Mount Castle and Sylvesters Lookouts - Goomburra National Park
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%%Goomburra National Park features two beautiful lookouts near the escarpment created by an ancient volcano. Mount Castle and Sylvesters Lookouts offer different great views to the east, ranging from Ipswich to Brisbane, over the Fassifern Valley and over the many volcanic peaks made of rock able to withstand the action of millions of years of weathering.
Mount Castle Lookout Track.
Mount Castle Lookout Track is a short walk through the forest with giant buttresses on a trail that looks like it's made up of stairs with the roots of the trees.
The trail is 960m return, allow about 30 minutes; the national park classifies the hike Grade 3, meaning it is relatively easy, but there are roots protruding from the ground and a certain amount of steepness.
The start of the trail is at the end of Lookout Road, about 40 minutes east from the little town of Goomburra. Lookout Road is a dirt road suitable for conventional vehicles. The creek crossing at the beginning of Lookout Road may not be suitable for cars with low clearance.
In the past precious trees such as red cedar, hoop pine and New England blackbutt were logged and the timber was transported down winding mountain roads. The timber was used for buildings in Ipswich, Brisbane and in other small towns along the way. Some timber was also loaded on ships for England.
In the rainforest sometimes the soil is very shallow and nutrients are more present in the surface. Trees have adapted to obtain the necessary nutrients growing buttresses, roots that grow out from the lower part of the trunk. Buttresses can grow very tall and large, helping to support the tree.
The trail climbs up the beautiful forest with a thick canopy shading the understory full of ferns.
The trail is very easy to follow, meandering around old trees and surrounded by ferns.
The lookout is man-made with a safety rail. It is possible to see Mount Castle and its cliff, Mount Walker and Kangaroo Mountain. On clear days it is possible to see the skyline of Brisbane skyscrapers and Mount Coot-tha. Flinders Peak is very visible with all the other small peaks nearby. Mount French, Aratula town and Mount Edwards are on the right of Mount Castle.
The impressive cliffs of Mount Castle are made up of trachyte, a rock more resistant to the action of water and wind compared to the basalts along the Main Range.
The long Scenic Rim Trail arrives also at Mount Castle Lookout and runs along the escarpment to Sylvesters Lookout and continues on the mountains of the Main Range. Make sure to take the right trail when you return to the carpark.
Sylvester Lookout Track
Sylvesters Trail is an easy walk in the beautiful Gondwana forest. It is 940m return, allow about 30 minutes. The national park classifies the trail Grade 3; Sylvester Lookout is part of the long walk Scenic Rim Trail, make sure to take the right trail when you return to the carpark.
The start of the trail is off Lookout Road, just a few minutes' drive south from Mount Castle Lookout.
The trail is easy, meandering among big trees. The footpad is very visible all the way, no chance of getting lost.
The trees support myriad forms of life, including other plants and wildlife. Crow's nest ferns are everywhere, thriving in the dim light of the forest. They are epiphytic plants with long and luscious leaves.
The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia World Heritage are special unique places where it is possible to observe the ongoing landform changes. Plant life reflects the evolution of the plants on earth and there are animals carrying very old genes from past eras.
The Sylvester Lookout is at the edge of a steep escarpment made by the weathering of the eastern side of the shield of a massive volcano that once extended from Ipswich to Warwick. The changes are part of the evolution of the Gondwana Rainforests, changes that are still happening and modifying the features of the territory.
Sylvesters Lookout views are to the east, over the Fassifern Valley. Lake Moogerah is surrounded by the peaks of the Moogerah National Park, including Mount Edwards, Mount Greville and Mount Moon. These peaks are the remaining of dykes, when hot magma forced its way in fissures and in overlying rocks.
Further back south is Mount Maroon with its unmistakable peaks and the Mount Barney Group.
What to Bring
Even if the lookouts are short walks is better to be prepared and wear the right hiking clothes and have the right equipment.
Wear long trousers and shirt with long sleeves, very recommended hiking ankle supportive boots.
For a day hike a backpack should be a 20-25 litres capacity. Only carry essential gear, a backpack should be as light as possible. Bring lots of water especially if it's a hot day, 1L and snacks.
Pack First Aid Kit, Smart phone and power bank; raincoat is good just in case of a shower, it can be worn as a windbreaker or for extra warmth. Gloves are good when scrambling and for extra protection.
Insect repellent, give preference to cream or roll on that are more environmentally friendly than the spray.
From the little town of Goomburra follow Inverramsay Road which changes name and becomes Forestry Reserve Road. Before entering the Main Range National Park, turn left onto Lookout Road. It is a dirt road with a creek crossing that is suitable for conventional vehicle with high clearance.
Drive to the end of Lookout Road where there is a small carpark. Mount Castle Lookout starts at the carpark. Also the Winder Track starts in the same location, there are signs for both trails.
When you have walked Mount Castle Lookout, drive back onto Lookout Road for a few minutes to Sylvesters Lookout. There is a small carpark and off road parking. There is a sign to indicate the start of the trail.
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195400 - 2023-06-16 04:09:14