I am an Organiser of the Group Hiking South East Qld and More on Meetup. Visit the website at https://www.meetup.com/HikingInSEQLDandMore/ is free to join all the activities posted on the hiking group.
Published December 1st 2021
A real adventure to the top of Boyds Butte
Boyds Butte is a wild area in the Springbrook National Park. It is made of three pinnacles visible from the Currumbin Valley and especially at the end of Tallebudgera Creek Road. The park wants to protect an area reserved for special flora and fauna. Take great care to avoid bush-bash in the forest or to damage the plants in the mountain. The trail to Boyds Butte is marked only by some old ribbons on trees.
The hike is about 8 km return, allow about four hours and a half. You must be fit and be an experienced hiker since it is a remote area and there are no official signs on the trail. The trail is rugged, with a few logs to undertake and steep.
The Cascade Track is 1.6 km return - allow one hour walking time. The trail is classified grade 2, it is easy and it is covered by bitumen. The graded path is suitable for prams and assisted wheelchair access.
The walking trail is parallel to Currumbin Creek, which runs down in the valley. There is a viewing platform overlooking the scenic cascades. Follow the path to the historic sawmill and discover the history of the land prior to becoming a National Park. The mill represents a reminder of the day when the forest was used to source millable timber. Today it is understood that the rainforest made up a great percentage of the biodiversity of the planet.
The off-track to Boyds Butte starts at the end of the Cougal Cascades. Follow a trail along the Currumbin Creek and at a certain point, you have to cross the creek and reach the opposite bank. Keep walking and then turn sharp right and start climbing up the ridge leaving the creek behind.
I hiked Boyds Butte in late spring. A few days prior to the hike, it was raining almost every day. There was mud on the trail and at the top, we could not see the views because we were in the clouds. It was a fantastic hike, even if we did not have the views.
After the hike, the Group Hiking South East Qld drove to the local cafe Pasture & Co in the Ecovillage. The cafe address is 2 Village Way, Currumbin Valley QLD 4223. It is about 16 minutes from the carpark of the Cougal Cascades, 12.4 km.
Drive to the end of Currumbin Creek Road in the Gold Coast Hinterland. From Brisbane, it is about one hour and a half, 107 km taking the M1.
There is a carpark and a toilet block. The carpark tends to get full quickly, especially with people going for a swim in the swimming holes. The morning we arrived to hike, the carpark was already all taken by people going for a yoga/meditation session at the Currumbin pools.
There is further car parking just off-road.
History of the Land.
Early surveyors arrived in the 1860s in the area that today is Springbrook National Park. Banana growers were in the area from 1929 to 1931. Dairy cattle farms were established from 1938 to 1941. The timber mill operated from 1942 to 1954. Then the land was declared a national park and part of the Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage Area.
Yugambeh people lived on this land for thousands of years. Their families camped in the open forests near waterholes and springs filled by water from the mountains. They hunted game and gathered abundant seasonal foods. Material possessions were crafted from natural resources with virtually no environmental impact.
With the arrival of European settlers, many Yugambeh families were moved away to reserves. Some stayed, found occasional work and adapted slowly to a changing lifestyle. Today Yugambeh people invite visitors to walk quietly, listen to the forest and know the spiritual cultural and economic life is dependent on the environment for the future.
Early European settlers rarely ventured on the mountains of Upper Currumbin Creek. Surveyors and timber getters visited the area in the 1860s and encountered huge trees with valuable timber if only there was practical access. The land was naturally protected for decades by inaccessibility. Eventually, the land was leased and bought several times.
The land was bought in 1925 and it was deemed a good banana growing area. Bananas were hardy and easy to grow plants and setting up a plantation was affordable.
From 1929 to 1931, the land was cleared burning the forest. About 50 acres of bananas were planted and the workers built a workman's hut. Tall trees and mountains however cast shade over the plantation and the crop failed.
The land was sold again to local dairy farmers. The hut was used for tea breaks and the land used for cattle grazing.
Today it is possible to see the regrowth of the forest that has occurred since the mid-1930s. The tree trunks are smaller compared to the former forest giants which trunks were two meters wide at the base.
The Fruit and Vegetable Act 1927 required the fruit to be packed in boxes to reduce the spread of crop diseases. To supply timber for banana boxers a sawmill was set up in 1942. Quandong and flooded gums were milled for banana boxes. Timber was cut using a bench saw powered by a kerosene engine.
In 1948, a company bought the mill and the timber licence to increase their timber production due to the post-war housing boom. A mill manager was appointed and a breaking down bench saw and V8 engine was installed. A manager's cottage with two bedrooms, kitchen and verandah was built.
In 1952, the mill was bought by Antony Stephen, who installed a large Canadian breaking down saw and the diesel engine with it is still here today. Several workers were employed to work in the mill. Cyclonic weather and six months of frequent rain flooded creeks and closed the mill in 1954. It never reopened. The logging ceased in 1961.
Hiking gear: a hiking medium backpack, long trousers and shirt with long sleeves, light raincoat, recommended hiking ankle supportive boots, first aid kit, torch, insect repellent (give preference to a cream or roll-on as they are more environmentally friendly than the spray), hat, sunscreen, gloves, walking poles and if you like to use them, sock protectors or gaiters.
Consider packing some extra clothes and leaving them in the car. Pack some clean footwear and socks.
For this hike, consider carrying a map or downloading a good app on your smartphone that can help you to navigate in the bush.
Bring a medium day backpack with lots of water, especially if it's a hot day, 2.0 litres of water and snacks. During summer, you can bring electrolytes to dissolve in water to compensate for the loss through perspiration.
You may consider packing sandwiches, fresh fruit, dry fruit, energy bars and small meals.
Walk with family, friends or in a group. Never alone!
Practice minimal impact bushwalkers taking great care to avoid leaving any rubbish. Remember—pack it in, pack it out. This includes all food scraps, scraps of foil and sweet's wrappers.
Take all your rubbish with you, including used tissues, apple cores, eggshells, orange and banana peels. If you see rubbish on the trail please collect it and dispose of it responsibly.
Do not disturb or interfere with wildlife. Do not disturb rocks. Do not remove plants or anything from National Parks or Natural Reserves. Stay on track all time. Do not use shortcuts to avoid erosion.
Please follow directions on all safety and legislative signs, this protects you and the numerous threatened and endangered species in the park.
Use toilets when available. Away from toilets, take care with sanitation and hygiene and don't pollute natural water supplies. Ensure all faecal matter and toilet paper is properly buried 15cm deep well away from tracks, campsites and 100m from all watercourses and drainage channels. Carry with you a small trowel for this purpose. Bag and carry out disposable nappies and sanitary products.
Make sure your boots are always clean, avoid the spread of pathogens, disease-producing organisms such as phytophthora, myrtle rust and amphibian chytrid fungus. Soil and detritus can contain pathogens such as fungal spores that are harmful to the forest and frogs.
Nice hike , lus forest, huge old tree stumps , big trees top rooots , good description of the past of this beautiful land. I would like to hike this trail but with someone who did it before cose looks like easy get lost after cross the creek.Thank you Cris for sharing your love for conservation of our nature !