Paluma National Park & Running away from the cyclone
Jan 29, 2014
We arrived a Big Crystal Creek and by the time we set up and stoked up the fire left by previous people at the site and a quick walk around shows only one other group and a broken down Ute at the camp ground, the toilets were a bit messy, but to be expected after a full camp over the weekend.
A gent rolled in with a trailer and asked if we could help him load up the broken down Ute, which we did, apparently the driver got spooked by a roo and skidded off the road into a tree, some pretty good damage done.
We were now ready for Happy Hour. Dinner will be a canned meal tonight on the single burner stove and some toast. EASY PEASY.
About 6pm the Backpackers kombi's and Juicy Vans and Maui RVs started to turn up, of course no permits in site. Wish I could do the same thing.
We have no phone, internet or TV so tonight will be a Mrs Browns night. The neighbours can watch out...
The radio is working and we have heard about the possibility of a cyclone so will keep listening.
Up early and off we go on a day trip to Paluma Village and Lake and Dam and Little Crystal Creek and all sorts of little places up in the ranges and into the clouds.
This is quite a high, steep and narrow climb and no way we would have pulled the van without a lot of nervousness. The views were stunning and just unfortunate that is was drizzling for most of the day. Sometimes we had to sit in the car and wait for it to stop enough for us to get out and have a walk to the attractions.
We went all the way to Hidden Valley (a Solar Eco Village/Accommodation) and although we had a lovely chat to a lady there, unless you are staying in the cabins there is nothing there at this time of the year, it is part of a cattle station, so we worked our way back.
We did go out to the Lake as well, lots of very small camp sites and eco long drops but again would be nice in good weather, then stopped at Birthday Creek Falls and did the 1kms round walk to the bottom where there was a swimming hole, but it was not very inviting at this time.
From here we stopped at the Paluma Village, but all the cafes, tea rooms and inns/tavern were closed. So we just went and had a look at McCelland's Lookout which was brilliant, showing a view all the way to Ingham and the coast. Sorry the photos aren't very clear, did not do justice the the view.
Back on the track and now heading to Little Crystal Creek where there is a lovely old bridge (1931) that was built by the unemployed in the depression and for the assistance of the cattle station owners and also the defence forces who wanted to use the area as a lookout. There are several levels of waterfalls and swimming holes and but it was raining heavily when we arrived so we sat in the car until it slowed to a drizzle, then we had a look, and there were quite a few groups of young people enjoying this, were surprised by how many actually were swimming as well. Access is very easy with three lots of steps down to the different areas. Too many people for Steph to brave the water here.
On the way back to our van, we pulled into a spot close to the entry to Big Crystal Creek, where Dave had spotted about 5 cars yesterday, and what a nice surprise, a lovely creek flowing into a fabulous water hole, with easy access and it was about 2 meters deep in spots, so in goes our little hot person, and was she a happy little Vegemite....YES she was....;-)
At Big Crystal Creek there is Paradise Pool and Rock Slides, but as it was about 4pm by now and we had had enough for today. So we will check these tomorrow before leaving or if possible, I hope we stay here again and then move onto Rollingstone on Thursday.
We also want to check the weather on the computer BOM... to see exactly where this cyclone/depression is heading...before making that decision.
In come the the Backpackers again...and a noisy lot this time too..
On waking up, we have a message from National Parks Services advising the NP is closed due the Cyclonic Conditions. So we have to move on. The not yet Cyclone is due to hit between Tully and Townsville..THIS IS EXACTLY WHERE WE HAVE PLANNED TO SPENT THE NEXT FOUR DAYS...
So we pack up and move out by 9am and forgot to check out the pool and rock slides... oh well next time maybe.