Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Hiking in the Bush

Having driven from Sydney to Cape Tribulation along the coastal route, we have not really had a chance to experience the outback until we got to Undara National Park.  The campground itself is a combination of dusty bush, kitschy pioneer relics, quirky tour guides, and modern amenities.  There are several bush walks that start from the campground and they're serious about having walkers sign in and out as the conditions are true to what you would expect in the outback.  This time of year it's hot and dry with no water to be found and it's easy to over exert yourself or become disoriented if you are not paying attention.  

We chose to tackle the Rosella Plains trail which winds 12 km through the bush along gravel trails, over boulders, and past several panoramic view points.  We loaded up on the water, applied plenty of sunscreen, and headed out by 9:30 to miss most of the heat of the day.  The guide recommends allowing 6 hours to complete the circuit, but we managed to come in at 4 hours and 15 minutes.  The trail was fairly easy going and the promise of a cold swim at the end kept us moving.  We caught site of a couple of wallaroos and some black cockatoos, but most critters were a lot smarter than us and stayed tucked away in the shade somewhere.  The scenery got a bit monotonous after kilometer 8 or so, but all in all it was a walk well worth the effort.

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