Hiking in Australia

Hiking in Australia

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Hiking in Qld Australia

Peter H Bloecker

Peter H BloeckerApr 18, 2020·6 min read

Why do people like to go hiking? Carry a rucksack and a long drive to get to the mountains, then an even longer exhausting walk just to look down from the top? Cannot be! Too much! I have told people about my hiking experiences in Germany and Norway, South Africa, New Zealand and finally in Queensland Australia, where some majestic and hardly known mountains exist, the names of which some people in Brisbane or at the Gold Coast have never heard of!

Mount Maroon? No idea, never heard this name! Beaudesert? Where in Queensland is that? Never heard this name! And why go there? What do you do there? There is nothing to do or see at all …

Hmmmm, of course I do not want everybody to go there and check the trails out, however today I wish to write about one of the most exhausting hikes I have ever done! One of the most challenging hiking experiences of my entire life!

I am not a very experienced and well trained hiker, however throughout my life I went hiking again and again, mostly because I had the time and felt like doing so. When in New Zealand for nearly 5 months in 1994 — not working at all, just camping and looking around the North and the South Island of NZ with my first wife and my two children, aged 15 and 16, who should have been in school then, as they did not have any school holidays for so long, we did a lot of hiking, because this is what you do in the beautiful places and National Parks of New Zealand. I will come to these experiences in another article.

My Brisbane based friend Marcel is a very experienced climber and hiker, and when he suggested to climb Mount Maroon at the QLD and NSW border, I got most excited! I could not imagine from my city life in Brisbane, that during a one day drive and hike we would be back on the same day at home. So of couse I agreed, and we arranged to start the day around 4 am to drive there and then do the hike, back in the evening to finish the day with a good bottle of Red near the University of Brisbane UQ.

We arrived after a two hour drive from Brissie and reached the car park at Mount Maroon around 6 am, early enough to see His Majesty in the mornig sun, surrounded by fog. A view I will never forget …I felt like saying good morning to GOD himself.

And all this in the backyard of Brisbane, only two hours away from our house! A completely different world, coming from a 2 million city! I could not trust my eyes!

Photo: Peter H Bloecker
Photo: Peter H Bloecker

Having mentioned my friend Marcel: Without him I would never have found, lest known this beautiful area! And I would not have dared to walk and climb to the top without any experiences nor training before. But my friend was confident, and to underline this, he was carrying a real rope around his shoulder in case we would get into trouble …

And into trouble we got, sure enough! After a few bends up Mount Maroon the track kind of ended, we had to really climb over some rocks! Not too bad, though, and a man cannot give up after 60 or 120 minutes, can he?

Marcel ahead — Photo Peter H Bloecker

Well, we moved on and on, and in between the track was pretty normal and not too challenging, so after a few hours we were so close to the top, that an early return was liking giving up. And this is what you do, when you approach the top of the mountain: You keep walking on!

Photo: Peter H Bloecker

However when we had nearly arrived at our destination, some clouds had gathered out of the blue, and Marcel suggested to go down a bit and hide between some larger rocks, as a thunderstorm with flash and lightning and thunder was to come! I did not feel too worried, however being struck in this place far away from civilization and any help was not too pleasant! Not even Mobile Phone contact! So we did and found some shelter, walking 20 or 25 minutes down the mountain.

Photo: Peter H Bloecker

Having a bite and drinking a lot of water, we both felt great and good, and when the storm had settled and was over, we decided happily to walk back, after taking all the photos we needed to prove we had really reached the peak.

However, after this break of about 50 minutes, my legs were so sore that I could hardly walk, I felt like walking on needles! I had two walking sticks with me having the necessary support, and we did not have to rush at all, as the day was only half over. Obviously the only chance I now had was keep on walking, not stopping or resting at all, because the pain would even be worse …

And so we went, coming down the mountain a bit faster than walking up … and after two hours of biting my tongue, no talking any more, I just prayed that God was on my side and we would reach the car without myself giving up. Marcel was very supportive and did not put any pressure on me, which helped me a lot. Thank you, mate!

Of course this was not all: Being half down Mount Maroon, one of my soles of my hiking shoes suddenly came off, was loose and hanging half in the air, when I took the shoe off, inspecting it and holding it upside down.

Marcel looked at my camera and the string and suggested to use it to fix my shoe to hold the sole.

Photo: Peter H Bloecker

And so we did! For the next two or three hours the sole did not come off, and the shoe was totally ok, no pain in my foot, only the needle pain in my knees, the more I stood and waited, the more pain! So we just went on and on, kept walking until the car park was closer and our car was in sight.

After 12 hours of hiking, we had reached our car safely and drove home to Brisbane, reaching the city at Toowong near UQ around 8.30 pm. And Marcel had booked a table at his favourite Thai Restaurant, where we met his wife and had a superb dinner with a good bottle of RED and lots of water.

Never ever will I forget this hiking towards the top of Mount Maroon, and having visited the car park a few times since, I can hardly imagine it was really me, who reached the top of His Majesty with my friend Marcel when I was around 50 years old. This was wenty years ago!

Recent photo: Back from a hike

Hiking Mount Maroon

Mount Barney National Park

The Wilderness of Tasmania: Arthur Range / Victor Posnov

Read as well My Beach Walk in Burleigh QLD Australia

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Photo: phb
Credit: Flickr
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