Dear readers. Please study this map carefully – because I sure didn’t. The Stoney Creek hike was supposed to be pretty cruisey. What started as a quick hike turned into a crazy 12km slog through the bush. Don’t get me wrong – it was a fantastic walk… but I was NOT prepared.
Stoney Creek Trail Head
You’ll find the trail head at the beautiful Stoney Creek swim spot! Perfect for a dip after your hike. You know… if you make it back here after the hike.
Kuranda Rail Crosses Douglas Track
This is pretty cool! Next up, you cross the Kuranda Heritage Rail track! If you’ve got the time (or the brains to schedule your walk correctly) you can watch the train pass under you. It’s also a great break after a pretty continuous uphill hike.
Did I say there was uphill? Because DAYUM the next part takes you to the top of the hill. Red Bluff zig-zags way up high until you get to the Douglas Track. There’s no shade either, so I hope you brought a hat! The views are so good though.
You’ve reached the top! Well done! Now make sure you refer to the map, because there’s a left hand turn coming up and you don’t want to miss it. If you miss it, you’ll head to Barron Falls instead.
This lookout was awesome! And in retrospect it makes sense that this is where normal people turn around and go down the hill the same way they went up.
Suckers for punishment, we kept on pushing on. We went down into a gully through the forest, and got to Stoney Creek. It started promising! There was a boardwalk and everything! Then the boardwalk was gone, it was kinda muddy and the path thinned. Turns out that because NOBODY goes this way, they didn’t bother building a bridge over the creek. Fun times.
Uphill we went. I thought it was hard before, but good lordy, this was straight damn UP. I complained the WHOLE WAY. And then when we finally got to Toby’s Lookout… disappointment. TOTAL. DISAPPOINTMENT. What was I supposed to be looking at?! There were trees in the way! Neither of us were impressed.
Can you believe after Toby’s Lookout, there was more uphill?! The path no longer looked like a path, we were heading in the wrong direction, but we kept on moving forward. We finally started moving downhill, practically vertically downhill. I’ve never felt old before, but my knees started hurting! And it was so damn hot – back in a no tree zone. Finally, the “path” started moving back towards where we were supposed to be finishing (thank goodness), it started levelling out and we started getting some tree cover. We finally reached the bottom and were greeted with a lovely waterfall… and then realised the track came out down the road from where we needed to be. We were at a different trailhead. If I had of looked at the map properly, I would’ve known that. So we needed to walk 1km to get back to the car. Sigh.
Never hike. Ever. Jokes. Lessons learnt: pay attention to the map, go earlier, wear a hat.
The Stoney Creek hike is a beautiful trail that is definitely worth the effort. I would recommend TURNING AROUND at Glacier Rock and making your way back down Red Bluff. Then you can take advantage of the swimming hole… and you know… not get lost.
Want something a little easier? Try the Arrows hikes behind the Botanic Gardens!