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 February 22nd 2021
Excellent hike for beginners hikers, for families with children eager to do a stroll in the forest, D'Aguilar National Park is Brisbane's backyard with sheltered pockets of subtropical rainforest and expanses of eucalypt woodland.
Starting atMaiala Day Use Area, the hike is 2.5 km return, allow about one hour. The National Park classifieds the trail grade 3, which means some bushwalking experience recommended, tracks may have some steep sections, rough surfaces and steps. The trails are signpost at the junctions.
Cypress Grove Circuit starts at Maiala day use area. Photo by Author.
Walk with family, friends, or in a group. Bring with you a light backpack, wear long trousers and long sleeves as they provide more protection, hiking boots or hiking shoes, a first aid kit, one litre of water and snacks.
Before starting the hike, you can gather some information by reading the post signs. You can consider using the toilet facilities available in the day use area before you venture into the forest.
Near the trailhead there are signposts with information. Photo by Author.
The hike is under the canopy of the subtropical rainforest. There are trees with huge buttresses and towering strangler figs engulfing in a fatal embrace the host trees.
Buttresses roots are typical of forest trees , they prevent the tree falling and also they gather more nutrients. Photo by Author.
View of the canopy from the floor of the forest. Photo by Author.
The strangler fig is taking over the host tree. Photo by Author.
A new strangler fig starts life as a seed left high up in a tree by an animal, such a fig eating bird or fruit bat. The seed germinates producing a tiny plant that with time grows long roots down the trunk of the host tree and into the ground.
In the canopy, the strangler fig sprouts a crown of leaves that soon grows denser than the host tree, depriving it of sunlight. The fig's roots eventually graft together, enclosing the host's trunk in a strangling latticework.
Eventually, the strangler tree kills the host tree which has sustained it for years. The trunk of the fig is formed by a mass of tangled roots fused together.
Strangler figs can also begin from a seed left in the ground given enough moisture and light.
In the forest, listen to the calls of catbirds, whip birds and wonga pigeons. It is very hard to spot the birds on the trees but it is easier to hear them.
A hole in the tree! Photo by Author.
It is paramount to be prepared, no matter how easy and short is the hike. For safety, it is better to avoid wearing thongs and instead wear ankle supportive footwear. Especially in wet weather, the track can become muddy and slippery. Bring an adequate amount of drinking water to avoid being thirsty and becoming dehydrated.
In the forest you may come across snakes, especially carpet pythons in the patches of sun, basking for heat. Give them space, don't touch them, wait for them to move away.
Carpet python at D'Aguilar National Park. Photo by Author.
At about one kilometre from the start of the hike, the Cypress Grove Circuit intersects Browns Rd. Cross the road and continue on the trail. When you have done the Cypress Grove Track loop, and you are back on Browns Rd, turn left.
Take care when crossing Browns Rd to continue on Cypress Grove Circuit. Photo by Author.
Take the left trail on your way back. Photo by Author.
Fungi have an important role in nutrient cycling. They are decomposers and that means they help to break down the dead trees making nutrients available for other organisms. Fungi are also food for animals in the forest.
Mycorrhizal fungi are good at collecting water and nutrients from the soil which they bring back to the plant roots. The body above the ground commonly called fungi are the fruiting body of the mycorrhizal fungi. Photo by Author.
Aspect of the Cypress Grove Circuit Trail. Photo by Author.
Aspect of the strangler fig. Photo by Author.
A weekend drive to Mount Glorious Rd means you are in for a fantastic scenic tour. There are amazing lookouts, valleys clothed in green and often you can see the steam rising from the mountains to form clouds. It is just so beautiful!
After the hike or the drive, you may stop at Cafe in the Mountains. This rustic cafe offers a peaceful atmosphere, great cuisine and delicious hot drinks - all you need to refresh your day!
Detail of the painting on the wall of the back veranda of Cafe in the Mountains. Photo by Author.