Merdian Hill , Beerwah State Forest

Sunshine Coast
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This walk up Merdian Hill is moderately steep but very short so whoever graded it easy is correct. The view from the top is nice but not spectacular, glimpses of Ewen Maddock through the trees. It's hardly worth making a special trip just for this walk, but combined with a few other walks in the area makes a nice day out. For starters, in the same location but on the other side of Old Caloundra Rd there are several short walks through wet woodland type vegetation, eg lots of candlestick banksia. Take the walking trails further down Old Caloundra Rd to get away from the traffic noise on Steve Irwin Way. Add a walk around Jowarra Section of Mooloolah River NP and/or Dularcha NP, both an easy drive from Meridan Hill. That makes a really nice day out.

Getting there

In vicinity of Ewen Maddocks Dam, from Steve Irwin Way turn into Old Caloundra Road (clearly marked from either direction).  At the intersection there is a sign "Beerwah State Forest, Meridan Hill Section".  The entry point to Meridan Hill itself is not marked as such.  However there are two entry points.  One immediately at the intersection on the right as you turn into Old Caloundra Rd, a fire trail with a steel barrier and a Council sign "Brannocks Environmental Reserve".  Alternatively, keep driving for about 200m of bitumen then 100m of unsealed road (ie not too far, drive too fast and you will miss it) and find a small carpark on the left and a steel fence and gate on the right with similar Council signs.  This is the second entry point, it is shorter but steeper than the first so take your pick.  Neither is overly taxing, maybe go up one and down the other and walk along Old Caloundra Rd to where you parked. 

Maps

Department of Services ( Parks ) 

Route/Trail notes

An easy to follow fire track with some loose gravel / rocks especially on the second entry point, that lead up to the hill. There you will find a concrete slab and rusty remains of an old water tank.  Immediately beyond this there are posts that probably had a wire fence at some point but nothing now (June 2020).  Private land???  

Permits/Costs

Free

Other References

How can I find more info? Any guide books?

Comments

Did this walk today and updated the description for some minor changes since whoever did the previous version. I put most of my thoughts in the updated description - it's OK but should be combined with other walks in the area to make it worthwhile. Two specific suggestions:
Drive down Old Caloundra Rd for nice short walks off to the left. There are 6 - 8 starting points, and the further from Steve Irwin Way the less you will have traffic noise in the background. These tracks used to be for trail bikes but now not permitted since moving from state forest to national park (tyre tracks suggest some are not respecting the new rules).
Old Caloundra Rd is a well maintained unsealed road for its full length, any vehicle will handle it easily. However unless you have a 4WD do not be tempted to try the side roads. They quickly deteriorate to logging tracks, popular with 4WDers and trail bikers keen to get dirty but nothing to see (logged out pine forest).

Jim Craigen on 27 Jun, 2020

There was no barbed wire fence at the top today. From the cement pad to the top of the hill was very close. We walked along a few fire trails, all leading to dead ends. Nice walks though - see image.
On the same side as the carpark (opposite side to Meridan hill), we walked along a track that sort of paralleled Steve Irwin Way. It was a bit wet in places, but not impassible. This led to a dirt road, that joins other dirt roads to loop back to Old Caloundra Road, but we returned back the same way to the car.

Nicole on 4 Jan, 2019

We didn't see any graffiti on the trees so maybe these have been removed. We saw the barb wire fence near the concrete slab and as there is a large gap in the fence decided to go through up to the top. You don't have too much of a view from the top. You can see a little through the trees but that's about it. We missed a turn on the way down and came out at the turnoff on Steve Erwin Way so we had to walk back on the road.

Ian and Sue on 12 May, 2017

Easy hike up Meridan Hill , yes it's a hill not a mountain ;-)

J on 8 Oct, 2014

Where

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