Cilento Park – Explore the Forgotten Bushwalks

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Cilento Park Nambour, Sunshine Coast, QLD is located down Waterfall Road, just behind the Nambour (Sunshine Coast) Hospital. The signs are clearly marked to the hospital and it is the first left after you pass the hospital.

An old Sunshine Coast family, the Cilento’s (Sir Ralph and Dame Phyllis) donated the land to the government who turned it into a public park. There is a lovely walk and a small waterfall located within the bushland behind the park.

Sir Ralph and Dame Phyllis are the parents of Diane Cilento, the actress born in Mooloolaba, again on the Sunshine Coast, who moved to the UK and found fame as a british starlet, in movies such as Tom Jones and Hombre, with the late Paul Newman. Married three times, her most famous husband (from 1962 – 1973) was the great Sean Connery, arguably the most popular James Bond actor of all time.

According to the sign at the entrance, it is also of historical value as a memorial for World War II where it was occupied by the 7th Battery 2/4th field artillery.

The 7th Battery 2/4th field artillery was formed to expand the 6th regiment leaving on October 24th from Port Melbourne arriving in Egypt in November and traveling through to Palestine and the middle east to fight in a campaign in Syria which lasted until 12 July when an armistice was signed, bringing an end to the campaign with the surrender of Vichy French force. Remaining members returned to Australia via Port Adelaide on 23rd of March.

During the Syrian campaign, Australian artillery had fired 147,399 rounds, 40,152 of which were fired by the 2/4th. (via the Australian War Memorial website)

They reformed in Nambour in May, where they were broken into two groups, know as the X and Y Batteries, X going to New Guinea and Y going to Papua.

It’s an amazing piece of history and one that is worth knowing when you visit the park.

Getting to Cilento Park was very easy. Much as the directions say, find your way to Nambour hospital and it’s a right down Waterfall Road.

On arrival it looks just like a large park with a children’s play ground and toilet block. It has a bushland back drop and on second look we found a small track on either side of the park leading into the bush.

The walking track is clear underfoot, but not paved. Surprisingly after so much rain, it wasn’t muddy, if a little damp.

A tall canopy meant it felt light and the kids were happy to find sticks and charge forth in search of adventures untold. However, a couple of minutes down the track we came across some slippery rocks and a small stream and thought this was the end of the path. Turns out it was the top of the waterfall and you need to jump over (small leap) to get to the track which continues into the bush on the other side.

There were a variety of different bird calls and the bushland was green and lush. It would be well worthwhile taking a bird book, binoculars and a camera to identify the different species. The track winds down and around the waterfall which has been renamed Robinson Falls by the QLD Department of Environmental Resource Management

The path winds around and down to the small waterfall and waterhole. You can imagine the soldiers here, it would have been a remote and beautiful break from the fighting in the Middle East.

The track then winds up and at a very small gradient back into a loop to the park.

Nearby is the Ginger Factory with it’s cooking school, rides and tasty food and plant displays, Pioneer Coffee, offering some of the best freshly roasted coffee beans on the Sunshine Coast and boasting Australias #1 Barista (2009) or Nut Works, the delicious Macadamia Factory, which is excellent value at free entry and lots of yummy treats to sample. Further down the road is The Spirit House, one of the ‘must do’ restaurants and cooking schools on the Coast.

The walk is easy and would be perfect for any age or fitness level and is really easy access and unlike many parks on the Sunshine Coast we didn’t see any signs restricting dogs either.

Source by Sue H

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