and laid out my new Matador ground sheet (love this product perfect for on trail lunch breaks). I sat down and took of my shoes and gaiters, both were full of blood and little fat leeches, it was a bit confronting. They certainly had a good feed then had fallen off, it was a bit yucky but a quick rinse and all ok. Will have to watch.
What was suppose to be a 25km hike ended up closer to 30km and very slow going. Don’t know where we went wrong but it was starting to get dark and we were both getting a little worried, when we stumbled upon the camp site.We were both spent. The last 5-6 km of trail was actually a four wheel drive track which sounds easy but the track was up and down like a roller coaster ride and we both had aching feet. However the trail rewarded our perseverance with an amazing campsite. Perched on the top of a mountain, looking out over the Denham ranges. We pitched the tent near the edge and made dinner by headlight. I know this sounds silly because this is really only our first camping/hiking adventure but I truly believe this is who I am meant to be, this is where I’m meant to be.
Broken River - Crediton Hall (24 km)
Total kilometres walked on this trail: 46km
Accumulated kilometres walked:
The weather gods have smiled on us again today with it being a little cooler, we quickly covered the kilometres between Eungella and Broken . The same leg we did a few weeks ago, this time rather than heading back we were continuing on to Crediton Hall . We stopped in at Broken River Mountain Resort to to ask for direction to the trail head, it looked really lovely. We should make time to come back and stay. From the resort its a easy meander down to the trail head through the Broken River camp site. What proceeded was a beautiful river walk along Broken River a few rock scrambles and some steep stair inclines and declines. Had lunch sitting on the stair case looking down into the river. The trail turned away from the river and broke out of the bush land with the last 2-3km over farmland and finally onto a dirt road into the Crediton Hall camp site.
The campsite is a old community hall with big grounds we were delighted to have it all to ourselves, composting toilets and fresh water with the fee being only $10.
Had a “yummy” dinner of noodles, sun dried tomatoes and chicken. Still trying to come to grips with the Jetboil love our titanium spoons Other things we are testing out include Dr Bronners Castile Soap
We have all the details of our gear on our info site Midlife Checkup
FROM: Eungella TO: Broken River return 22km kms
Total kms walked on this walk : 22
Accumulated kms walked:
Wow how lucky are we to have such a beauty as The Mackay Hinterland Great Walk in our own back yard.
We decided we really needed to give our gear a good work out, so started to look around for a local multi day hike and stumbled upon the Mackay Hinterland Great walk. So here we are at Eungella ready to take on the first leg.
Although this hike is only 58km long and doable in 4 days, we will be doing one leg every weekend for the next couple of weekends. This way we don’t have to take anytime of work, but it will mean we will need to back track to get back to our car each time we go out, so we should end up walking about 110km.
Today’s walk is an easy 10km one way so for us it will be a 20km day.
We started the day at Eungella National Park a beautiful rainforest walk with amazing views over the pioneer valley and lots of huge tree ferns and some ancient cedar trees ( I think). Had lunch sitting on the banks of Broken River, surprisingly we didn’t see many people., the walk had no big climbs and the track was well defined so we made great time. On the way back we where speeding along with the promise of drinks at the Eungella Chalet before heading home.
Our packs felt great, lots of gratitude to The Spunky Rooster and all his research our Aarn Bodypacks take all the pressure of your knees which will be very handy with the inclines and declines in New Zealand. See Spunky Roosters review of Aarn Backpacks at Midlife Checkup
It’s amazing how much more confident I feel from this short trip. I know the trail is going to be a lot harder, but the more I train with my pack the better I feel.
The scenery today really was spectacular from the beautiful rainforest, to the amazing panoramic views over the Pioneer valley to the changeable walk along Broken River. As I said at the start we really are blessed to have this at our door step.
LOCATION: Near Mackay , North Queensland.
DISTANCE: 56km.4/5 days
DESCRIPTION: a moderate walk through , rainforest, towering trees, dense palm groves, and dramatic cliffs, peaks and deep valleys.
“The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” --John Pierpont
Well this is where the 'rubber hits the road' so to speak. Training for our new adventure starts in earnest next weekend with us tackling The Mackay Hinterland Great Walk. Due to time restraints, we will section hike the trail. This will be a good trial of all our gear.