The map shows two lookouts over upper Orara valley – one along Snail Trail and another on a nearby hill. With a name like Snail Trail, how could we not go exploring?
We parked the car along Fridays Creek Rd, near where Six Rd begins. Look hard – this so-called road is more of an indistinct grassy path that heads down to the creek and then up the other side. We followed the tracks up Friday Creek valley, with hop bush and paper daises flowering on all sides.
There are some lovely patches of rainforest as you climb, and large trees near the top. Logging trails often have entertaining names, like Snail, or Schooner, Pint and Middy (near Mount Coramba). But Snail might not be such a fanciful trail name, as the Giant Panda Snail, the size of a tennis ball with a lineage back to Gondwanaland, lurks on the forest floor of these subtropical rainforests, chomping away at the fungi. Noisy Pitta birds like to eat this snail. If you are lucky you might see a slimy trail or a shell, we have. The shell is brown, nothing panda-like about it at all.
Next time we are going to tackle the other viewpoint, this time approaching from the west via Dingo Creek valley.