Can you imagine taking a walk without a waterfall, or without hearing the gurgling, bubbling water of a stream? I certainly couldn't, but then came upon the Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk. Instead of water, think reminiscent, historical, awe, amazement and all amidst lush green surrounds!
Views from a Section of the Trail - Image: Elaine de Wet
Well, that's what we found - another little piece of history we can boast about in Buderim - the Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk, which actually used to be a railway (not a tramway) and was built to service the needs of the farmers and residents of Buderim and surrounds. This allowed for farm produce, fruit and timber to access Brisbane via the main-line at Palmwoods.
Buderim in the early 1900's was a thriving community with farms producing high quality fruit and timber. With roads that were less than perfect, transportation to Woombye, which was the main centre at that time, was either by horse, wagons and bullocks. Shipping through the rivers and creeks to the Maroochy Ports with its sandbars caused problems, which in turn threatened the perishable produce. There was a sense of urgency for effective and reliable transportation to the main Queensland Rail Train line in order to gain access to the Brisbane Markets.
And along came the Buderim/Palmwoods Tramway Route which began operating in 1914, with the last tram running in 1935.
Palmwoods to Buderim Tramway 1914 - 1935 - Image: Elaine de Wet
We are in the very fortuitous position of having this Heritage Trail as an extremely enjoyable walk, or run (whichever tickles your fancy, though I must warn you if you run the Trail, you will definitely miss the historical highlights) - 2kms one way or 4kms return, through the regrowth forest, with various points of historical value along the way. The track starts from the corner of Mons and Telco Roads in Buderim - in Telco Road near the intersection, you'll find a grassed parking area, a safe spot to leave your vehicle.
The name Telko (Telco) is actually an Aboriginal word meaning 'laughter' or 'happiness' and Sybil Vise, the schoolteacher, who used to own Pioneer Cottage and then donated it to the Buderim Community, said that it was her mother's choice of name for the Telco Station.
Wheelchair-Friendly Access Ramp - Image: Elaine de Wet
A wheelchair-friendly access ramp with a gentle gradient from top to bottom takes you down to the start of the moderate walking track. Give yourself at least an hour to complete the round-trip of the Trail; look out for plaques and information boards along the way as there is plenty to see and absorb. These are just some of the markers that we came across:-
At 70 metres - A wooden bridge over a stream which was used to drain a small dam formed by the tram embankment;
At 800 metres - A deep and impressive cutting which reflected the engineering abilities of the track construction workers and their supervising engineer, Geo Phillips, in building the tramway formation using hand tools and horse-drawn equipment (this was really an incredible feat);
A Deep and Impressive Cutting which Reflected the Engineering Abilities of the Day - Image: Elaine de Wet
The Trail is well-marked every 100 metres or so, so one is able to follow and find all these historical locations quite easily. We even managed to pinpoint the remains of some of the drill-holes that are still in evidence.
Remains of Drill Holes from Rock Blasting - Image: Elaine de Wet
All these historical fun facts in a tranquil, green setting, makes for a reminiscent walk, trying to imagine how tough life must have been for these early settlers. The 'downside', if one can call it that, is there is no fresh water, so bring a bottle along and no loos, which could theoretically be a 'downside'.
Three Metre High Stump with Pockets to hold the Jigger Boards - Image: Elaine de Wet
On arriving back at Telco Road, on the right hand side of the road stands a three metre high stump, which is one of the last remnants of Buderim's timber getters. The pockets made to hold the jigger boards, on which the axe men stood to cut the tree, can still be seen.
This Trail is perfect for walkers and runners but not suitable for bicycles or horses.
Grab a water bottle, your furry friend, on a leash, and head off down to the Buderim Palmwoods Heritage Tramway Walk.