It was a hot summer's day, the school holidays, and we had a tight budget. A friend rang and, along with our two kids, we decide to explore the Blackall Range.
The Blackall Range is filled with interesting little coffee shops, art galleries, gift shops, craft shops, second-hand shops, curios, some of the best bush walks and a pretty drive through bush and hilltops. With some great views of the East Coast there's plenty to satisfy the fussiest palette as well as the lens of a budding photographer.
We pack a backpack with towels and swimmers, cameras, fruit/chips/water bottle, sunscreen and insect repellent.
For driving directions, put Kondalila Falls Road, Flaxton QLD 4560 in your GPS. Kondalila Falls is a 57 minute drive from Beachmere by the Steve Irwin Way, past the Glasshouse Mountains and into Montville. We always visit the bakery and the Lifeline shop which is packed with bargains; dresses, jewellery, tops and bric-a-brac. All beautifully presented and colour co-ordinated.
We head to the Kondilila Falls car park. We walk down into the valley which is well set out with wooden tables under trees and 'Drop and Echo' toilet facilities. Bush Turkey lurk, scratching for scraps and looking at us with hopeful eyes. We are immediately immersed in the cathedral-like silence of the canopy and the coolness of the best air-con in the world - the rainforest. We have travelled this path before so just head straight to the rock pools above the Falls.
The path is reasonably demanding with its over one hundred steps up and down vale so allow 1 hour walking time return. Travellers be wary we have seen leeches up there and a Red Belly Black sunning itself on the path. The birds are flitting around in the bushes and serenading us as we walk. We pass the lookout where you can see the 90m drop of Skene Creek which forms the Kondalila Falls. The pool at the top of the Falls is large and deep with a smaller waterfall pushing in from over the top. We jump in and swim to the base of the smaller waterfall, scrambling in underneath its powerful shower. We share our lovely excursion with other families who also enjoy the secrets of the falls, leaping into the water.
We feel timeless as the rocks themselves. Later we sit sunning ourselves and snacking on our bakery goodies and fruit. A feeling of wellbeing descends upon us that often comes from exertion, a full belly and the ambience of Nature's own living-room.
We reluctantly start for home, trudging up the many steps to the car park with thoughts turning back to our destinies and the drive home.
A memorable day and one of many we have had up on the Blackall Range. Well worth checking out its charms.