Saturday, 9 April 2016

Cedar Creek

Cedar Creek is the main feature of a tiny eponymous semi-rural locality hidden behind Samford Village on the southern outskirts of Moreton Bay Region. The creek itself is fed by a few smaller brooks that flow down from headwaters on the eastern side of the Mount Glorious Range. One anabranch starts above Greenes Falls in Maiala, and another one starts near residences in Mount Glorious Village. 

The main tributary called Love Creek has its source on Tenison Woods Mountain. It flows and falls down some steep narrow and winding banks before becoming Cedar Creek down in the foothills. The creek joins the South Pine River farther downstream.

Down in the lower flatter sections in the valley, Cedar Creek is lined with boulders within its confines. These channels are hewn shaped and sculpted by the power of raging water. Flashfloods come crashing down from the range in a storm or heavy rain. Even just the trickling down of water, one drop at a time in a dry spell, contributes to the formation of these gorges.

Cedar Creek has plenty of natural swimming holes and rock pools, sparkling cascades and waterfalls. Then there’s the pristine lush rainforest with magnificent natural vegetation & wildlife.

The creek beds are in steep rocky gorges with often no easy way around the cliff sections and waterfalls.

The upper sections of the creek deep in the thick rainforest can be difficult to explore. Vegetation including thick lantana provide quite a challenge to negotiate.

Depending on immediate recent rainfall, the creek may be raging flowing and cascading, or merely trickling down the falls.
The best time to see the waterfalls in Cedar Creek is after some significant rain. However, exploring the creek, let alone the full creek system up to Mt Glorious, is a challenging activity and should only be attempted by those with sufficient off-track bush experience and navigation skills.
Tracking through these a-ways is definitely not for the faint hearted. If you go, do take extra precaution and never go beyond your capabilities.

In the narrow parts of the creek where the rainforest plants compete for sunlight, the brightest summer’s day turns into a dark and gloomy eerie zone. Tall trees stretch their crowns creating overlapping leafy shades that cover everything below. Some other plants such as fern and orchids and mistletoes find a squat on the high branches to reach light. Vines twist their way up. Those plants consigned to the forest floor pile up their leaves, while saplings bide their time for a tall poppy tree to fall. All these and more, the quick-growing scrub and other creek flora, create an impassable natural barrier.

The top of Greene's Falls from the viewing platform accessed from Maiala.

Exploring the Cedar Creek involves a lot of rock hopping, clambering and difficult scrambling. There are certain traps set by the creek along its route.
In every beautiful pool sits an inviting siren. Listen to the song of the siren but beware of what may lurk in the apparent tranquillity of the crystal clear waters. Some swift moving current can knock you off your feet and force you to crash against some rocks.
Other obstacles include deep pools, fallen trees sometimes in impenetrable piles, wet slippery or moss-covered rocks and logs, thick thorny vegetation and lantana, mountainous boulders and steep and high sometimes vertical rock wall climbs, or a tangled mess of logs and rocks.

 Sometimes in the aftermath of a severe summer storm or cyclone, there is no path in the creek.
During a storm, raging floodwaters with fresh loads of boulders trees and debris will sweep all before them down to the sea, or at least down to South Pine River.
So the old road may have been obliterated or covered or totally altered, as the creek cleared the slate or shifted its shape and scoured out a new channel.

Climbing upstream may be achievable, but descending is way trickier and riskier.
Try keeping to a path of least resistance, which is often easier to say than see or do.

In the creek, I took one thousand photos, or two. And although each and every picture paints its thousand words, not a single one truly shows anything. No photograph can capture what only the eyes can see.
Indeed “If eyes were meant for seeing… then beauty is no excuse for - a selfie.” Yes you can take a selfie too, or two, but you have to go there first, and do stand clear of the edge of the cliff.
Those who have explored Cedar Creek claim to have experienced the special moments of being awestruck at the wonders of nature. Others say they have discovered heaven right here off the beaten trail, in nature’s nooks of Cedar Creek.

So be alert for the ever present danger posed by that hazardous trio of slips trips and falls. But slip on your shoes, go on a trip, and see the falls. You won’t regret it.