Managed to escape for a couple of quiet days in Giraween national park a couple of weeks ago. The most amazing granite country, sentinel boulders and eucalypt forest. It was lovely to see the park greening up and the creek enthusiastically running after the wet spring/ now summer. Wildflowers still blooming, although the peak of wildflower season is past, September/October is the best time to visit for flowers. Giraween means “the place of flowers”.
Despite the indigenous name, it is a place of absence where traditional owners are concerned. I am uncertain as to whose country it is, the QLD parks page sadly does not provide much information. It has become a habit to check whose country I am on when moving around Australia and I feel uncomfortable when I am not able to acknowledge traditional owners of country properly, it feels wrong and absences are disturbing.
It had been a wet week, with more rain predicted. When we passed through Warwick the Condamine was up, still below the bridge but flooding across into the park, appropriately the park has a statue of Tiddalik, the greedy frog that drank all the water but then released it again in a flood when the eel made him laugh. Tiddalik had definitely been laughing when we passed through. Actually, we were pretty lucky with the weather the only rain we had was a light drizzle, enough to help keep things cool while walking, although it was still humid.
We camped at the castle rock campsite, peaceful, very few people about, personally I love the solitude. No on site power, the solar panel more than adequate for our needs, don’t even need that really, for just two nights. No phone network where we camped but phones do seem to work closer to the bald rock creek day-use area. Clean flushing toilets, always a luxury when camping, and showers of the BYO bucket variety, i.e. shower stalls with a system to hang a portable shower, best to bring own supply of water. Water is available but not potable. Shady well-spaced spots to set up camp and the only real neighbours were very relaxed kangaroos and a possum in the tree next to us, so pretty perfect really.
One reason I love the granite belt for weekend escapes is the temperature. It is always cooler, due to the elevation. Even in summer, the temperature will drop to a comfortable level, especially at night, so a good nights sleep is pretty much guaranteed. The local produce is pretty good as well.
We did some fairly gentle walks, didn’t really feel up to tackling the pyramid but we did the easy walk to the granite arch before wandering back down and around the creek. Everything felt so fresh after the wet. Grass and bracken were vivid in their green. We have missed the height of wildflower season but there is still much in bloom, some native brachycome, bluebells, yellow buttons, some pea type flowers, butter cups and lots of hop bush and flannel flowers.
Few things are as relaxing as a bushland walk along a tumbling creek surrounded by eucalypt forest, the volatile oils from vegetation giving the air a fresh clean fragrance. I really need these short escapes from the demands of town life and work.