|Looking east from Broken Nose, over the coastal sugar cane fields towards the Coral Sea.|
Back in 2005 I found myself up in Cairns with a few days up my sleeve before Sam and Bel arrived and we headed down to Hinchinbrook Island. Now being the social creature that I am the bright lights of Cairns only held limited appeal to me, so throwing my boots into the car I decided to head down to the Wooroonooran National Park. My original plan was to climb Mount Bartle Frere but with my usual tardy start to the day it was lunch time by the time I arrived at the car park....hmmm. Quickly ruling out the short walk to Josaphine Falls as a little bit too easy, I instead decided to climb Broken Nose, a walk that I'd never done before.
The track up Broken Nose starts off by following the Bartle Frere Track for around three kilometres. As soon as I left the car park I was enveloped in dense tropical rainforest, thankful to be away from the direct sun I made my way along what is a fairly good track. My main memories of this section of track is that after it crosses Majuba Creek the track climbs onto a fairly narrow ridge. Climbing the rooty track along this narrow ridge I could hear Majuba Creek in the gully on one side of me and Kowadgi Creek in the gully on the other side, the impenetrable wall of vegetation stopping any real views though. On reaching the small open dirt area of Big Rock Camp I left the Bartle Frere Track and headed left towards Broken Nose.
|Back in the day there was a taped track from Big Rock Camp to Broken Nose.|
From Big Rock Camp the track gets a lot rougher and climbs very steeply. I was now sometimes using the trees to help haul my fat guts upwards, although you have to be a little careful grabbing a handful of vegetation in the rainforest, every second plant seems to want to leave its painful reminder on me. When I wasn't using trees to haul myself up I was weaving in and out of big rocks, a situation that only got worse when I reached a ridge and started to head south towards Broken Nose. After a kilometre of fairly hard going along the ridge I suddenly emerged from the rainforest onto the huge black sloping rock that is Broken Nose.
|It is a steep walk in the north Queensland humidity though.|
At 962 metres Broken Nose is a fairly lofty spot situated at the end of a south running ridge, the best views being to the south and the east, although I could get a glimpse of the summit area of Mount Bartle Frere back over my shoulder as well. Apart from the all encompassing rainforest, the lookout also gave me a grandstand view of the Russell River snaking it's way through the mountains. Looking south-east away from the mountains the view was of the sugarcane covered flat coastal plains. The sloping rock of Broken Nose needs to be treated with a little respect though, it would be easy enough to lose traction here and you wouldn't be coming back from a fall. After taking in the expansive view for awhile while I got my heart rate back down it was time to set off on my return journey. Being a total retrace it was just a matter of easing my way back down the steep track, although now I was using the trees to slow me down rather than pulling me up.
|The Broken Nose lookout is a large sloping granite rock, it would be very easy to go to far out and slip here...|
I walked around 10 kilometres today and climbed around 790 metres on this fairly hard walk, now as this walk was way back in 2005 then I'm getting my distances and elevation climbed out of old guide books and maps so they might not be the most accurate figures. The only guide book that features this walk is a book by Kym Dungey & Jane Whytlaw called Tropical Walking Tracks - The Cassowary Coast although I think this book is long ago out of print. For some current notes and map you could use the Chapman's Bushwalking in Australia book, it features an overnighter up Bartle Frere which describes the side trip out to Broken Nose. All my visits to far north Queensland occurred way before I even knew what a blog was unfortunately, I'm thinking it's time to head back up in the next year or so with a good camera and maybe do justice to some of the great walks up there.
Relevant Posts.Thorsborne Trail, Hinchinbrook Island National Park, 2005.