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Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Fri 08 Jul, 2022 7:45 pm
by stegasarahus
I'm new to backpacking but have a fair bit of hiking experience, however minimal navigational experience.

Which of the great walks is your favourite? Or which would you recommend to new backpackers?
Would also be willing to do just a section of some of them if anyone has any recommendations.


Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jul, 2022 1:08 pm
by Aardvark
From my perspective, a walk gets labelled a Great Walk because out of a list of many walks it proves to be one of the most popular (generally in terms of the number of people wanting to do it). Over much time NZ has amassed a list of Great Walks and they are marketed to people as such.
In more recent years Australia has viewed this as something to emulate and certain organisations have gone about selecting a list of places for Great Walks.
In some cases, such as SEQ these Great Walks have not come about as already established routes which were immensely popular (as mentioned above). They have been fabricated or created from a series of routes and completed with maps and markers, to be marketed to us as Great Walks.
Over time no one is going to know the difference or even care for that matter.
Hence, we have the question.."which of these is your favourite?

Firstly, most Great Walks, if not all, require minimal experience with navigation. It is not hard to gather what you need to navigate them from the information available at the start or on-line.
Secondly, what list of Great Walks do you have within SEQ. I believe there are two that are actually called Great Walks. I use that term Great Walks as it is understood to be from a government perspective.
You might be using the term more loosely as those you personally regard as Great Walks.
The Sunshine Coast Great Walk is actually just an amalgamation of what was already existing daywalks.
The Gold Coast Great Walk is similar but had to have track constructed over a large part of it to complete it.

Personally, neither of these walks would ever make my list of Great Walks.
I would suggest for you, stegasarahus that you visit each of the daywalks associated with the Sunshine Coast Great Walk, namely Kondalilla Falls, Gheerulla Falls, Obi Obi Gorge and Mapleton Falls. Perhaps forget the boring bits of road walking in between.
Also, visit Lamington NP and take some of graded tracks within from either BinnaBurra or O'Reillys.

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Sat 09 Jul, 2022 2:34 pm
by sandym
Nice summary, Aardvark. I think some of the Aussie "great walks" are just "great marketing".

However, some may be good places to start long distance walking. What about Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk - that was one I actually thought was pretty decent as you walk a loop so no need for a shuttle and the walk itself is very scenic. Maybe does not qualify as SEQ though?

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Thu 14 Jul, 2022 10:45 pm
by Champion_Munch
I generally agree with the above comments, but will also add that, if the objective is to simply get out and spend a few nights in the bush somewhere, you will probably enjoy yourselves wherever you go. I have done a few of the "great" walks and would consider them pleasant outings and worthwhile doing. Other, perhaps more experienced walkers, may disagree.

Sunshine Coast GW - as Aardvark says, strings together various day walks using dirt roads/residential areas on days 1 and 2. Day 3 and 4 is a large loop through a less accessible (quieter) region with two nice campsites with great views. If you want a remote experience, then you're probably better off looking elsewhere. Having said that, we ended up walking this last year and enjoyed it more than we thought we would. Despite the hordes of day walkers around Kondalilla and Mapleton Falls we only saw one other camper on night 2 and none on night 3.

Gold Coast GW - not done this walk, but as per above, I would just camp at Binna Burra/O'Reilly's/Springbrook (take your pick) and spend a few days exploring the graded tracks, which already visit just about every conceivable accessible feature in the area.

Conondale GW - a more remote experience, but does make use of many old fire trails (though these are not too dull as the rainforest is pleasant). It's mostly pleasant walking through rainforest with a few interesting waterfalls and creeks along the way.

Cooloola GW - I did this last year and it was far more scenic and interesting compared to the above walks. Nice variety of coastal scenery, rainforest, sandblows, a perched lake and the stretch along the Noosa River.

There is also the K'gari/Fraser Island GW which seems to be considered the "best" of the great walks, although I haven't done it.

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2022 10:41 am
by sandym
We did part of the Fraser GW and some of it was nice but, in my mind, there are some issues with that track. It is a point to point and difficult/expensive to get transit from one end to the other (the big reason we did not do the entire thing). The hikers camps are a bit average. Often you are penned in a cage (dingo proof) and the camps tend to be quite overgrown with vegetation as they are not get used.

We camped a couple of times in nearby vehicle based campsites as they were much nicer. The other thing is the track is constantly intersecting different vehicle accessible points and never really feels like you are out in the wilderness.

Agree that Cooloola GW is probably the best of that bunch, but I note that there is a move to build an "eco-lodge" half way through (near that small freshwater lake which I have forgotten the name of).

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Fri 15 Jul, 2022 11:31 am
by CBee
A multiday walk around Moreton Island IMO is again a little more scenic than Cooloola, but it won't feel remote. To me, in SEQ, Girra is the ultimate "easy" great walk. For a touch of challenge, I say Spicer to Teviot.

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Sun 17 Jul, 2022 3:10 pm
by ofuros
Not a 'Great Walk'...but another option. :wink: ... il/walking

Re: Best of the SEQ Great Walks?

PostPosted: Thu 28 Jul, 2022 8:17 am
by stegasarahus
Thanks all for the answers! Really appreciate it.
I'll probably look into the Cooloola, Girraween, and Scenic Rim Trails, thanks for the advice!