I'm a freelance writer living in Brisbane. I love bushwalking, kayaking, wildlife, history and travel.
Published May 22nd 2018
A lovely mountain walk
The Mt Greville bushwalk was classed as a grade 5 walk by my local bushwalking club. The club describes grade 5 walks as "rough or rocky terrain that may require use of hands, and/or creek rock hopping that requires small to moderate steps. Fallen debris possible."
Mt Greville is 770 metres. It is South West of Lake Moogerah and was gazetted as a national park in 1948. Explorer Allan Cunningham named the mountain after Scottish botanist Dr Robert Kaye Greville in 1928. Greville originally studied medicine but gave up his medical education to concentrate on Botany. He was also an accomplished artist and natural history illustrator.
Robert Kaye Greville,State Library Qld
We drove out through Aratula towards Cunningham's Gap and turned off at the Lake Moogerah sign. We turned into Mt Greville Road and followed it until we got to a small carpark on the right with National Park signs.
There are three different routes up the mountain, Palm Gorge, Waterfall Gorge and South East Ridge. The whole trip up and back is only six kilometres. We planned to go up Palm Gorge and down South East Ridge.
I thought I was reasonably fit as I had been doing a few walks and kayaking trips recently, but I found Mt Greville pretty tough. I started out okay, but after about 30 minutes without a rest going straight up I had to stop and get my breath. Most of the other walkers were powering ahead. I stopped to let others go by me until there were only three of us at the tail end.
As the climb got steeper and steeper, I had to stop to catch my breath a few times. All the others were younger and fitter than me, so I felt bad holding them up. They didn't seem to need a rest at all. My legs were fine and I found climbing up on the loose palm leaf branches and over large rocks fine, but my lungs protested strongly. Going up the gorge was very beautiful though which helped take my mind off my laboured breathing.
One walker is always nominated tail, so the tail woman behind me, and a man in front stayed with me and encouraged me. They were both wonderful. I'd never met the man before. He kept making funny remarks, which kept me laughing and helped me forget my pain, and the woman was also very encouraging.
About two-thirds of the way up we met a couple of fit young men coming down the gorge. I asked them how much further it was to the top. They both told me different distances and times, then just smiled and said, "It's a good workout".
Eventually, we did climb out of the gorge and had a rest before going onto a lookout spot for morning tea. After morning tea we headed up again to the top of the mountain where there was a large rock cairn. There was a view a short distance from the top along a short track to the west. I was very relieved to reach the top and see the rock cairn. I don't mind walking down mountains, but I don't enjoy walking up them.
One of the more experienced walkers said he knew a different route down, so we all followed him. It was a very steep descent to some slabs of flat rock where we had lunch and fantastic views over Lake Moogerah.
After lunch, we walked across a connection track from the top of Waterfall gorge to the South East Ridge Track. I was very pleased when we found the track as I was concerned we may have to go up again if we didn't find it, and I'd sure had enough of going up.
National Parks warn this walk is only suitable for experienced walkers. There are sheer cliffs and rocks can be slippery, especially after rain. I always like to go on walks with people who have been to places before and know the area well. I have heard of people getting lost on this mountain. It would be easy to lose the tracks.
Some people like climbing up mountains and hate going down. I much prefer going down, even when it is steep and slippery. There was a lot of loose gravel on the way down and one woman did slip on a loose rock and went sprawling face down. She tore the knees out of her trousers but said she was okay.
People have been enjoying climbing Mt Greville for many years. An article in the Queensland Times on 11 January 1933 described a camping trip to Mt Greville. "Mt. Greville and Mt. Moore were climbed by energetic members of the party, and the hunters brought in enough game to add pigeon stew and roast wild duck to the menu. Mt. Grevllle is one of the beauty spots of the district and the climb up through the gorge to the top is well worth the time and energy spent"
The Courier-Mail featured a story on 15 May 1939 about the first nighttime climb.
"Mt. Greville, known as the sentinel to Spicer's Gap, was climbed by five Brisbane residents after midnight on Saturday. It was the first ascent of the mountain in the dark….Leaving Brisbane shortly after 10 pm on Saturday, the party, consisting of Douglas Jolly, Harold Napier, Cyril Hesse, Cecil Streten, and Ley Outridge, journeyed to Reynold's Creek by car. Taking two packs, with food and blankets, the party began the climb at 12.45 a.m. The climbers were fortunate in finding the western gorge, a deep cleft which runs from the foot half-way up the mountain, and they clambered up this, over boulders, fallen timber, and palm leaves. After a short rest at a look-out on the Mt. Maroon side of the mountain they reached the summit at 4.15am. A fire was lit and bread toasted, and the party watched the sunrise shortly before 6 am. A fine panorama was presented as the sun rose, outlining the Great Barrier Range and Mt. Moon, Mt. Roberts, Mt. Superbus, and Mt. Edwards. The party descended by the eastern gorge and breakfasted in style on grilled meat and poached eggs before
returning to Brisbane".
I did meet up with a young couple in their 20s last Sunday on a Grade 4 walk who had been on the Mt Greville walk with me. I was reassured when they said they found the Mt Greville walk hard too.