Heart Rock Mountain

Back in June I did the “Heart Rock Mountain” walk at Mt Walsh National Park. I use quotation marked here because unfortunately this is not a signed walk – it is basically back country hiking. Mt Walsh National Park is just south of Biggenden, and Biggenden is just west of Childers.

For further information, go to the Queensland National Parks Mt Walsh page: http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/mount-walsh/

Heart Rock - very aptly named, even if it isn't official.

Heart Rock – very aptly named, even if it isn’t the official name.

I did this hike with Moira Thompson from Experience Altitude at Biggenden. Moira is fantastic, and she knows Mt Walsh National Park like the back of her hand. She calls this particular track the “Heart Rock Mountain” walk, although there is no actual trail and Heart Rock is just her name for a particular rock formation.

Mt Walsh is one of my favourite places. I will write about climbing Mt Walsh in a separate post, as it deserves one all of its own. The national park, as far as I can determine, only has two public accesses. The main one is to the picnic area at the base of Mt Walsh, the other to the water holes at the south of the park (I haven’t done this part yet).

To explore the rest of the park you need to hike in from that area, or go with Moira as she has permission from many neighbouring properties to cross their land to enter the back sections of the park. Moira stressed to us all that these permissions are not easily obtained and asked us not to attempt to access the park via these properties without her, so I will not detail exactly where we entered the park. To be honest, I’m not sure I could find it again anyway! But it was on the eastern side of the park.

The Views we enjoyed all day. This one is looking north-east. I love my part of the world.

The Views we enjoyed all day. This one is looking north-east. I love my part of the world!

We started at about 8am. Because I had to drive from Bundaberg to get there (a bit over an hour) and I am as far from a morning person as you can get, I forgot to take my camera. So the few photos I have were taken with my Galaxy Mini Tablet – not the best way to take photos, but they turned out OK.

I won’t break down the hike step by step, as I find really detailed accounts of hikes a bit dull. So, overview it is.

Overall, we walked from about 8.30am to about 2.30pm. Moira didn’t rush us though, it was an easy pace with lots of stops to look at plants, rock formations and views. I feel it was relatively easy, at least for people who are fairly fit and are used to a bit of bushwalking. It was back country hiking though – no paths, so there was plenty of branch-dodging and rock-hopping. We even had to climb through a barbed-wire fence (which took me back to my childhood. Ah, the memories…)

I couldn't get far enough back to photograph this well. This is a very narrow crack, but was wide enough for me to slide through sideways and come out the other side

The Crack. I couldn’t get far enough back to photograph this well.

We stopped for morning tea at a clearing looking east, with pretty great views. We climbed on a bit more, and came “The Crack”, or at least this is Moira’s name for it. This is a rock that is split down the middle, which of course describes thousands of rocks in every square kilometre of bush. This one was pretty neat though – it was a very tall rock (probably about 4m or more) and the split was full-length. It was just wide enough for people to squeeze through – and I mean squeeze – if they turned sideways. Even better, it took a turn in  the middle, so you couldn’t see the end from the beginning.

Of course I gave it a go! I made it through, although there was a moment in the middle I thought I may not make it out. Lucky I don’t panic! Or get claustrophobia…

Heart Rock and beyond - looking south-east

Heart Rock and beyond – looking south-east

We then made it to Heart Rock. Now, I now that this isn’t going to make it into the Lonely Planet guide as a highlight of Australia but I still thought it was pretty neat.

We stopped here for lunch, which I promptly named “Heart Rock Café”. I know, it’s a Dad joke so funny I’m considering a career change. But it was enough to become the name for our group that day!

"Golf Ball Rock" - this is a really bad photo. The rock actually looks like it could roll off at any minute

“Golf Ball Rock” – this is a really bad photo. The rock actually looks like it could roll off at any minute

We moved further up the ridge to our end point, Golf Ball Rock. This photo is also not great, as it was too hard to get far enough back to see the full scale without trees then blocking the shot. You will just have to take my word for it that the rock was fairly round and looked like you could push in over any moment.

All up it was a great way to spend a Saturday. If you are not an experienced bushwalker than doing this on your own is not a good idea, although you could definitely contact Moira at Experience Altitude – experience.altitude@gmail.com

If you are an experienced bushwalker, than I hope you can see there is plenty to see in the Mt Walsh National Park. It is well worth the visit, especially if you like a bit of solitude in your experience as not many people seem to know about this great place.

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