For the third day and concluding day of my micro-adventure into the north-east sections of South Burnett, I spent most of the day not actually in said region, but the one next door.
Getting a taste of the western-most area of Gympie, I stayed at the Kinbombi Falls overnight stay area, which was fantastic as it meant that I didn’t have to wake anyone up at an obnoxious time to get going to get the sunrise. I just had to haul my sleepy ass self up in the dark and plod my way across the car park to the walking trail.
Arriving at a sign, it indicated that there were three paths. Decisions, decisions. I opted for the closest one first, which was Trail 3. The easy trail soon led me to an assload of stairs which descended along a narrow ridgeline, and even though I couldn’t see a whole lot due to it still being pretty dark out, I was already in awe. Steep drops surrounded me on either side. No animals were seen, and soon the steps abruptly ended, and a dirt path down to the water awaited me.
Holy sweet mother of Jesus it was steep. It was no longer a ridgeline but a wide, open area of crumbly whitish dirt. It almost resembled a small landslide. Exciting!!!
I slowly sidestepped my way down the slippery slope and thought I was doing pretty well. It is, of course, always at the moment when you think you’re sailing along just smoothly that you “feel the earth move under your feet” and with all the style and grace in the world, I butt planted to the Earth.
But you know what they say, “It’s not how many times you fall, it’s how many times you get back up again.” So get back up I did, then I ass planted again and decreed butt scooting it would be.
Having finally reached the bottom of the gorge where I could stand on my own two feet again, I arrived at a scenic creek lined with jagged rock formations. I figured I had to follow it to get to the waterfall, but after reaching a dead end, I was pretty convinced that this was not right. I could have waded my way to the other side, and bush bashed my way to the falls, but the track said it was only a hundred handfuls of metres and this seemed much longer.
Retracing my steps back up the mini-landslide, a feat that was much easier to do going up than it was slipping down, I could feel the calves burning as I plodded my way up the stairway to heaven.
I could see the beautifully rugged landscape that I wasn’t able to see before it dawned upon me. Walking the ridgeline in daylight was spectacular and breathtaking! I could see into the incredible gorge and the river that I had ascended from, as well as pretty views in every other direction. There were so many great places for photos.
Arriving at the top again, the next trail I visited was numero due. Much to my relief, this one was only a handful of steps and provided breathtaking panoramic views of the gorge below. To the left was the creek, Kinbombi that has just given my legs a workout and to the right was the falls of the same name where I could see the metric tonnes of stairs that were making my knobbly knees weep at the thought of what lay in wait for them.
The waterfall itself, the very thing I had ventured all this way out for was, drum roll please, dry AF! Sure, you could see the plunge pool and the incredible sheer cliffs that lined its sides and were very beautiful, but the free-fall part of the waterfall was noticeably absent.
Truth be told, I wasn’t entirely surprised. One can’t expect to be in a dry part of the world and come to a waterfall before the rainy season when there hasn’t been much rain lately. I was umming and ahhing as to whether to come or not because of this but figured, “eh, I’m here, may as well.”
Having ticked off two trails, it was time to get up close and personal with Kinbombi Falls. Making my way down damn near 200 steps was like Deja Vu. C’mon man! Enough with the stairs! Yeesh!
I did, however, save the best for last. The landscape was rocky, jagged and dramatic and such a fun place to explore. Navigating my way between the rocks I came across a serene plunge pool and a wet area where there was foliage growing from the steep sides where I surmised the waterfall should have been flowing. Yeah, there was really nothing happening here.
Then, as I peered down to the very bottom, I jumped with joy! In that six-inch gap between the foliage and the plunge pool, I found it!!! Kinbombi Falls in all its spectacular, gushing glory. Yeah, no, it was a trickle. But I mean, still, being amongst the sheer cliffs and the dramatic scenery, it was very pretty, and I enjoyed scoping out the place. Except for the stairs, man, there’s no reason for that wickedness.
Having survived descending and ascending over 700 stairs over three trails to explore the Kinbombi Falls area, it was time to say adios to that asscheek workout, give my legs a rest and head on home.
I stopped in my the nearby township of Goomeri for a few, shot up the town which has a love affair with pumpkins before the long drive home.
Visiting the north-east section of South Burnett, and dipping my toes into the neighbouring regions of Gympie and Cherbourg in the overall Wide-Bay Burnett region was a delightful multi-day adventure. Even though at first glance the area seems to be nothing but altered lands for agriculture, there are numerous natural gems and plenty of wildlife that I loved discovering for the first time.
Of particular beauty was Boat Mountain Conservation Park, which had a surprisingly epic view from Daniels Lookout, and Kinbombi Falls, which even though it wasn’t running, was still spectacular, wild and just how I like it: untamed.
I wonder what it would have been like if more land had been kept wild and can only hope that of the microscopic patches of land that have been untainted, can stay that way so future generations can enjoy a sliver of what the earth carved out all by itself.
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