Sunday, 3 November 2019

Main Range National Park

There are precious few places on Earth that still contain many plants and animals that remain relatively unchanged from their ancestors from 55 to 180 million years ago. Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area contains remnants of the great rainforests that once covered the continent. These rainforests represent the major stages of the Earth's evolutionary history and the ongoing geological processes. They contain the most important and significant habitats where threatened species still survive.
One such UNESCO World Heritage Area is the Main Range National Park in Queensland. To help celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Queensland side of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia this year 2019, I visited the Main Range for a couple of days of bushwalking through landscapes that took millions of years in the making.
The Mistake mountain range sits on the north end of Main Range.

Main Range National Park is a landscape of rugged mountain ranges and ancient peaks, dramatic escarpments with spectacular lookouts, and slopes and valleys covered in thick forests. The park is inhabited by unique wildlife including common and rare or threatened species of significant flora and fauna. The walking trails traverse the lush subtropical rainforests, open eucalypts and vibrant mountain heathlands. The views from the popular lookouts are indeed spectacular and breath-taking, but it is another experience altogether navigating steep climbs, rocky outcrops, dense forests and rugged cliffs to reach the secluded mountain nooks of the park.
Main Range is one of the largest national parks in South East Queensland. It extends from the Mount Mistake range in the north to Wilsons Peak in the New South Wales border on the south.

Queen Mary Falls is one of the notable waterfalls in the park.

Rocky outcrops are features of the mountainsides. Most of the Main Range mountains are composed of trachyte and rhyolite or basalt rocks of volcanic origin which have formed into sharp peaks or domes.
Holey rocks adorn the Mount Mitchell track.

And Mount Mitchell is spectacular whether in full sunshine or covered in mist-shadow. The high-altitude rainforests (cloud-forests) of the Main Range receive their moisture from fog-drip.
Magnificent specimens of trees are aplenty on the Box Forest track.

The Main Range area is one of the best places on earth to see Araucaria such as Hoop Pines and ancient ferns.

Box trees (Lophostemon confertus- bottom right) predominate on the Box Forest track.

Jumpin' Jack (not) on Mount Cordeaux track.

Mount Mitchell track

Palm Grove track

Rainforest track
Some of the birds-
Brown Cuckoo

Green Catbird

Albert’s Lyrebird

Logrunners, no not the avian kind.

Mount Mitchell from the Rainforest circuit

Mount Mitchell track

Mount Mitchell in cloud from Palm Grove track
Palm Grove track

Rainforest track

Box Forest track

Queen Mary Falls exhibiting its trachyte cliff face typical of the Main Range escarpments.

The Ramparts is the main feature of the eastern escarpment. View from Morgans lookout

Mount Cordeaux

Mount Cordeaux track

Bare Rock track

The Ramparts from Bare Rock.

Mount Maroon and Mount Moon from Bare Rock

The west peak and east peak of Mount Mitchell.

Lake Moogerah flanked on the north (left) by Mount Greville and Mount Edwards, and on the south (right) by Mount Moon and Mount Alford. The Cunningham Highway and Mount Mathieson are at bottom.

Mount Mitchell trail.

The Ramparts

Mount Greville, Lake Moogerah and Morgans Lookout

Looking southeast from Bare Rock towards Morgans Lookout and the peaks (Moon, Toowoonan and Maroon) in the direction of Rathdowney.

Looking north to the Mount Mistake range from Bare Rock.

From Mount Cordeaux overlooking the Fassifern Valley

Mount Barney in the far left and around to Mount Mitchell at right.

Looking the other way, from Mount Mitchell looking at Mount Cordeaux.
Mount Mistake is at mid-left and Mount Castle at the end of the range at right.

Mount Moon (at far left) to Mount Barney and the McPherson Range.

Mount Ballow (left) and around to Mount Bell, Lizard Point, Mount Roberts, Mount Huntley just shielding Mount Superbus (highest mountain in Southeast Queensland), and Spicers Peak (rightmost). These peaks along with Cooyinnirra (Mount Mitchell) and Niamboyoo (Mount Cordeaux), are some of the dominant peaks of The Great Dividing Range.

Lake Moogerah

The Ramparts

The northern end of Main Range as viewed from Cunningham’s Crest.

View from Carrs Lookout - the southern end of Main Range is landmarked by Wilson’s Peak.
Mount Superbus is on the left.

South of Main Range is Mount Barney National Park.