A few months back, a good friend of mine based in Bargara – a small beachside town just outside Bundaberg – floated the idea of climbing Mt Walsh in the North Burnett. He’d done the climb before and was keen to show me first hand the beauty of this spectacular region. With the warmer weather becoming ever so apparent, we chose an opportunistic weekend and before I knew it was I was on my way North.
Time: 4 to 5 hrs Return
Grade: Class 5
One Way / Circuit: Circuit
Start: Mt. Walsh Day Use Area
Mt Walsh National Park is situated approximately 5km south of Biggenden, a small township outside of Childers. As I was staying the weekend with Lee and his wife Ash in Bargara, we set out at 7 a.m to make the hour and a half journey to the Mt Walsh day use area where The Bluff walking track begins.
The track is rated at a difficulty class of 5, and it lives up to this classification from the get go. Distance wise, it’s only a short 3 kilometres return but don’t let this fool you – the steepness of the climb will certainly test your fitness.
We began the walk at around 8:30 a.m, allowing for the recommended 4 to 5 hours return. As we ascended through the dry bushland it became quite apparent that we would need to readjust from our steady pace to a moderate walk. Although we’d covered a lot of ground quite quickly, the intensity of the varied trail surfaces began to take its toll on the three of us. Our rest stops increased as we made our way above the tree line, but this allowed plenty of opportunity to take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside.
The real fun however begins about two thirds of the way up, when the edge of the forest is met with exposed rock. This section of the track offers some exciting scrambling and basic climbing opportunities, keeping things interesting on the final part of the ascent. As always, it is recommended to exercise extreme caution and only undertake if experienced.
After negotiating crevasses and climbing a chimney section toward the top, we were soon met with 180 degree views of the North Burnett and surrounds. The summit of Mt Walsh is relatively flat and offers plenty of spots to sit, relax and catch your breath from the top of the exposed cliff lines.
Quote of the day goes to Ash, who, on reaching the top of the mountain, politely exclaimed that scrambling the exposed granite was ‘so much better than that other shit.’ No matter what it is you’re looking for – whether a bushwalk or a rock scramble – the diversity of The Bluff walking track in Mt Walsh National Park has you covered.
Have you done this climb? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!