Updated: Jan 24
Before you start
Distance: 2 km (one way from the creek to the hill, variable as can walk much further)
How to get there:
Follow the Mackay-Eungella road, turned onto Pinnacle Septimus road, turn onto Pinnacle station road and follow the signs, eventually after 4W Driving, you will reach Captains crossing (Its tricky to find so definitely take a map).
Camping byo. Check the information at Queensland Parks website.
Facilities: No facilities
After a challenging gravel/mud road, we found a hidden spot, where a crystal clear creek flows, birds sing, the grass is green and there is a vast stand of eucalyptus forest. A great spot for a camping and walking adventure. Before heading to our trip into Eungella National Park, we stopped at a hidden forest nearby called Mia Mia state forest, a hidden escape that is largely known about only by the locals.
Finding the place was quite an adventure. The road to Mia Mia state forest wasn't that obvious. After turning at a sign in the middle of nowhere, after following the instructions from Sigrid (the lady on the phone), we continued onto a 4WD gravel/mud road. The road first passed through someone's farm, and was blocked by friendly i-don't-want-to-move kind of cows. The conditions of the road made us doubt whether we were on the right place or not. We stopped and turned back, drove back to the closest town and asked for directions.
It turned out that Sigrid was right, and it she was guiding us to the road that runs through the Mia Mia state forest. So with confirmation from a local, we turned back again, drove to the same place, found the cows once more, passed the cows, passed the farm land, and eventually came to a sign "Mia Mia state forest."
The first major stopping point along the 4WD track is Captain's crossing at Teemburra Creek, which is actually on the edge of the state forest. There are no assigned camping spots along the river (or anywhere in the forest), so you can park and camp wherever you find a nice spot. Which is something I am not particularly happy with. I know people likes the freedom of choosing where to camp, but by having designated camping places, human impacts on the environment can be better contained and minimised.
We stayed in Mia Mia state forest for one night, and decided to explore the area. We chose a place with a wonderful creekside view.
Early in the morning, on a December summer day, we went for a hike into the eucalyptus dominated forest. We follow the 4WD track past the Captains crossing and up into the hills. The road was lined with eucalyptus tree, and newly shooted green grass and ashes covering the ground from the recent bushfires. Touching the tree bark made our hands black. Unlike what we saw in the rainforest, here the fire had breathed new life into the forest. Intense green grass was everywhere, and the air smelt fresh. The thick understorey of the invasive lantana that we saw in isolated patches of unburnt areas, was gone from most of the forest. Eucalyptus trees were shooting new growth.
We walked for about 2 km up the hill, following the gravel road until we came to the base of a hill near the road. We climbed the hill, which was around 20 m higher than the road and we sat at the top contemplating the view, which included Mia Mia state forest and a view to the Crediton State forest. Satisfied with our destination, we then started heading back to our camp.
Mia Mia state forest also went through a bushfire in November 2018 and the signature of the fire was still in the forest. Read our post about the bushfire in Eungella for more.
Fauna and flora
Mostly eucalyptus trees, cycads and grass trees recovering after the fire. We spotted lots of caterpillar crawling on the tree's bark and grass. We saw and heard a lot of evidence of cows wandering around, but never saw them. We also saw several goannas and lots of birds.
If walking on the trail watch out for motorbikes and cars as it is a shared trail. If you decide to get off the main road make sure you know where to go, there isn't any designated walking trail so you could get lost.
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