Within walking distance of Hastings Street via a boardwalk following the coast you arrive at Noosa National Park. The park was declared in 1939 and now covers 2,883ha. At this point in the park you can choose one of two tracks to arrive at Hells Gate. We chose to do the Tanglewood Track which you can see disappearing up the centre of the headland taking in rainforest, woodland and open forest. The walk was 3.8km one way and is one of the most isolated walks within the park. This we found to be true as we didn’t pass a soul until we neared Hell’s Gate.
We started out from the Noosa Heads Day Use area and headed inland immediately into the untidiness of the Australian bush. The track is classified as a class 4 track which means it can be narrow, steep, with exposed inclines or many steps. They recommend a moderate level of fitness and good walking shoes. Roger was still suffering from fatigue from the chemo and I worried about the sensibility of us doing this walk which was probably going to take around 3 hours to complete but I need not have worried. We enjoyed it so much we did it again a couple of weeks later.
At first the forest was quite dense, the track rough and moderately steep as we climbed up toward the ridge. As we got higher and more sunlight could be seen the vegetation changed from crow ash hoop and Kauri pines to woodlands populated with pink blood woods, scribbly gums, red ironbarks, ferns, banksia and grass trees.
My one disappointment was that we did not come across any wildlife although the birdsong was plentiful, beautiful and varied. There were obviously whip birds, wrens and others around but I didn’t see any. I also didn’t see any of the Australian animals such as koala and goanna that I know are abundant in the park. The closest I got to any wildlife was a spider’s web.
By this time we could hear the sound of the waves crashing on the beach and before long Alexandria Bay came into view.
A little further on we reached Hell’s Gate. Roger took the opportunity for a brief rest.
while I tried to take photos of Hell’s Gate in all its fury. Hell’s Gate formed as weathering eroded the joints of sandstone which had been laid down over 190 million years ago. Eventually the erosion wore out a gap, creating a deep narrow cove.
Having reached Hell’s Gate we had finished that part of our walk. We now had a choice – take a track off the Tanglewood track and head down to Sunshine Beach and catch a bus home or return via the coastal walk completing a round trip of 8 kms. We chose the coastal walk – seen in the top photo hugging the coast. I will take you on that walk next time.