Leaders - Colin & John
Total Distance: - Illinbah Circuit & Gwongoorool Pool 18.7k
Walkers – Christine, Helen & Grahame, Hugh, Jackie, Paul, Colin
Total Distance: - Caves Circuit & Gwongoorool Pool 13.0k
Walkers – John, Carol, Michele, Julie
We set off from the Binna Burra Information Centre in two groups, Colin with the Illinbah Circuit walkers and John with the Caves Circuit walkers at about 8:45am. Although some showers were predicted it was warm and sunny.
The Illinbah Circuit walkers started off in a clock-wise direction, making our way down the many steps to the junction for the Gwongoorool Pool/Illinbah Circuit. We decided to make the diversion to Gwongoorool Pool on the Coomera River for our smoko stop. It was lovely sitting in the shade and admiring the cascades and the deep pool.
After smoko we worked our way back to the Illinbah track and walked north generally following the course of the river. There were many river crossings and a huge variation in forestation. We could also see clearly why the track had been closed for some time with large trees down in many places and lots of repair work was evident. A highlight of this part of the walk was the spotting by Paul of a large and very lethargic carpet snake lying lengthwise on the track. The many river crossings were lots of fun with the test being who could keep their feet dry for the longest.
Towards the northern end of the circuit we decided to stop for lunch at a beautiful open area where the river hits a steep rock embankment and turns back to flow southward again for a short way. It was a little disconcerting to cross the river a number of times from here (still walking generally north) and have the river flowing in apparently (to us) opposite directions.
Jackie was the first to get her feet wet and then Christine suffered a mishap with a twisted ankle. After cooling off in the river it appeared not to be too bad but it was going to be a slower walk back climbing all the time to the Visitor Information Centre. The walk back follows the contours of the Binna Burra plateau and continually zig-zags back and forth in and around the many gullies and wash outs. While stopping for a short rest for us all to catch up Helen spotted a lump of obsidian (volcanic glass) with one side eroded and the other side flaked off.
We finally made it back to the Visitor Information Centre and then down to catch up with the other group at Michele’s place for welcome refreshments of coffee and cake. A great walk which we could do again in the opposite direction - Colin.