It has been quite a few months since I’d done any overnight hiking (the bike had been winning), but a local meetup group had a walk in an area that I really liked so I pulled out my pack and boots…
The Steamers are a collection of huge rock formations that look like parts of a huge ship; the mast, funnel and stern. On this hike we walked up past the funnel to the mast, getting a great view of much of it. The way up was steep and pretty loose, There was no water on the trip so we all add very heavy packs. We were all thinking it was going to be a serious bum-slide to go back down!
This time of year is a great time for hiking, lots of flowers, many bird’s calling, lizards and the odd snake. This area has many grass trees, great colours and really strange shapes.
The camping spot was beautiful, really clear, lots of space, and a great view for sunrise and sunset. Sunset was spoiled a little by lots of clouds but we had high hopes for the next morning. As usual in the bush it was early to bed after a nice meal and then early the next morning to see the sun. It was worth it, the soft glow looks beautiful on the rock faces. This area would be a geologists dream, so many different types of rock exposed, thank you Australia’s LONG age and weathering. One person had brought a drone along, I hadn’t really seen the videos from one before, it was really cool to see the different points of view from up so high.
The plan was a loop going up a fairly direct route to the funnel then back down Emu Creek. Others had done Emu Creek the week before and told us head high Gympie Gympie was waiting – we decided to not go that way. For anyone who doesn’t know Gympie Gympie, also called Stinging Tree, is a REALLY painful tree that likes some parts of S.E. Queensland – I’ve seen a quote of the internet describing it as being burnt by acid and electrocuted at the same time, pretty much how it feels. If you get a bad sting it can hang around for months, basically, really, really good to avoid!
In the end we picked another route that seemed like a good way to make a loop on the map, going down the Scenic Rim track. There was supposed to be water on this part in the saddle, we found a pretty dry creek with just a trickle. We all decided a trickle, and everyones preference of of filter straws, tablets, boiling and UV sterilisers (mine) would do the trick – it did and the resulting coffee was appreciated. The route down was pretty good although it didn’t involve a fair chunk of bush bashing and careful nasty bush avoidance, no major stings for anyone so all was good.
The whole trip was very enjoyable, a good group and the truly massive works burger at the end at the closest town, Yangan, was greatly appreciated!
The Steamers are part of the Main Range National Park and are located close to Boonah. (From QLD National Parks – The nearest vehicle access is by 4WD to the eastern end of Old Mill Road via Emu Creek Road, or by 2WD in dry weather to the start of Old Mill Road, east of Emuvale). Even though it had been reasonably dry there were quite a few creek crossings, some deep, a 4WD is recommended.
The first day – going up