After an earlier attempt was foiled and replaced with a Noosa Headland walk, the skies cleared and we headed towards the Blackhall range to complete the Baroon section of the Sunshine Coast Hinterland Great Walk. The goal of the day was to make it all the way to Kondalilla Falls, but we were slow off the mark in arriving at the starting point, so were open to shortening the 20km walk if necessary.
The first section is a touch over 2km, and brings you to the Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout, with some sweet views of the dam through a steep valley that is home to Obi Obi creek.
After here, a sign recommends only experienced hikers continue. Nothing to be too put off by, as the track mostly just becomes slightly less defined and steeper.
The walk descends via some steep switchbacks from here towards Obi Obi Creek where the terrain changes quite sharply, with wet sclerophyll bushland giving way to dense riparian rainforest, complete with plenty of palms and strangler figs.
It was at this point I came within millimetres of stepping on a small green tree snake, an encounter leaving both parties shaken up!
One at the bottom, we found a green lagoon had formed in the creek to give a cool jungle vibe and a nice photo op.
From here the walk is pretty flat and smooth sailing. However the time constraints we were wary of had come to fruition, so we decided to turn back around 6km in, just before flat rock.
The hardest part of the walk back is returning back up the hill from the creek to the Baroon Pocket Dam Lookout, but it wasn’t as horrible as we feared during the descent. We were left with sufficient energy to complete the two short detours to lookouts near the entrance point.
Plenty of goannas, bush turkeys and the occasional snake grace the walk, making for a great game of spotto.
Once our 12km return walk was complete, we drove up to Montville for a well-earned feed at the Burger Pit (recommended) and a breather beside the town’s stunning views.
Fueled up, we drove to Kondalilla falls, where our walk would have terminated, and took the short walk to the swimming hole at the top of the falls.
Unfortunately, I was too busy enjoying the swim to take many pictures of the falls themselves, but I did manage a snap of the view ahead as twilight began to settle: