Artists Cascades -Conondale Ranges National Park
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It was my second visit to the Artists Cascades in the Conondale Ranges National Park. The first time was five years ago in 2018.
The creek crossings, waterfall and creeks were much drier than my first visit, but I still really enjoyed the walk and swim.
On this trip, twelve of us travelled from Brisbane in three cars. Two were four-wheel drives and one was an all-wheel drive.
We drove up from Brisbane to Maleny via Lansborough and then towards Kenilworth through the small town of Conondale. The turn-off to Booloumba Creek day-use and camping areas is about 13km past Conondale. You could also get there by driving to Kenilworth via the Eumundi-Kenilworth Road.
The Artists Cascades Walk is part of the Conondale Range Great Walk
On my first visit, we definitely needed 4 wheel drives, as the three creek crossings at the start of the walk were very deep. Last Saturday the creeks were pretty shallow and much easier to negotiate.
People do need to watch the weather reports as after very heavy rain and flooding the creeks could become impassable.
It is possible for people with 2 wheel drive cars to park and walk in across the three creeks for a couple of kilometres to the day-use area.
We set off for our walk and did a short detour to the Strangler Cairn art installation where we had a morning tea break. The Cairn is a large stone egg artwork, which is 3.7m high. The international artist, Andy Goldsworthy created the artwork using hand-cut granite and metamorphic blocks. There is a little strangler fig (Ficus watkinsiana) sitting on top of the egg. It looked about the same size as the one I saw back in 2018. I suspect there have been lots of other ones, which haven’t survived.
The blocks of stone had to be carried in by helicopter and the whole exercise was very expensive and controversial. It is very interesting to see this sculpture in a clearing in the middle of the bush. People can do a 6.5 kilometre walk return just to visit the Cairn if they want to see it without going onto the Cascades.
The track is well-marked and easy to follow. We didn’t visit the Gold Mine this visit, but I did visit it on my last trip. It is a short detour along the track.
Part of our walk was alongside Booloumba Creek through subtropical rainforest and sclerophyll forest. The water was an amazing green colour, which I think was probably due to algae. There are campsites beside the creek with open fireplaces, and I think it would be a nice place to camp.
The walk from the Booloumba Creek day-use area to Artists Cascades was10.6km return.
Although a lot of the walk was in the shade, we all got very hot and really enjoyed a swim in the Cascades. We did see some eels in the water; luckily it was after we got out. I was recently bitten twice on the bottom of my leg by a catfish while I was swimming at Enoggera dam so I’m now a bit nervous about swimming in wild areas.
None of us got any leeches, which I’ve heard, are everywhere there after rain, but one of our group got a tick in her hair.
The Conondale Range Great Walk is 56 kilometres and takes four days. I would like to go back and do the whole walk sometime.
Artists Cascades is a beautiful area to go for a walk and swim.
266752 - 2023-10-18 10:32:40