Worthwhile lovely Goomburra walk to nowhere in particular
The North Branch Track at Goomburra is a lovely 7 km return walk with plenty of creek crossings through rainforest and eucalypts to, well, nowhere in particular. But well worth the walk, especially when combined with the nearby Cascades Circuit.
The North Branch Track starts near the Kurrajong Picnic Area at Goomburra
The Main Range National Park is divided into a number of sections. One area that is not often visited is Goomburra. To get there, you have to cross the range at Cunninghams Gap and drive for another 45 minutes, first going west then turning around and driving east back to the range to a spot only 20 kms from Cunninghams Gap. But the area features a number of different short walks that can make a great day out or even fill a weekend of camping.
Camping at the Manna Gum Camping Area at Goomburra
The hike starts near the beginning of Lookout Road. If you are driving directly there, then park at the Kurrajong Picnic Area, while campers can walk from the campgrounds. This avoids the need to drive across the creek, which, if there have been recent rains, may not be suitable for a 2 wheel drive car.
There are a number of ill defined creek crossings on the North Branch Track, but it is possible to get across all of them with dry feet
The name of the track comes from the fact that it follows the north branch of Dalrymple Creek. The path will cross the creek multiple times and it is possible to do all the creek crossings keeping your feet dry. But the crossings are somewhat haphazard, so when you get to a creek crossing, look around to see which collection of rocks is going to give you the best way across.
The are lots of options for rock hopping across the creek crossings, so always look around before choosing your route
Also while walking the early part of the track, keep a lookout on the ground for the leavings of cattle. The farm next to the national park doesn't like fences. They have lots of signs telling everyone that their farm is private property. However, they seem to have no problem with cows wandering down into the national park. I guess bovines have trouble reading signs.
The farm near the National Park doesn't like to use fences, so you will see cattle and need to side step a few cow patties on this walk
Even though the walk is not that popular, the path is well defined, and there isn't much problem following the path. There are also plenty of trail markers, though I never found that I needed to use them.
Other than the creek crossings, the track is well defined with plenty of trail markers to follow
Once past the areas frequented by cows, you will see a reasonable amount of wildlife. We spotted a few wallabies in the bushes on our walk and I was able to photograph one of them. We heard plenty of catbirds, which their distinctive cat like call, but failed to actually see any of them. Yes, you can also expect to see snakes as well, as the creek has a lot of frogs, and the snakes hang out near the water in search of an amphibian feast.
Keep an eye out for wildlife on the track, whether it is wallabies in the bushes or snakes near the creeks
The walk is lovely and varied. There are sections of bushland, areas of the path lined with luscious ferns, and sections of thick rainforest. All of this is punctuated by visits to and across the creek.
North Branch Track is varied, from thick rainforest to eucalyptus forests
The walk ends in a little waterfall, which is a relaxing spot to sit, with enough water below it to wade or sit in the water. Ideally, I would dso this walk in the middle of the day so I can enjoy my lunch here. Even so, it is worth bringing some snacks and a thermos of tea to really enjoy this spot.
The North Branch Track basically just ends at a small waterfall, making for a lovely walk to nowhere in particular
Just in case you are worried that you will go past the end of the track, there is a clear marker stating that it is the end. However, some people do choose to carry on up the creek. There is no path, so you have to rock hop up some sections, wade waist deep in others, and climb a few cascades to get to the Araucaria Falls. From there you join the track back to Lookout Road. You can either return by walking down the road or walk up it to Sylvesters Lookout and then follow the unmarked Scenic Rim Great Walk Trail down to the Cascades Circuit where you exit at the campgrounds.
There is a marker for the end of the official trail, but some people rock hop, climb and wade their way up the creek to Araucaria Falls
Few people are going to come out to Goomburra to just walk this track. But you might combine it with the Cascades Circuit or some of the other tracks during a day of walks. Many others come here for camping, seeking to do all the tracks over 2 or 3 days.
After the hike
The best option for lunch after the hike is to bring your own. There is a picnic area near the start of the hike with tables and wood fired barbecues. Otherwise you have to drive 30 minutes to the nearest pub at Maryvale or even further to the next place at Aratula or Warwick.