Hiking and exploring Ethel Creek on a warm and humid Sunday in January turned out to be an adventure that all 15 who came along will be sure to remember!
Setting off early from close to the Paluma village, we made our way along one of the many marked and mapped Paluma trails to Ethel Creek Falls.
From the falls, we made our way off trail and into the unknown as we made our way into the upper reaches of Ethel Creek.
Water levels were good, the sun was slowly rising and there was no low cloud present, so conditions were ideal for a day of hiking and exploring a remote section of the Paluma Range National Park. It was evident that the typical Paluma “morning dew’ that generally slows us up on the early stages of an all-day rainforest rock hop was nowhere to be seen.
The Ethel Creek Line is very similar to the Cloudy Creek Line the group hiked on our 2019 Finale Hike a few weeks prior.
The Upper Section is narrow, rocky and surrounded by dense rainforest on both sides, however as we make our way down, the creek widens and its at that point we use all of our rock hopping and scrambling skills as we navigate through massive boulder fields and make numerous diversions around the many impassable, yet impressive waterfalls and water features that make up this beautiful creek line.
Water Dragons were spotted throughout the day, sunning themselves on the warm rocks and quick to make a dive into the creek at the first sign of movement and noise from the group. Some of the shallower pools in the creek line were filled to the bream with fist sized fresh water yabbies and some of the group found out how much they like to nip at the toes of the adventurer that decides to dip their feet in the water!
We stopped for a handful of swims on the way down at a couple of the more spectacular waterholes that few adventurers have witnessed in this remote section of the National Park.
We sure felt the humidity on the way down, however the warm day worked in our favour, drying off the rocky granite boulder filled creek bed in a matter of minutes after a couple of sun showers passed over during the day.
We hiked, swam, rock scrambled, and rock hopped nearly 17km by the time we made our way back to the Mango Tree Carpark in the late afternoon.
As we walked out along the Intake Road, we chatted and chuckled about the highlights of the day and yet another summer adventure ticked off the list! Many a pair of pants was ruined and a great memory or two was made on this mammoth outdoor team effort!
We welcomed a handful of new faces on this adventure and our regular hikers and explorers were, as always, more than happy to motivate, support and assist the team during the course of the day.
It was a tough day at the office, but always a pleasure to see the smiles and sense of accomplishment on the faces of the group at the end of yet another epic Townsville Hike and Explore adventure in the outdoors.