Queensland had a string of long weekends in April/May, and instead of hanging around the house wondering what to do with ourselves, Andy and I decided we were going to hike on one of these days. One of the things that is so wonderful about Townsville is how close we are to some very beautiful and very diverse natural areas. We picked Alligator Creek as our target for the 17km hike it offers.
We prepared by making some granola, along with Urban Vegan's Super Sonic Sunflower Squares, some gingernut biscuits, and bananas for snacking on.
And for lunch when we finished, I made some chickpea flour breadsticks -- because we were out of plain flour, so these are gluten free. They were a bit stale by the time we ate them, but they were yummy fresh from the oven. (Note: they are shaped specifically to maximise dipping potential.)
We also made sure to look up the route, to make sure we had an idea of what we were in for.
Then on Monday morning we set off bright and early with a backpack full of suncream, insect repellent, and food.
We had walked the first 2 km of this hike one Christmas, which brought us up to Cockatoo Creek. Based on that first leg of the hike, we expected slightly hilly and undulating terrain, but in fact the first two kms were probably the most difficult of the whole walk.
After crossing Cockatoo Creek, the ground levelled off and mostly followed the powerlines. The trail crosses the creek several times, and most of the creeks were still full of water -- thanks to a drawn-out wet season. Most of these we were able to cross without getting our feet wet by using stepping stones.
Some, however, were wide and stone-less.
They were also deceptively deep, and cold to boot.
We had to get our feet wet three times before we reached our destination.
We munched on granola and bananas as we walked through forests and grassy areas. At the very end of the trail, there was about 10 minutes of climbing over boulders and suddenly we happened upon Alligator Creek Falls. The first view of it was impressive.
But then we climbed around a tree for a better look and realised it was huge, and gorgeous.
A bit more scrambling over boulders and we found a comfy place to lounge, eat food, and watch the falls.
We were visited by a few yabbies, who tickled my feet as they dangled in the water, and then nommed on some granola with us.
I did some yoga stretches to limber up before the walk back.
And then we headed out. By the time we got back it was nearly 3 pm, and I was starving. We grabbed the picnic out of the car boot and chowed down.
We were very tired when we got home, and our legs and bums were sore the next day, but we have decided that we need to go hiking more often.