Given that I’m now happily ensconced in one of the most beautiful places on earth it’s time to explore!

I’m seriously surrounded by so much natural beauty it’s crazy!

So yesterday I drove 45 minutes north to the Glasshouse Mountains National Park for an early morning hike.

I didn’t realize is that Queensland is home to 1000 National Parks. Yes, you saw right – 1000!

The best known is the Great Barrier Reef National Park which stretches along the coast for over 2500 kms, starting just north from where I now live. 🙂

Australia have some of the finest and most diverse Parks in the world. Fortunately for me I just so happen to live in the middle of it all. How good is that?

I decided to start off easy and so chose the Mount Coochin trail loop for my first hike. This moderately graded 2.4 kms hike ranges from rainforest at the bottom to a more lightly wooded peak.

A second peak can be accessed by traversing a steep spur from the top of the first.

I soon realized after labouring up the first slope was that my two weeks on inactivity had impacted my fitness….

Nothing like testing the knee! 🙂

Although the descent was the trickiest part. Lots of loose rock and quite steep in places.

Mount Coochin is part of a dormant volcano field that forms the Glasshouse Mountains National Park. Formed some 29 million years ago they now serve as a home to an incredible range of flora and fauna.

I chose this particular peak cos’ it was frankly the easiest of all the climbs.

My plan is to eventually tackle each of the peaks in the Glasshouse range, but I’ll need to take some rock climbing lessons if I’m going to to be able to tackle either Mount Beerwah or Tibrogargan.

Those two in particular are definitely not for the faint of heart!

Given that we’re in the depths of summer it gets hot fast, so I left home early and arrived at the car park at 8:30 am.

Ensuring that I had lots of sunscreen slathered over me, hat, water bottle and camera I was all set for my hike.

What I wasn’t expecting was the steepness of the climb. It was reminiscent of my hike along the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.

Although thank goodness it was only a 45 min hike up the initial slope and not eight days on end.

Sweat dripped from every pore of my being, my heart and lungs thumping in my chest and the heat…well, it definitely brought back some memories. 🙂

Totally worth the climb as I had amazing views from both peaks out toward the ocean.

After making it back to the bottom safely I continued my journey north and ventured to a couple of towns nestled in the hinterland (top of the coast mountain range).

If you like small artisan and crafty, antique type stores then Maleny is just the place to visit. Although I must warn you it’s crazy busy (as you’d expect). Even for me Maleny was a little too busy!

I wandered the streets and picked up a couple of things for the house before deciding on heading to Montville some 15 kms north.

Montville is a quaint little town and close to the Mapleton Falls National Park.

I was intrigued by the heavily wooded rainforest road from town to the Park.

Adjacent to the car park is the falls viewing tower. Unfortunately, you’re only able to get an oblique view of the 120m high falls, although with some recent rain it was flowing quite nicely!

That being said you still got stunning views of the rainforest across valleys below.

I decided to walk the Wompoo Circuit trail (1.2 km) and was so glad I did as it was absolutely stunning!

After about 10 minutes I stopped and stood for what seemed an eternity just listening to the cicadas and birds high in the canopy serenade me…

All I could do was inhale the natural beauty and peacefulness of the moment. It was the perfect place to meditate and just breath.

Luckily for me I only encountered a couple of other hikers on the trail, so felt like I had it virtually to myself.

I thought to myself where else in the world could I experience this peaceful beauty and not be inundated with tourists?

Considering all of the steep ups and downs during my hike day my knee performed well, and with a little icing upon my return was great the next morning.

Definitely on the mend – thanks to everyone who have enquired! 🙂

Until next week and my next adventure.