Cunninghams Gap divides Mt Mitchell from its more northerly neighbouring peak of Mt Cordeaux. From the Gap, the climb to Mt Cordeaux commences from the eastern end of the car park and passes the memorial to Allan Cunningham before climbing to the Mt Cordeaux Lookout. The lookout is located just below the 1135m summit of Mt Coredeaux, on an exposed rocky slab which catches the morning sun. It was one of those beautiful South East Queensland winter mornings, a little chilly in the rainforest sections of the track but once the exposed sections of the track are reached, the winter sun takes the chill from the air.
En route to the lookout, on an exposed rock ledge, the head of a mine shaft is located, guarded only by a low chain wire fence. Here, in the early 1900’s, persuaded by a conman with a handful of ‘fools gold’, two local brothers sold their farm and bakery to fund their dream of striking it rich on the mountain. It took years of toil and hardship before they eventually exposed the fraud. It is a sad and permanent reminder of a futile enterprise.
Mt Cordeaux Lookout provides near 360 degree views; to the north over the ramparts of Mt Castle, east over the scenic rim and further to the sand hills of Stradbroke Island, while to the south, the tip of Mt Warning rises above the Lamington Plateau. Slightly above the lookout the actual summit of Mt Cordeaux rises steeply, (a scramble will get you to the summit but it is not worth it for the views alone as they are superior from the lookout) while below the summit the sheer cliff line is covered with spear lilies’.
Leaving Mt Cordeaux Lookout the track heads west on its way to Bare Rock and hugs the southern cliff line of Mt Cordeaux before emerging onto a narrow exposed ledge that links Mt Cordeaux with the rest of the range and offers stunning views back to its summit (This is the access point if you want to scramble off track to the summit). The track then heads uphill through rainforest before finally a brief and simple scramble deposits you onto a wide exposed rock slab that is Bare Rock.
Bare Rock offers similar, near 360 degree views to Mt Cordeaux, perhaps allowing for a little more of the north western aspect however; undoubtedly, it is the best vantage point to view the ramparts of Mt Castle, Boars Head and the razor back ridge that ascends to Mt Castle. Perhaps, later in the day, it may be even be possible to spot the Hole in the Wall, when the sun has dipped below the horizon. My suggestion, would be to save your morning tea or lunch for this spot as the mostly unhindered views are probably only bettered in this region by the completely unhindered views offered from the summit of Mt Maroon.
Returning to the main track junction I followed the out and back track to Morgans Walk however, this tracks ends abruptly and is mostly overgrown with minimal views in any direction. The 6-7km return journey gave me a chance to get some easy trail running miles into my legs, albeit downhill ones’! A fantastic end to a typically beautiful South East Queensland winter morning!