I’ve never sweated so much in one location and I hadn’t even started to hike yet. Rocked up to Eungella NP Platypus Bushcamp and it’s hard to set the scene, but just picture the most Australia 70’s bush camp site setting you can. This is where I met the most Aussie old codger who straight up joked about the best swimming pool in Queensland he has out the back – which was the creek.
Then we were introduced to his pet cockatoo who greeted us with a Hello and then OI! The coolest thing though was his house was a tree house, no real walls, ricketee bridges between trees and minimal technology – this guy is living the ‘off grid’ life!
"a pet cockatoo greeted us with a Hello and then OI!"
Surrounded by thick forest 1 hour West of Mackay the humidity hits you like a tonne of bricks. But it didn’t matter, everything is so beautiful at Eungella NP (being a doozie of a word it's pronounced Youngella). You drive past sugar cane fields that seem to never end, then you suddenly reach these beautiful big mountains that are covered by an abundance of lush trees. There are a couple of camping options and even cabins for the non campers out there.
My friend and I tackled the beautiful Finch Hatton Gorge hike which has two impressive waterfalls along the way; Araluen waterfall and Wheel of Fire Casacades.
Walking to Araluen waterfall was easy, well defined path that gradually sloped downwards for 1.4kms, then you come to some big boulders that give a natural ‘viewing platform’ of the waterfall. There is a big swimming hole here as well, so it was nice to take a dip and wash of some of the sweat!
Wheel of Fire Cascades is a bit further away, around 2kms from the turn off to Araluen waterfall. Slightly harder as its mainly up the whole way, but would still be manageable for most people. Arriving to the Wheel of Fire Cascades I was expecting it to look a bit red or something, but I soon found out it is named for the Wheel of fire flowers that grow near the waterfall (such a blonde moment!). We were also greeted by a sign that warned ‘men aged between 18 – 30’ to essentially not be idiots and climb the cascades or dive off the rocks. Five men had died since 1976, so the warning message on the sign was quite blunt and harrowing.
As we slid into the water hole we were so surprised how cold it was. The cascades were also so loud and the enormity of them was impressive! The best thing was, we were all alone, we didn’t pass anyone on the walk and had the swimming hole all to ourselves. These moments I love and wouldn’t swap for anything. Not even to be sweat free, I don’t need to look pretty nature has that one covered!
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