The last time we visited the Mapleton National Park it was raining and wasn't an ideal time to attempt the Wompoo Circuit, especially with the signage warning about slippery trails during the wet season. I was determined to venture out there again, especially with the area being one of the most scenic spots of the Blackall Range in the Sunshine Coast hinterland. The cherry on top? I had discovered that the Wompoo Circuit is an easy Class 2 walk (I have no idea what Class 2 means), but the 'easy' part got my attention immediately. This 1.3km circuit was sounding more and more like my type of walk - easy, scenic and short of distance!
Kanyana Park and Lookout's facilities - Image: Elaine de Wet
Before commencing the Wompoo Circuit walk, one has the absolute privilege of driving through some stunningly scenic areas - think: valleys and rolling mountains - all in lush green surrounds. A short detour just outside Nambour on the Mapleton Road, in an area called Kureelpa, we discovered the Kanyana Park and Lookout as well as the Dulong Lookout. With regards sensational views, the only difference is that Dulong Lookout is slightly more elevated than Kanyana Park. The notable 'big' difference is that while Dulong Lookout has one sheltered picnic table, Kanyana Park has several, as well as a childrens' playground and toilet facilities, so one can kick back, have a picnic and enjoy the splendiferous views.
Views from Kanyana Way and Lookout - Image: Elaine de Wet
After enjoying the panoramic views these lookouts have to offer, alongside other road trippers, we continued to our planned destination - the Wompoo Circuit. Once reaching Mapleton, the signage to the Mapleton Falls National Park is evident all along the route, so very easy to follow. There's plenty of car parking at the entrance to the National Park, so one can park, and in my case, change to my walking shoes, without too much stress.
How stunning is the Obi Obi Valley? - Image: Elaine de Wet
A stop here wouldn't be complete without first admiring the stunning views of the Mapleton Falls from the lookout. One has panoramic views of Pencil Creek cascading one hundred and twenty metres over the escarpment, down into the Obi Obi Valley - a truly spectacular sight. This lookout is easily accessible by wheelchair too.
I digress - onto the Wompoo Circuit. This circuit track, named after the Wompoo fruit dove winds through rainforest and eucalypt forest with wayside signage providing interesting information en-route regarding the flora and fauna. One has to try to tip-toe softly along this well-used trail to catch glimpses of the little birds that love to forage in the undergrowth. We were treated to sightings of ittle black birds with long tails, and a stunningly beautiful yellow one, that I initially thought was an overgrown butterfly. They are so quick, darting here, there and everywhere, that my photo opportunities to capture them, was somewhat dismal. The bird sounds throughout the rainforest trail are a delight to the ears - the kookaburras laughing, the 'wompooing' of the Wompoo fruit dove, all making for a magical experience.
Don't by-pass the Peregrine Lookout - Images: Elaine de Wet
Don't by-pass the Peregrine Lookout signage - a short fifty-metre detour off the trail - providing excellent views of the Obi Obi Valley. Benches are provided at this look-out for photo opportunities, to relax and just take in the natural beauty of this landscape. Memorial plaques have also been placed on this slight detour, in memory of loved ones who have walked this path - loving tributes to those who have passed-on.
The Wompoo Circuit is an excellent trail for those looking for a short outing into natural bushland, especially on those warm sultry days, as the foliage provides much-wanted shade. I was so taken in with the surrounds of this lovely walk that I forgot to time it - but the suggested time is 45 minutes. Highlights for visitors to this small remnant of rainforest are the excellent views of Mapleton Falls and the Obi Obi Valley - a trip well worth doing.
1. Sturdy shoes 👍 2. Water 👍 3. Not suitable for wheelchairs or walkers with knee problems as there are quite a few steps throughout the walk 👎