I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published July 22nd 2019
An adventurous bushwalking challenge
The last time I went to Toowoomba was very stressful. I was driving up from Brisbane to run a workshop at the hospital and my car died on top of the range. It was a very long time ago and I can't remember exactly what the problem was, but a very nice mechanic came and fixed it for me while I was at the workshop, so I could drive home that night. I remember the steering was really heavy.
After a stop at McDonald's for coffee, we drove to Stevenson Street and set off on the Firetail walk to Bill Gould's Lookout at Picnic Point. While we were looking at the map board, a beautiful King Parrot was watching us from a tree behind the sign. Bill Gould gave his service to Lions and helped establish the park in 1991.
At Picnic Point, we had lovely views over the valley to the east including Table Top Mountain. Table Top is a flat-topped hill of volcanic origin just off the Toowoomba Range escarpment. The extinct volcano last erupted around 20 million years ago.
Most people who climb the mountain drive to the easternmost end of South Street in Toowoomba for a short climb. We went the long way around. We walked down some newly marked trails and headed for the mountain. There were a few steep descents and hills along the way and we had to climb around a few fences. On the way, we had some great views from a lookout.
Table Top Mountain rises 700m above sea level. We had to negotiate the Camel's Hump, which has a lot of large steps. There were lots of loose stony areas to climb and a steep scramble at the top. Some of us used our hands to climb over the large boulders. I was amazed to see people carrying babies and very young children agilely hopping over the rocks. The children and parents seemed to be really enjoying their adventure. The steep climb towards the top over large rocks wasn't too bad. It could be tricky if you aren't used to doing this. One of our group decided to wait at the bottom of this section. It would be a hot walk in summer. You do need good shoes, as the gravel is very slippery in places.
There were a lot of introduced weed fruiting prickly pear trees by the track and two of our group decided to try tasting some of the fruit. I think they regretted it though as they had to remove lots of prickly spines from their fingers.
We had lunch on the flat top of the mountain before walking around the top. There were magnificent 360-degree views of Prince Henry Heights, the Lockyer Valley, Toowoomba and Main Range. The large flat summit is treeless with native grasses.
Table Top Mountain used to be called 'One Tree Hill' and is famous for the 'Battle of One Tree Hill'. In September 1843, Aboriginal leader Multuggera led an ambush on squatters taking supplies across from Moreton Bay. The squatters organised a revenge attack and the Aborigines retreated up the mountain.
If you're interested in walking in South-East Queensland check out our book Take A Walk in South-East Queensland, one of 12 in our Take a Walk series. We also lead guided hiking adventures overseas. We have a group in Norway at present. We do advertise with Weekend Notes when we run our information evenings here in Brisbane. Vanessa does our write-ups.
Just thought you might be interested.
John and Lyn Daly
Take a Walk Publications and Adventures