Flat Rock is a little known swimming spot and hike
Flat Rock is a little known swimming spot that lies on the Baroon Pocket Dam to Kondalilla Falls hike as part of the Sunshine Coast Great Walk. You can hike to Flat Rock as part of a 12 km return walk from either entrance to the hike.
My recommendation is to start the walk from Baroon Pocket Dam. The entrance to the walk is at the at the end of Narrows Road, beside Northern Recreation Area of the dam. This makes the walk a little shorter (by about 1 km). However the alternative walk from Kondalilla Falls means you get to visit the falls as well as following the closer to the creek. My feeling is that part of the walk is a little easier even though it is longer.
Please Note: All distances are based on GPS readings and time estimates as there is little information about walking to Flat Rock itself. These distances are not 100% accurate and could be out by a kilometre or two. However Flat Rock is roughly half-way in.
From Baroon Pocket Dam, it is 2 kms to the Baroon Lookout with views of both Obi Obi Creek and Lake Baroon. This lookout lies at the top of a rise and will notice that the creek is a long way down. You will have to walk down and back up again.
After the lookout the track's character changes. It is a little rougher and much steeper. There is even a warning sign letting people know. However it is not that difficult for your average hiker, you just should be prepared with enough water and good hiking shoes or boots. You head down the ridge until you arrive at the level of the creek and then follow the track until you see a great big flat rock beside Obi Obi Creek. You guessed it, you have arrived at Flat Rock.
This is a nice place to have lunch, soak your feet and have a swim. Few people come here compared with other swimming holes around South East Queensland. With any luck there will be no one else around. it definitely won't be crowded even on a hot day, unlike most other swimming holes that I know of.
The return walk is back up the ridge. Even for a 12 km walk it is a little difficult, which is why few people come here just to swim. However it is not too far and even if you are little unfit, you can rest often and complete this walk. The last 2 kms is downhill from the lookout.
From Kondalilla Falls Parking Area it is about 14 kms return. From this end you pass by the swimming hole at upper Kondalilla Falls, walk past the lower falls, and mostly follow along the creek. It is longer but easier. The main advantage is that you can have lunch at Flat Rock and then swim at the falls near the end of the walk.
A useful article, thank you. Just to let you know the Upfront Club has sadly now closed down. It will be reopening as something else in the near future. Luckily Maleny still has plenty of lovely eateries to choose from.