Mount Cleveland Western Ridgelines Hike

Written by Kaz Simpson

A later start to the day today with Michael and I heading off into the Bowling Green National Park – at the warmest time of the day, a little before 12 noon. As we are happy hikers, we took the challenge on and started the hike with a smile on our face and marched into the national park.

Well…… it was hot and with all the rain we have been having the grass was taller than we were in some parts!

We were actively thinking about snakes and even crocodiles (and soon enough mosquitoes).

We hiked on and started the hike and climb to our destination- the summit.

The boulders were massive, and we had to navigate our way up, over, and around them. On our way up we discovered some caves. Michael was all excited and ready to explore! I was a little dubious, being very snake aware and I think caves tend to hold snakes. The cave was about ten degrees cooler then outside and it and turned out to be a great spot for a rest….next to a gecko ……and a massive spider!

Looking around we were amazed to see some aboriginal rock art! To see something this old and unique is so special and surreal! We visualised what it would have been like all those years ago and we were in awe.

Moving up to the next cave, with a little coaxing from Michael to come and look, I looked into a cave which was too dark to enter but light enough that I saw a snake and we bailed.

Onwards and upwards and the heat knocked us around, but we continued, grasping at tuffs of grass and plants to help us on our way up. Stopping for a few pictures we discovered water coming down the boulders which is highly unusual and could hear a waterfall. Wanting to reach the top, we decided to follow the water on our descent and hopefully find a waterhole for a swim.

The views from the top of the western ridgeline were amazing and the heat was intense.

A lot of breaks and wetting our hats to cool off helped but then the mozzies came out and decided to join us for the rest of the trip sucking at our blood.

We followed the water to the little watering holes that eventually form the creek. By this stage we were covered with Aerogard and when we stopped we could see that it would encourage the little blood suckers to feast on more exposed skin, so with a quick splash of water we moved on.

I saw a black snake on the way down trying to get away from me as quick as possible. This was good as there was no way I could move so quickly without possibly falling forward, tumbling down the rocks and adding to my already bloody knees and elbow.

My fearless leader reminded me not to go near the snake and I was all too happy to oblige!

We continued to rock hop down the boulders and followed the water, eventually reaching the car. We stopped on the way back and watched the storm roll in over Saddle Mountain.
This was quite impressive from the drone perspective as you can see from Michaels pics.

All in all, it was a hot day for a hike but with good company, fantastic views and having the privilege of being able to hike and enjoy life – we had a good day 🙂

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