The Great Walk
What to Expect on your Visit
The Sunshine Coast hinterland is a nature lover’s paradise with its diversity of flora and fauna. Pristine, sub tropical rainforests, are easily accessible, offering visitors the opportunity to enjoy towering trees and sparkling waterfalls, along with an abundance of native plants and wildlife on one of the many well maintained nature trails and walks.
The gentle Obi Obi boardwalk in Maleny is both wheelchair accessible and pram friendly, providing a calm and tranquil experience for all, and even the chance to see the elusive platypus early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
The beautiful Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve offers spectacular views of the ancient volcanic outcrops that make up the awe-inspiring iconic Glasshouse Mountains, as well as an interpretive centre that gives a deeper understanding of the complex wet sclerophyll environment that provides home for many of Australia’s unique birds and wildlife.
Keen walkers can experience firsthand life under the rainforest canopy on one of the many safe walks, complete with clean eco sensitive campsites for those wishing to sleep under the stars on a longer trek.
The area is home to many unique Australian species; animals such as koalas, platypus and kangaroos; birdlife including whipbirds, kookaburras and wedge tailed eagles; and of course ancient rainforest trees and plants.
The perfect place to spend a few days with your walking boots and binoculars, discovering the lush green paradise that is the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
The Great Walk – Lake Baroon to Kondalilla
The section of the track from Lake Baroon to Kondalilla Falls is around 10km, and a convenient finishing point for those not wanting to complete the full walk. Or, of course, a good start point for those wishing to head the opposite direction.
The walk is graded a Level 2 difficulty by Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, which also suggests allocating between five and seven hours to complete the one-way journey. However, as a male of moderate fitness, I was able to complete the walk comfortably, including various stops to take photo graphs, in an easy three hours.
In total, the Great Walk stretches 58km, from Lake Baroon to Kondalilla Falls at Flaxton and, then, from Flaxton to Mapleton Falls National Park, and the national park itself as the fourth piece of the puzzle.
Thankfully, that considerable bucket list walk is broken up into those four sections. Each one is do-able in one day – most are between 10 and 15km, which, at average walking pace, means three to five hours of walking.
The Lake Baroon to Kondallilla Falls walk is characterised by good pathways, good signage, mostly shielded from the sun by the rainforest canopy.