Tucked away on the side of the highway at Cunninghams Gap is a short walk that is well worth stopping for….
It’s the Box Forest track, an easy 5km return track that parallels the highway and is a hidden gem. Cunninghams Gap is about an hour and a half south west of Brisbane on the Cunningham highway and the Box Forest track goes between the picnic area and a carpark at the top of the Gap. You can start at either end but the picnic area is a good option with toilets, picnic shelters and an abundance of bird life. There is also a toilet at the carpark end.
Starting from the picnic area the track crosses a pretty creek and then very gradually makes its way up the side of the valley passing through a range of different forest types but mainly dry rainforest with lovely mosses, ferns and palms. Keep an eye out for the large buttress roots and strangler figs.
A couple of the locals to be on the look out for: the Gympie Gympie bush and the Stinging Nettle. Both will deliver a painful sting, the Stinging nettle will sting for a few hours but the Gympie Gympie bush can give out a painful sting for a few days! Trust me – I have been stung several times by both and they are very unpleasant.
As long as you avoid the hazardous flora you will find a very pleasant and reasonably easy walk that the whole family can enjoy. It’s worth taking it slowly so you don’t miss any of the details of a very beautiful spot – it’s not a pristine wilderness experience with the highway nearby but it is definitely worth stopping for.
There are also a range of other walks in the area and you can get more information on this walk and other from the National Parks site http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/main-range/
When you do stop there, keep an eye out for this amazing vine – it’s right next to the track but I won’t tell you where it is on the track – if you find it post a picture of it below 🙂