With around a dozen creek crossings, Cascades Circuit is the most fun bushwalk in Main Range National Park, Goomburra Section. The multiple creek crossings also makes it the most photogenic.
Location: End of Forestry Reserve Road, Goomburra QLD 4362 (2.5 hours SW Brisbane)
Walking Distance: 6.5km
Time: 3 hours
Difficulty: Moderately Hard
Costs/Permit: No cost, no permit required for bushwalking. Fees apply to camping.
Opening Times: only closed occasionally for maintenance or natural disaster.
Facilities: 2 National Park managed camping grounds, toilets (at Poplar Flat and Manna Gum camping areas), picnic area, information board (near Poplar Flat camping area), 8 different walking tracks.
What to take: Water, camera, sunscreen, insect repellant, snacks.
Cascades Circuit can be traversed in either direction. If going early morning, anticlockwise may be preferable so as to take advantage of the more open and lighter part of the track, while waiting for the sun to penetrate the denser parts of the rainforest. Be prepared for a 2km uphill begining. If going later in the afternoon, clockwise would be preferable so as to complete the darker rainforest sections while there is still enough light, and you get to enjoy a descent for the final 2km.
Starting from where Dalrymple Circuit turns around, Cascades Circuit immediately shows that it is a track for more experienced bushwalkers. The thinner track will need to be traversed in single file and may at times have you wondering where to go.
Having found myself geographically challenged at one point – taking 20 minutes to reconnect with the proper path after trying to convince myself that rock hopping for 200m was part of the track – I discovered the track markers. The meter high wooden posts, with orange triangles at the top, became a great source of reasurance. A few more of them wouldn’t go astray! Handy hint: creek crossings only ever go straight across the creek.
There are around a dozen creek crossings, all of them picturesque. Heavy rain could make this track treacherous.
There are so many lovely spots to pause and have a picnic. Stopping for 10 minutes to soak in the serenity will add to your enjoyment of the experience.
At around the half way point there is a short (50m) detour to view Cascade Falls. Compared to the rest of the track, the falls were underwhelming. Overgrown and not much more than a trickle, they are still worth the small detour.
Approximately half the circuit closely follows the creek. The remainder has some heart thumping elevation. Look out for the beauty all around you to help distract from your laboured breathing.
When travelling clockwise, the last 2km joins with Ridge Track and is also a fire trail. It is all downhill from here.
Cascades Circuit is my favourite bushwalk in the Goomburra Section of Main Range National Park.