How can you get lost in a city these days? With all the technology like Google Maps you would think it was near impossible. Well until my recent experience walking around Slaughter Falls, the scariest forest known to man I would have agreed. Let me start from the beginning…
I recently drove to Brisbane for two days and one night. A brief online search before I set off gave me some kind of itinerary for when I arrived. In brief, Southbank and Mount Coot-Tha came joint first on my Brisbane to-do list.
My day began with breakfast at a wonderful little cafe called Little Genovese that my boyfriend had recommended. This warehouse style coffee shop offers a selection of food, drinks, and excellent service. I have lived in Australia for a year now and am fully aware that drinking coffee is a serious fashion out here. This is obviously accompanied with avocado and some kind of health boosting smoothie. But I myself am guilty of conforming to this as I love the stuff.
I was under the impression that I would have to climb to the top, however, a short bus journey from Southbank and I made it to the viewpoint. The panoramic view of Brisbane is very impressive. Being on a mission to explore as much as I could in such a short space of time, I looked online to see what else there was in the surrounding areas. I noticed a waterfall not too far away, so I embarked on a walk. It all escalated very quickly. When I researched this waterfall I didn’t take into account the name- J.C Slaughter Falls.
Google maps told me it was a 40-minute walk from my location (Mount Coot-Tha) to Slaughter Falls. It was extremely hot, but as I was in the area I thought, why not? So I embarked on my journey to the middle of butt fuck nowhere.
After around 20 minutes of walking, I swiftly realised there was no road to my destination. It was one dirt footpath I had no-one or nothing around me. Usually, this wouldn’t bother me but there was a certain eariness to my surroundings and a hell of a lot of wildlife.
My naive hopes of a beautifully hidden waterfall in the Australian outback were soon crushed. After a while, I reached a sign that told me I was in fact in the Mount Coot-Tha forest. Don’t ask me where exactly, but I had a brief location and that’s all that mattered me. The stunning, tranquil, breathtaking waterfall that I pictured was close!
J.C Slaughter Falls
I carried on my trek (now about an hour walking in 35-degree heat), and I reached the Slaughter Falls Car Park! My face was bright red and I had some serious sunglasses marks around my eyes but I couldn’t care less, my destination had arrived.
A new sign showed an arrow pointing in the direction of Slaughter Falls. It said around 400m. I was so happy. I had to be back in Brisbane a few hours later and the way I was going I would still have been there when it was dark.
So I walked 400 metres. And then I walked another 400 metres. A good 35-minute hike later and I concluded that these waterfalls do not exist. I had heard tonnes of rustling from the bushes and was pretty sure all the birds were watching me from the treetops.
I reached some stairs and I made my way down them. Slaughter Falls was home to a lot of aboriginal art-work, some of which I have to say made the walk just that bit scarier. I mean, I’m alone in the middle of a huge forest with sketches of snakes on the rocks, can you blame me? I would have pictures but by this point, I had scared myself that much that taking photographs was the last thing on my mind. It was at this point that I am actually 99% sure I saw a snake. It was in the middle of my footpath that was fading fast, so I immediately did a 180-degree turn and went back on myself.
I walked extremely quickly down the hilly forest I had just inclined upon. I weaved in and out of trees, rocks, dirt, and finally realised I was making progress back. It was at this point I met an Australian guy with long hair, an over-sized t-shirt and a backpack. Our encounter made me realise maybe I wasn’t alone out there. Turns out he was looking for the same thing as I was; the waterfall. He told me that because of the weather the waterfall was probably dry.
We briefly talked about what we had seen and carried on our separate ways. As I was getting closer to the car park I reached a woman wearing baggy clothes and no shoes. I then saw another man also wearing baggy clothes and no shoes. I know that doesn’t sound that weird, but I got such a creepy vibe from them. They could quite easily have been dressed up for Halloween. They both had very messy hair, pale faces and walked like zombies. A slow walk with minimal attention to their appearance. It was as if they were together, but walking apart and not speaking. My only means of exit was the same way as they were going. So I kept my distance, but hesitantly kept walking in the same direction but at an even slower pace.
Another 15 minutes of walking and I made it to a road. The creepy coupled had veered off god only knows where and I had made it out alive. I had never been so happy to see cars before. Call me crazy, and call me paranoid, but there was something about the whole experience that really gave me the jitters.
Later that day when I got back to civilisation I researched Slaughter Falls online. Turns out there is HEEPS of horror stories about the area. Yes, it probably wouldn’t have been as scary if I had somebody with me. And yes, I probably wouldn’t have found it that scary if I wasn’t freaking myself out but still. The spooky couple, snake encounter and all the horrible noises really didn’t help the situation.
This ordeal has taught me two lessons: 1) Never go hiking in the middle of nowhere alone in a place with the word “slaughter” in the title. And 2) RESEARCH FIRST.
Have you been to J.C Slaughter Falls before? How was your experience? Do you believe the rumours? Comment below!