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Waterfalls Cascades and Rock Pools – Out and About at Cedar Creek

Upper cascades and Falls at Cedar creek

Upper cascades and Falls at Cedar creek

Waterfalls, cascades, deep rock pools and the chance of a swim on a sunny day are the attractive features of the Cedar Creek section of Tambourine National Park south of Brisbane. Picnic areas with tables and barbeques under majestic Iron Barks, Grey Gums and Brush Boxes are an added attraction.

Getting There

Access to this Section is from Tambourine Road and this blog describes the approach from Tambourine Village. Access to Cedar Creek is via a side road on the left at a sharp, right hairpin bend [27 54’01.87”S: 153 10’43.71”E]. A pull-off to the Tambourine Mountain information board occurs just before the side road and serves as an indicator.

Cedar Creek shares the side road with an entrance to Thunderbird Park. A narrow, sealed road descends to the car park and picnic areas. The road has blind corners so keep the speed down to 40kph.

Out and About

Geology

The geology of this Section is very different from other sections of Tambourine National Park whose more fertile soils are derived from Mt Warning basaltic lava. Cedar Creek flows through a massive block of sedimentary rock that is older than the basalt.

The sedimentary rock was deposited when this part of the Australian east coast was further inland from today’s coast lying along a line running north/south between Toowoomba and Dalby. Subsequently these coastal waters were uplifted forming exposed valleys and low hills. These uplifted and changed sediments in the border areas of Queensland and New South Wales were mostly covered by the eruptions of the Mt Warning volcano 23 million years ago.

The walk follows Cedar Creek, which over time has cut deeply into the sedimentary rocks. Erosion by the Creek shows the great depth of the original sedimentary deposit (see “View of Cedar Creek” photo below). The main rock is unlayered Greywacke, but a thin band of layered slate is visible across the creek from the side circuit track. It can be seen just below the main waterfall as a thin layer just above the water line.

Greywacke is a hard sandstone formed from sandy sediments settling in turbid situations that infused the sand with mud. This infusion gives the greywacke its grey colour. In places the rock is transversed by narrow bands of white quartz that were injected into the sediments in a molten or liquid form.

The sedimentary rock gives rise to poorer soils than those derived from the volcanic basaltic rocks on the Tambourine plateau. These poorer soils support open eucalypt forests, which contrasts with the moist rainforests in other sections of the National Park. Some dry rainforest forest, with Hoop Pines, occurs and is visible from the Lookout as a greener patch in the distance. The satellite view from Google Earth shows this dry rainforest as a greener denser patch of vegetation extending in a large block some way from the Creek.

The Walk

The Cedar Creek section has a short return walk of 900 metres. A lookout just after the start of the walking track provides a view of the main falls and the creek itself as it descends via a set to smaller falls, cascades and pools. Note the vegetation change from open eucalypt forest to darker green, denser dry rainforest in the distance. Look up at the rock faces beside the creek and notice how the rock faces are generously coated with pale lichens.

There is a smaller side circuit track with a long set of steep steps that follows closer to the creek. The narrow bed of slate can be seen from the upper stairs just past the waterfall splash pool.

Both tracks are sealed and the main track also includes stairs in parts as it descends to a rock pool below a cascading waterfall. Swimming is allowed here. All other parts of the track are fenced restricting access the Creek.  Note the changed forest here, with Hoop Pines and denser forest indicating dry rainforest. From this pool the creek continues down hill via another waterfall, cascades and rock pools.

Walk date – 24/03/2015

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