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Switchback Trail

Switchback Trail
Home > Diaries > 2022 > 931


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170 - 620m ASL


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I HEADED over the Mount Glorious Hill in the early morning arriving at Wivenhoe Outlook part way down the other side of the range. Upon arriving, I warmed up with following the short track to the lookout. Although the sky was overcast I had a clear view of Lake Wivenhoe sitting in the middle of Brisbane Valley with the Great Dividing Range appearing in the far distance.

Upon completing the circuit, I walked down to the road below the lookout and followed it for about a hundred metres further down the range to the start of Range Road, perhaps once an extension of the Mount Glorious Road continuing along the range towards Mount Mee, but now only a dirt road firebreak. I followed Range Road down the ridge a short distance to a low saddle from where it started rising again along the hills of the ridge. A large water tank sat beside the track, the last sign of civilisation I will see along this journey.

I continued following Range Road for about an hour before reaching a junction at a saddle. Switchback Road turned off sharply to the left heading up the hill I had just passed. I turned off and followed this track, which quickly became a lot rougher than Range Road. After a short distance it reached its maximum altitude along the side of the hill before starting a steep descent down Switchback Spur.

There were three distinct steep drops down the open eucalypt forest with grass covering much of the forest floor and across much of the track except a single narrow lane clearly not frequented in this remote corner of the park. The cloud thickened overhead as I continued the descent, but soon cleared enough for the sun to start coming through.

The end of the third drop ended at a saddle from where a short rise led to the top of a low hill at a junction. Goffeys Break crossed the track here. It was in better condition than Switchback Track, and was the one I was looking for. After resting in the bright sunlight for a few minutes, I began descending Goffeys Break to the left initially descending gradually before suddenly going very steep through the thin forest.

Mount Glorious Road was getting closer by the sound of the traffic. The steep section lasted a fair while before the bush thickened near the bottom of the valley. The track passed through thick grass and lantana before suddenly arriving at the side of the road beside one of its bridges crossing Northbrook Creek. The descent was quite steep having dropped 450 metres over a relatively short distance. There was nowhere to rest beside the road, so I turned back and started the long climb back up the hill.

The going was quite slow in the heat of the late morning as I climbed the steep section eventually reaching the top of the hill at the junction. I rested there for a while before starting the longer climb up Switchback Break. Cloud covered the sky once more and thickened as I continued climbing. Spots of rain were starting to fall when I reached the top of the track, and it was falling heavily by the time I returned to the junction of Range Road.

I sheltered under a tree whilst the rain fell heavily, but within a few minutes it had stopped falling and the sun came out again. I returned along the much easier trail back towards Wivenhoe Outlook. Steam rose from the trail as the hot sun heated the rain that had just fallen. Fortunately there was no more rain in the hour it took me to return to Wivenhoe Outlook.


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