Written By Kaz Simpson
We were a little uncertain as we set off on a Sunday morning to hike Nolans Gully. The weather was threatening to either change our plans or make an extremely technical hike exactly as it was written up.
A few of us had read the information about the hike a week prior and we were excited about the grade 5 (for very experienced bushwalkers), 6/7 hours downhill hike. There is something about the challenge of this which excites the regular hikers, pushing limits and feeling….blisters and a bit of muscle pain!
The weather continued to play on our minds and Michael made the call to be cautious and safe. We took another downhill route which was just as challenging!
We started to experience the real world of Paluma complete with Mosquitos. Some used tree branches to fan away the mozzies and the leaches were present as well. The blood sucking critters were out in full force but nothing a can of bushman’s repellent couldn’t fix😊 We were all on the lookout for each other, whether it be slapping the mosquitos, or flicking off a leach, and being aware of loose rocks which saw a few take a slide!
We were lucky enough to have our knowledgeable leader Michael, along with regulars Damian and Rhett who were happy to share their knowledge of bugs, the environment and all things interesting on our hike.
12 Happy hikers set out and we started our hike to the lookouts. The low cloud cover made it hard to see but we could see Nolans Gully through some gaps in the clouds.
We then made our way down the Paluma/Mount Spec Road to Windy Corner and hiked a part of the PRB track, before taking a turn onto an old pack horse trail to take up with the old Paluma Telegraph line which took us all the way down to the Mango Tree Carpark.
For what the scenery lacked was made up with the conversations and company. Michael set the pace as we hiked downhill. As the day went on the heavens opened and it rained but it didn’t dampen our spirits. At lunch, our 12 turned to 7 with some deciding that it was their time to turn back. We were lucky with this hike that these hikers came prepared and were capable to navigate back to the cars.
We saw some historical old telephone lines, it left us wondering how hard it must have been, every time there was a storm and a tree would come down on a line and they would have to repair it.
Eventually the day came to an end, gaiters were taken off, leaches were found, wet shoes and clothes were replaced.
Another challenging yet rewarding hike for Townsville Hike and Explore!