It was finally time to ditch Benny and the big beast and take my little beast on her first overnighter! I had “I can’t wait for the weekend to begin” stuck in my head on repeat all week. Finally, Saturday came, I was locked and loaded and on my way to the Scenic Rim to meet fellow explorers. This 24-hour adventure combo WILL beat a Zinger Burger combo any day, especially in a hiker’s world.
In the shadows of the awe-inspiring Darlington Range and set on the banks of Christmas Creek is Stinson Park Campgrounds. This lush campground, with I must say the cleanest public toilets I have ever come across, was home for the night. The distraction of the ridgelines surrounding the campground meant a very quick set up as we could not wait to get up on it and summit Neglected Mountain.
From the campground, we wandered to the end of Gap Creek Road, through the locked gate (that has national park signage attached) and up to what looks like an abandoned homestead. From there, the ascent to the ridgeline begins to the left of the cattle yard. All we knew was that we had to get to the top of the ridgeline and then follow it along until we reached the summit. The word Neglected should not be taken light heartedly! The climb to the ridgeline was steep and through thick tall grass with no foot padding. When on the ridgeline there was indistinct foot padding to the right that lead us to the summit. The 4 hours of steepness and wading through grass was well worth the incredible views of the Scenic Rim that not many people get to experience!
Good food always follows a good hike and there was nothing better than a winters night by the fire smashing down some carbs and stuffing our faces with s’mores. No regrets on the overload either, we were just fuelling the body for Sunday’s exploratory hike. P.S. thank-you to the kind nomad who helped us getting the fire started with his accelerent so that we could over indulge in s’mores.
After having a cosy first night sleep in the Caddy, we were on our way to retrace some of the historic route that Bernard O’Reilly took in 1937 to find the Stinson Plane wreck. It was a challenging 8-hour day of hiking and navigating our way through the remote and rugged section of Lamington National Park. After getting off track a few times we were successful in reaching all four points of interests though which is an amazing achievement considering the terrain. First pit stop was Westray’s grave followed by a 2-hour return rock hop to the isolated Larapinta Falls. Then it was over an hour of serious steep climbing up the plateau to the wreck site and Point Lookout before returning along the same course down along Christmas Creek and back to the trailhead.
The Stinson Trail and Neglected Mountain is recommended for experienced hikers and those with navigational skills. If you want to take on this ultimate combo, I would be more than happy to share some track notes.
This was a great start to what is going to be an unreal winter!
Yours in adventure,