Almost every day I would mutter “I hate this place” when I was living in Moranbah and I will never completely understand why. The surrounding area is an adventure playground!! Perhaps it was because I was yet to discover my inner adventurer.
Anyhow, this week, the third week in to our advanture around Australia, we are back in Moranbah exploring its underestimated ‘backyard’ which surprisingly does NOT consist of mines, mines and well, more mines.
In between Moranbah, Dysart and Clermont there is a chain of prominent volcanic plugs protruding high above the flat landscape known as the Peak Range National Park.
Please note that the mountains in the National Park are remote with no defined walking trails so be very prepared with an appropriate first aid kit, at least 4-5 litres of water and advise a family or friend where you are going. Basic navigational skills are required as well as a good level of fitness and confidence! There is a lot of loose rock with steep scrambles in sections.
First off the rank, Wolfang Peak.
Rising 572m above sea level and boasting 360-degree views of the Central Queensland outback and surrounding mountains, Wolfang Peak is the most popular mountain within the National Park. We spent a few hours on the mountain exploring the many cave systems, dodging the hundreds of spiders and attempting to take alternative free climbing routes to the summit (which was unsuccessful and may have ended in tears haha!).
There is no defined track, so this hike is basically a ‘choose your own adventure’ challenge. However, you will you know you are “on track” if you stumble across some pink ribbon!
Hot tip: Park on the dirt side-road adjacent to the mountain off the Peak Downs Highway and walk across the paddock to the foothills making sure to stick to the left! Once at the base of the peak continue around to the Eastern side to a rock slab ascending the mountain. By now you should have found the pink ribbon! If not, start scrambling up the slab until the base of the cliff faces, from here start walking slightly to the right and up around to the summit.
Total distance: 2.5KM // Elevation Gain: 126m
Another day, another mountain!
I will always remember the Saturday morning footy road trips with my family along the Peak Downs Highway, gazing out the window at these peaks and the anxious wait of who spots and shouts “I SEE THE DINOSAUR HEAD” first as we drove past the Gemini Peaks, in particular Mt Castor. The Gemini Peaks, Mt Pollux and Mt Castor, are two of the lesser climbed mountains in the National Park but again can be easily accessed from the Peak Downs Highway.
At the crack of dawn, we arrived at the foothills of Mt Pollux. With the clouds rolling in we knew it would be a race against the clock to find our way up and down before a downpour. Like Wolfang, Mt Pollux is a ‘choose your own adventure’ challenge.
The best route to reach the summit is to ascend on the right side (the side closest to the road) and continue scrambling along the ridgeline. Although no markers it is very straightforward with a few false summits to keep you guessing! Mt Pollux is also littered with caves but not as many spiders, thank god! It was so easy to spend a few hours wandering and scrambling along the ridgeline and exploring the caves, so plenty of food and water is a must!! P.S. We won the race 😉
Total distance from the highway: 7.5KM // Elevation Gain: 209m