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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Crows Nest National Park, QLD. Part 1: Crows Nest and Applegum Walk.

Crows Nest National Park is 56 km north of Toowoomba and 6 km east of the small town of Crows Nest. We camped there at Easter in 2012 and during the September school holidays this year. There are 13 defined campsites that need to be booked online for holiday times and long weekends. Sites 5 - 11 are always book online sites. Sites 1-4 and 12-13 are available for self-registration at other times. There are pit toilets, a donkey shower and two picnic tables. We had very good Telstra mobile reception. No pets or generators are allowed.

Crows Nest National Park Camping Area
On our way there we stopped off at Esk. Esk is on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail; a popular cycle, walk and horse riding trail.

Esk Railway Station
After leaving Esk we found ourselves at a standstill for some time as a caravan a few cars ahead of us caught fire. The people were able to uncouple it from their tow vehicle but the van couldn't be saved.

Caravan Fire on the Esk-Hampton Road
Arriving at Crows Nest Camping Area around mid-day we found the campground was full. On our Easter trip the campground wasn't full but someone was setting up on the site we had booked. When we arrived this time the site we had booked was fully occupied by two families and a full camper trailer setup.We popped over for a chat just to check that they were the people that were leaving that day and then we went to the Day Use Area.The walks start from the day use area and it is a very pleasant area on the river with picnic tables, BBQs and toilets.We thought that we would probably gain access to the site about 4.00 pm but were pleasantly surprised when the campers vacated the site in only an hour. We have no idea how they accomplished that so quickly with such a big set-up but it was really nice of them.

Bullockys Rest
After setting up our tent we headed into Crows Nest to Bullockys Rest, next to the Police Station. We were surprised by the number and variety of birds in this park.

Bullockys Rest
Pale-headed Eastern Rosella 
Tawny Frogmouth
Noisy Miner
As it was early summer there were a number of young birds to be seen.

Juvenile Noisy Miner
Applegum Walk
Applegum Walk is a really great walk starting from Bullockys Rest park. It is a 1.5 km walk to Hartmann Park, where you can cross Crows Nest Creek and do a 500 m circuit walk before recrossing the creek. Then you can return the way you came or do a circuit by walking into Crows Nest via Willam Street and take the New England Highway back to Bullockys Rest. We did the loop through Crows Nest the first time and we enjoyed the walk so much that we came back a couple of days later and did the return walk. On the walk we saw a few goannas (lace monitors), one of which was way up high in an old tree, perhaps intent on a feed of birds eggs and an Eastern Water Dragon was perched on a rock at The Pumphole, a deep pool that used to supply water to the Butter Factory.

Eastern Water Dragon
Some of the birds we saw were Eastern Whipbirds, Red-browed Finches, Noisy Friarbirds, Laughing Kookaburras, Superb Fairy-wrens, Variegated Fairy-wrens, Yellow-faced Honeyeaters and Lewin's Honeyeaters. Pheasant Coucals could be heard but we didn't see them.

Yellow-faced Honeyeaters
Laughing Kookaburras
Crows Nest is an attractive small town. 

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