Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Heavy Rock, The music of Mount Scoria!

Another day off to explore central QLD was on our plate Tuesday the 7th of May. We had heard of a place called Mount Scoria, not far from where we were staying and decided to head out and see it ourselves. Only about 8ks from the Hotel Thangool, it was a short drive, you could see the mountain pretty much as soon as we could see past the trees lining the road. It is very different to most other mountains in the world, in fact it is the only mountain like this in Australia, other similar mountains can be found in Scotland and Sicily. It is pretty much just a pile of molten lava gone cold. The volcano had died, the lava had turned to a bunch of 5-8 sided prisms, the earth which formed the walls of the volcano had flattened out, but the lava rocks remained.

The walk leading up to the mountain was a narrow path through dense bush full of native scrubs and gums, one particular tree that caught our attention was the Queensland Bottle Tree, a gum tree with a robust mid trunk scattered about the mountain. The bush walk has a few plaques talking of the mountain and it’s importance through history to the local Aboriginal community (The Gangulu people), Dreamtime stories, myths and connections to cultures around similar mountains.

Mount Scoria was a place the Gangulu people used for their corroborees with their totem animal, the carpet snake.

As we got through the bush and to the foot of the mountain we were really amazed by the view, it was like all the rocks were separate but glued together to make this mountain. We began to climb up the steep wall of rocks after a short climb (Pretty much where I am hiding in this photo on the right) we began to play! See when the lava had turned to rock, parts of the lava was gaseous, so the rocks have  hollow parts on the inside, allowing them to make musical like noises when struck, similar to that of a xylophone! We experimented with making noise on the rocks and our inner child really came out, bashing rocks with smaller rocks to make unusual sounds, trying to find the coolest sounding rocks and attempting to play music, the climb was very slow, but really fun, I think all kids parks need a collection of these rocks!

It was a slow climb to the top, with all our attempts at heavy rock, but once we reached the top, like any mountain, we were rewarded with an amazing view… and the joy of knowing we have to get back down!

Mount Scoria really is a hidden gem in the Aussie outback and definitely worth spending a day there. Don’t expect to just climb up and down because playing with these rocks can be really fun, it’s no suprise to me why the Gangulu had there corroborees here!

- Cameron