Walks In Main Range N.P. – Sylvester’s Lookout, An Easy Walk Through Gondwana Rainforest

If you’re camping at the Goomburra section of Main Range National Park, you have a choice of six excellent walks. This time we check out Sylvester’s Lookout which is accessible from Lookout Road.

Walking through Gondwana Rainforest in Main Range National Park.
A beautiful walk.

It’s a short 500 metre walk through incredibly beautiful Gondwana rainforest. The walk ends in a lookout, overlooking the panoramic view to the east… if the fog hasn’t rolled in!

Map of the Goomburra section, Main Range National Park.
Walks in Main Range National Park. (Source: Queensland Government)

A Trek Up The Mountain

Leaving the valley floor from either Manna Gum or Poplar campgrounds, you take Lookout Road. This climbs steeply for 5 or so kilometres, with all the steep parts tarred. As you climb, the dry bush gives way to rainforest.

Lookout Road passes through incredibly beautiful Gondwana rainforest. Main Range National Park.
On Lookout Road. The road is pretty slippery in the rain. Take care.

We chose a cloudy day, which probably wasn’t the smartest decision we’ve ever made!

The cloud turned to mist then light rain as we climbed up and up. The fog thickened, making the drive through the rainforest canopy really beautiful.

Into Gondwana Rainforest

The track to Sylvester’s Lookout starts at the road. The rainforest swallows you whole as soon as you step onto the track. Fog obscured the tops of the enormous trees and added a ghostly feel to the rainforest.

Complete silence, apart from the constant drip, drip, drip of rainwater off the leaves. Strong earthy smells and verdant growth.

Impossibly bright green moss on Sylvester's Lookout walk. Gondwana Rainforest.
Impossibly bright green moss coating some logs.
Fungus thriving in the wet understorey. Gondwana Rainforest.
Fungus thrives in the wet understorey.

It’s an easy walk for most. Just be careful of trees roots and slippery ground. And take time to look up into the rainforest canopy at some of the huge old trees along this walk.

A Blank Canvas

As expected, we reached the lookout and admired the vista of… whiteness. Nothing but thick fog.

Sylvester's Lookout was a wall of fog. Main Range National Park, Gondwana Rainforest.
Our “view” from the lookout!
This is what we were supposed to see at Sylvester's Lookout. Main Range National Park, Gondwana Rainforest.
This is what we were supposed to see.

It didn’t matter though. The walk to the lookout is worth doing even if the view at the end has temporarily disappeared. And while we normally don’t enjoy back-tracking, the walk back to the carpark is just as good.

Two plants in a slow motion fight for supremacy. Sylvester's Lookout, Main Range National Park. Gondwana Rainforest.
Two plants in a slow motion fight for supremacy.

And even with the heavy fog, we could see the sheer cliffs at our feet and a determined hoop pine clinging to the cliff face down to our right. Seeing this escarpment up close gives you a sense of the scale of the [lava flows that created this amazing place].{Link}

In Summary

We really didn’t want to leave Sylvester’s Lookout and surrounds. The Gondwana rainforest is so beautiful. Unfortunately we had commitments elsewhere, so we had to move on.

We’ll be back to check out the other two walks off Lookout Road.

Main Range National Park is on Barunggam and Bundjalung Country.

For more QLD National Parks you can visit, go here.

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