Girraween National Park

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Girraween National Park

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:04 pm

Last week with work being flat out and having an assignment for Uni due I felt that it was an opportune time to take my procrastination to the next level so headed out to Girraween for a long weekend. Now the deadlines loom and I'm paying but it was so worth it :D. Living at around 10m above sea level and being in the subtropics the air is relatively warm and heavy year round with just a brief period of cold days during winter so it's great getting out and spending some time somewhere cold. I think there was only one morning this year when I woke & checked the thermometer and saw that it was at zero degrees, and a total of three days last year where it got that low, so there's nothing like heading inland and up on the Great Divide to 1100m where the air is cool & noticeably thinner, waking up to a decent frost and walking on crisp cool days. I've been hoping for snow every time I go but haven't had any luck yet, maybe next year.

I had a lazy first day, parking the car at Dr Roberts carpark & walking a couple of k's in to Underground Creek to setup camp. Lots of birds about, a couple of wallabies and some dog tracks in the mud on the way and for anyone thinking of heading out there soon the flowers are well under way, wattles, native pea etc. With the rain we've had I'd say it's going to be a spectacular spring for wildflowers. I had my MLD duomid on its second outing and it's ticking all the boxes so far, it's dead easy to pitch and has great internal space for it's weight. I woke up each morning to condensation on the inside of the fly but this is to be expected and wasn't an issue even with the mesh inner.
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Red-necked Wallaby
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Wave Rock at Underground Creek
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Leaving the track and heading up onto the first slabs
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Stealth Bomber
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Underground Creek

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:10 pm

After setting up camp there wasn't much to do but have a walk around and take some photos followed by an early dinner and bed. I thought I'd be lazy and took some uncle bens instant stir fry packet dinners (I think that's what they are called) and it was rubbish to the point of being almost inedible... teach me for taking something without trying it first and the worst part was I had similar things to look forward to for the next two nights!
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Underground Creek
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an aplite dyke behind Underground Creek
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Bald Rock Creek
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Aztec Temple

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:27 pm

I started the next day by exploring the Aztec Temple, big totems, balancing boulders, tors, very cool
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Aztec Temple to Twin Peaks

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:33 pm

I set off from the Aztec Temple and headed to Twin Peaks, following the ridge and keeping an eye out for a likely spot to drop down across to Mallee Ridge. The weather was stunning and by 10am the temperature was about 8 degrees, I wasn't in any hurry and it felt fantastic to be focusing on nothing but my footsteps and the scenery, my brain slowly starting to reset itself. Nowhere in particular turned out to be a good place to make the crossing and after a brief bush bash of about an hour through the scrub where some kookaburras decided to laugh at me as I was hung up by my pack, I climbed up onto Mallee Ridge then across to climb Mt Norman.
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first sight of Mt Norman

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Billy goat Hill with Bald Rock in the background
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Mt Norman

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:43 pm

I failed in my attempt to climb Mt Norman last year as the granite was wet and my boots wouldn't grip at all so it felt good to get past the tricky bit this time and stand on top. Next stop was the pyramids and setting up camp by Bald Rock Creek as the cold and the dark came down. I was hungry after a big day and uncle ben didn't disappoint with his 'special fried rice' that tasted like dirt...
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past the worst bit
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Middle and South Bald Rock from Mt Norman

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The Pyramids
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Time to go back down
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby stepbystep » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:51 pm

Thanks for posting phan_Tom, something about this place, never been there but it seems REALLY familiar...spooky!
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The Pyramids

Postby phan_TOM » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 4:55 pm

Sunday morning I was up early and had a walk along Bald Rock Creek to admire the profusion of flowering wattles followed by a climb up the first Pyramid to sit in the sun and warm up for a while. A crazy lyrebird was making a goose of itself down in the scrub at the base, they make me laugh every time! Not long after I decided it was time to head off on the 3-4 hour drive home I remembered I had an assignment due, that was a terrible feeling but I hadn't thought about it for a few days so it was all good :)
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castle rock
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Someone had a midnight snack!
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby ahmondjai » Sun 11 Aug, 2013 10:35 pm

Amazing place, makes me want to head back every time I see pictures of it, but the other half got bored of tour guiding several times of the great pyramid and probably not ready for Mt. Norman, etc.
Argh........Girraween in winter~~~~~
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby phan_TOM » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 8:16 am

stepbystep wrote:Thanks for posting phan_Tom, something about this place, never been there but it seems REALLY familiar...spooky!

My pleasure sbs. Yeah it's a magic place, it's not a very big park but it's feature packed, there's definitely something about those eroded granite landscapes!
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby phan_TOM » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 8:24 am

ahmondjai wrote:Amazing place, makes me want to head back every time I see pictures of it, but the other half got bored of tour guiding several times of the great pyramid and probably not ready for Mt. Norman, etc.
Argh........Girraween in winter~~~~~


haha don't let the cold stop you, best time of year to get out there! I've only just been and I'm already planning to go back with my girlfriend in a few weeks and spend a few days car camping to enjoy some more of the wildflower displays. Going to be a bumper year for it! You don't have to do Mt Norman either, there's always the sphinx, castle rock and turtle rock on the south side or underground creek and aztec temple on the east etc
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby cams » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 10:02 am

Great report. I can't believe I've never been to Aztec Temple. I'm heading back in early September so I think a walk out there is definitely on the cards.
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby peter-robinson » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 12:56 pm

I've been wanting to get out there. It looks even better than I imagined. Your photos have inspired me to finally go visit. Thanks.
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby phan_TOM » Tue 13 Aug, 2013 2:25 pm

cams wrote:Great report. I can't believe I've never been to Aztec Temple. I'm heading back in early September so I think a walk out there is definitely on the cards.

I did a a similar walk last year cams but I didn't really know about aztec temple and walked through the scrub right past it without knowing haha... I found out about it later so I felt like a bit of a dill :roll: but made sure I had a good look this time and these photos are only a sample, there's heaps more interesting piles of rock there. I'd put the Twin Peaks on your list too if you haven't been, especially the eastern slab, it's pretty amazing.

peter-robinson wrote:I've been wanting to get out there. It looks even better than I imagined. Your photos have inspired me to finally go visit. Thanks.

No worries Peter, here's some more photos from my walk last year if you're keen to have a look -> http://tomgracephoto.wordpress.com/inland/
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby ofuros » Fri 16 Aug, 2013 4:30 pm

Great trip report phan-TOM.
Best time of year for it too. Cool & clear. :wink:
Mountains view are good for my soul...& getting to them is good for my waistline !
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Re: Girraween National Park

Postby phan_TOM » Sat 17 Aug, 2013 9:32 am

Sure is ofuros, so much so that I'm heading back in a couple of weeks for another long weekend :) I'm taking my girlfriend with me and car camping this time, a nice campfire at night, hot showers & not sleeping on the thermarest, luxury!

I first went there in early spring a few years ago when the wildflowers displays were spectacular and the few visits in between were a bit disappointing as they weren't half as good as that first visit. Judging by my most recent trip it's going to be a good year this year and I've just got a new camera that I'm keen to try out, fingers crossed it's all blooming!
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