Mount Beerwah, Trouble In Paradise & Dularcha National Park
In my last blog I talked about my arrival to Noosa and how I settled here for a few months, living and working in a hostel called Nomads. As the story continues we return to Noosa and talk about a few of the trips I went on while there. In this blog I'll talk about some climbing in the glass house mountains and the various national parks we visited!
I was enjoying my time in Noosa, quickly adapting to my new job cleaning the kitchen and finding ways to bend the rules so I could spend more time on the beach. I spent many days walking around barefoot and chatting to new gests that arrived at the hostel. I wanted something more though, a chance to explore and see places on the shoe string budget I found myself on. There was a simple solution to me. I had a campervan, many others did not. I had no money, many others did. So it wasn't long before I was trying to convince others to give me petrol money in return for a trip somewhere. That's how I met Marcus.
He came into the staff room one afternoon and as asking for me. After chatting he told me about some mountains in the glass house mountains range that he was thinking of climbing but couldn't get there. It felt like a call to adventure and I signed myself up for going with him.
Mount Beerwah is the highest of the ten volcanic plugs in the Glass House Mountains range, 22 km north of Caboolture in South East Queensland, Australia. It was formed 26 million years ago during the Oligocene Epoch of the Paleogene Period. Geologists estimate it may have been three times the height before it was eroded to a volcanic plug - Wikipedia
We set off that night at around midnight after spending way too long deliberating on what to bring. The drive was a few hours from us a and it wasn't long until civilisation had disappeared and we found ourselves on dirt tracks with no GPS, phone signal or signs to make sure we were going the right way.
After a long stretch of dirt road, wheels slipping and sliding all over the place in the dark we reached the car park at the base of the mountain. There was no one around but then again who does this kind of thing anyway? We chatted and realised how late it was, we planned to get an hour of rest before attempting the ascent at 4am. We sat back in the uncomfortable seats and wriggled round trying to find a sleep position. After 15 minutes some bright lights began to shine through the back window and into the car park poured 2 trucks with some shifty looking people getting out of them. We peered out the side window to see some people looking around and trying not to be noticed.
Whatever they were doing whether it be a drug deal, burying a body or playing Pokémon go we didn't want to be part of it so locked the doors and kept our heads low. After half an hour or so they left and the adrenaline faded. It would seem that fate had decided we wouldn't be getting any sleep that night so started getting ready to climb the mountain. In the pitch black with nothing but head torches to guide us we began hiking up to the base of the climb. Marcus practically ran up making it impossible to keep up but when it came to climbing I found it easier to overtake him as we scrambled up the side.
The first section was the scariest. In the dark we could hardly see what we were doing and there wasn't much to hold onto, it was about finding small ridges to push off to get yourself up. Every time I looked down I realised I could die here but tried to stay excited nonetheless. After the first section we got onto a ridge where it was quite open and could walk under cave like structures beneath the mountain and hike/climb the rest of the route up to the top. Once here we were above the clouds and still there was no light to be seen. We sat down exhausted and cold from the wind and no sun and waited. Slowly the clouds began to fill with light before finally the sun rose above them and I wandered round the top of the mountain in awe as the scenery began to unveil itself to me.
We stayed here for a while and some other people began to arrive. Not long after I got out my drone and began filming the local mountains along with a paraglider who was gliding past us and moving gracefully through the air. This trip was great and was the start of many others around Noosa. Once we returned Marcus and I talked to a lot of people about the trip and he convinced two others, Ruslan and Theresa to come with us. We set off on another time and Marcus led Theresa up a different mountain in the range while Ruslan and I stayed further back and climbed more slowly. The whole car journey here it seemed like Marcus and Theresa had known each other well but in fact they had only just met and Marcus had convinced her to come on the basis of it being easy.
After climbing for half an hour or so Ruslan and I saw Marcus scrambling back down the mountain alone. We asked what happened and he seemed angry, disappearing on the rocks beneath us and leaving us behind with no information. We pressed on to find Theresa clinging onto the rocks, scared for her life. They had argued and she had been left there to await her doom. She led her to a safe spot to sit and she stayed here to regain her breath. Ruslan and I headed straight up to the top both being light and up for a climb. We reached the top to see another beautiful sunset together. We didn't want to linger too long worried about Theresa so headed back down and slowly led her to the bottom.
We found Marcus sulking in the car and let's just say the car journey home didn't go very well... In the end we decided to go our separate ways and Ruslan, Theresa and I went on many other trips together. We returned to the mountains on different occasions with other friends from the hostel. Luke came with us to Mount Beerwah and Dularcha National Park. In Dularcha we explored through old railway tunnels now filled with bats. We would use red lights to not upset them and once our eyes adjusted could see all their little faces looking back at us!
Another great spot was Kondalilla National Park where we found waterfalls to swim in together and Ruslan would jump around the rocks and dodge trees only falling once which I unfortunately captured on film. I had started having some great adventures again and found the people I wanted to share them with. It was time for Ruslan and I to head somewhere further away that people rarely go to but more on that in the next blog...
In my next blog Ruslan and I visit Carnavon gorge and explore it's vast canyons as well as being convinced that the outback would never end!