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marie’s Travel Diary

Tuesday, 05 May 2009

Location: Brisbane Water National Park, Australia

MapTuesday 5th May 2009 - 10km walk Brisbane Water National Park.

Today was an interesting day! The plan was set in the morning; we would walk the 10km from Girrakool, in the Brisbane Water National Park, down the Great North Walk ( a track made in 1988 to coincide with Australia's Bicentennial Year, that went from Newcastle to Sydney) to Staples lookout, from there Uncle Syd & Auntie Rita would pick us up and take us to the Bulgandy Aboriginal Site. However, it didn't turn out like that, and, surprisingly, through no fault of our own!

We were using, what was supposed to be a comprehensive map of our route to guide us. Moreover if the map was no good the walk boasted that it was well sign posted. What we needed to do was walk 4km to the edge of the Girrakool Loop track, then join the Great North Walk heading south. This part of the walk was easy. The walk became a bit more taking when after walking for about 30 minutes we came to a fork in the path and the only sign that was at the fork was one that directed us back to Girrakool! So we took the track we thought was the right one and after 20 minutes of walking further and further into one of the immense valleys, until we reached the bottom only to be faced by a fairly decent rock climb to get to the top of the other side, we both made the decision that maybe we should head back and take the other track!

After retracing our steps we arrived back at the fork in the path and continued down the new track. Feeling much more confident that we were going the right way. Even after studying the map more closely we still felt confident. The confidence didn't last long though. After a further 20 minutes of walking we came across something that not even the map could predict ... a Scout Camp! With signs telling us to ring a number so we could get permission to walk through no less!
Needless to say we tried the number twice with no luck, so we threw caution to the wind and continued on into the Camp. When we got to the camp the rangers that were supposedly patrolled it was nowhere to be seen, which we thought was good. However, what was also nowhere to be seen was a way through; there were no signs in the camp and the map wasn't any good because it didn't even reference the camp. So after 10 minutes, and for being out for close to 2 hours, ( at this point of the day it was dangerously past lunch time!) we headed back to Girrakool. After 40 minutes we arrived at Girrakool and the first thing we did, after lunch of course, was to look at the maps on the information boards. None of them referenced the camp and all said there were signposts ... Whatever!

This is not to say it was a wasted day. We had a good long walk and our map skills were put to the test, and it didn't rain, and the day gave us more to talk about!