A mate of mine who is a fellow outdoors-man that lives in North Queensland has invited me along for a short two day hike on the Bartle Frere Track, just South of Cairns. I got Matt's message whilst in the middle of a 5 day hike through the Cooloola National Park on the Easter long weekend and needed to wait till my head was out of that National Park before I could consider going into another.
It's taken me about four days to actually knuckle down and do some research into the area and well, let me just say that I was sold as soon as I read this in the National Parks information 'Not for the faint-hearted, this strenuous trail climbs to the Bartle Frere summit'. Whilst sitting alone in my nice comfy chair in my office I immediately sat back in my chair, smiled and muttered 'hell yeah' because I know that if official advice is worded so unusually strongly, it must be challenging.
There's a few challenges with this hike...one of them being that the start point is about 18 hours North of where I currently live...so despite it only being a short 2 day, 15km hike (in the hot and humid Nth Qld weather), there's going to be about 4 days worth of travel just to get there and back. Totally worth it I reckon.
Also, according to Matt, the trails are sometimes not necessarily easily identifiable so I think I will be investing in a topographical map for peace of mind and to hone my navigation skills again in a location that is totally unfamiliar. The area is also likely to be heavily wooded in many parts being in Tropical North Queensland so it might provide some good practice for walking on compass bearings.
Checkout this Elevation profile (from Aussie bushwalking) ;
Apparently this is the highest mountain in Qld...that should test the legs.
The more I read about this location, the more pumped I get! Massive hills, leeches, boulder fields, a mountain that spends 90% of its time smothered in clouds, no reliable water sources after the first 2km, a helipad because people keep getting stuck/injured, not unusual for people to get lost for days BRILLIANT! What more could you want!?
We're looking at doing this hike in June/July if I can wrangle the time off in order to undertake it. I'll keep you posted on the progress of the planning of this one!