Are you looking for someplace that you have yet to go, or maybe someplace you have not been to in years? Want to spend the weekend camping, hiking, and 4 wheel driving (you do need one to get out here)? And do you want that place to be within a couple hours drive of where you live? How about a place where crystal clear water means swimming holes on a spring day?
West of Maleny you will find Conondale National Park, where you can do all of the above. Check out the website and you discover that there are a number of campgrounds. Try pre booking campsite #11 at Booloumba Creek camping area #1.
This double site allows you options. You can bring friends or not, you can set up your chairs, beverage in hand, and deeply relax in this peaceful place, listening to the score of birds that live in the area. Not only does the creek sit hear at your doorstep but also the beginnings of the hiking trails that will lead to several different hikes, all of varying lengths so you can go short or go long.
Make sure you check out the map of the area to orient yourself to where you want to hike to and gear up according to that. If you just plan to hike to the Gold Mine it is an easy, picturesque walk through the forest with splendid white giants of old, vine art that you can only find out in nature and a myriad of fungus, leaf matter, plant life and the odd Pademelon.
A little further along the trail to the Artists Cascades you will find the Strangler Cairn. The controversial piece of work that holds space here was crafted by Andy Goldsworthy in Sept 2012. The egg shaped cairn, with its chiselled features is a testament to the future where the small fig growing atop the structure will one day mould itself to the rock to become a giant bonsai. Sharing the glade are the remnants of an actual strangler fig that watches over the art work. Please be respectful of this work of art and we can all come back year after year and watch the progress.
Follow back along the trail to make your way to the deserted gold mine that peaks your curiosity and you wonder how they discovered gold way out here in this neck of the woods. This area was known for tree felling years ago and the signs are still there. Old trees are scattered amongst the young ones, which give the appearance that the forest was once logged. Maybe someone found gold and decided to mine this spot.
You pop in and out of the forest to capture views of the creek where other artists have built their own rock art. You can check out the amazing green growth of algae and just wander in peaceful contentment with the accompaniment of the incredible bird song.