We all meet up at the KFC at Greenbank around 7:30am and quickly jumped on the Warrego heading for Gatton.
We hit Gatton around 8:30 and after a quick refuel and some friendly directions from the young servo attendant we were heading for the Women?s prison on the North side of the Highway. This is where we entered the Lockyer National Park.
After Airing down our tires a bit we headed into the unknown with the plan of getting to Ravensbourne at Gus Beutel Lookout for lunch.
The tracks through Lockyer National Park were well maintained and almost as smooth as the bitumen and seemed to have had little traffic. Some areas were a little over grown with Lantana weeds and I had to whip out the Gerber Machete to clear the way on one occasion. This was a steepish hill with a few side angles which would test the less experienced so I guided the fellas up after clearing the way with the Poo Troll..
We arrived at Ravensbourne right on 12:30 and whipped up some lunch while sitting at the park benches provided. This is a Good little spot to visit and had a great view back over the ranges towards the coast.
Lunch done we were back on the road heading towards Esk with hope to finding a track that headed over through Deongwar State Forest and linked up with the Kipper Creek Rd but with a nice gentleman in a Ford sedan tailgating me we missed the turnoff and just ended up in Esk which was not such a bad thing as we were able to grab some supplies from the Esk Co-op store.
Moving on we got onto Esk Crows Nest Rd and about a hours drive we were at Crows Nest but not after a wrong turn which saw us taking a detour which was not so bad as it was dirt road and not bitumen.
At the camping area which is quite small and is centred around the toilet block which is cut into 12 spots each with a concrete fire pit and a basic fireplace bbq plate. Fortunately we were able to book 2 sites for the 3 vehicles and next to one another. Unfortunately we were booked in next to a bunch of young noisy bunch with music blaring from one of their cars.. With thought of this noise all night our spirits were a little low but just on cue the local sheriff cruised in. Of course the music got turned down quickly. So I flagged the officer down and made mention of their shenanigans which he said he have a chat to them. This must have put the wind up them as we barely heard a peep out of them for the remainder of the evening.
We had some trouble getting our fire going as the wood got a little damp from a brief shower. But eventually we got it going and were sitting around the fire enjoying the serenity, this was until Bruce got a txt from his daughter saying there was a massive storm heading in from the west and there was a weather warning for Crows Nest. We could see the lightning from the west and saw the stars disappearing in the sky.
With the storm approaching we took shelter under my Oztent and side awning off the Poo Troll which I had set so they met on the ends. The storm came with fierce winds and allot of heavy rain which lasted about an hour but we all rode it out and it was good to see our fire survived as we stacked a heap of timber on it before the rain hit.
After the rain had stopped we ventured back to our fire and enjoyed the rest of the night.
The night was cool but not as cold as we’d expected and we awoke to find out fire was still smouldering and with a few pieces of light wood and it was going again. Out came the fry pan onto the fire then some bacon and eggs were cooking away.
After brekky we packed down camp and hit the tracks and headed into Crows Nest for a look and to get rid of our rubbish.
We then headed for Lake Perseverance where we stopped for a quick look but the wind and a cold southerly was blowing though so we continued on towards mount Jockey Rd which lead us back to Ravensbourne. From here we did a little bit of the track from the day before but continued past heading towards Helidon along Seventeen Mile Rd.
Helidon was where we parted ways as I had to head up the range to Toowoomba and Jake and Chris wanted to goto Laidley.
All in all a great weekend with some easy track driving with a few good bypass tracks which were a little challenging in places but nothing hard.
Big thanks to the guys who came it was great to see the new faces and get to know you guys better. Cant wait for the next adventure.
Gatton to Ravensbourne
Total Time: 3hr 9min
Crows Nest to Helidon
Total Time: 1hr 44min
Trip Report / Leader: Chris sp1086
BeastOfAJimny “Awesome trip. Some amazing scenery. Well and truly tougher tracks than I’ve ever done but I was amazed by how capable those Suzukis are!!”
white liner “Great trip! Thanks for the good company, a little adventure, nice scenery, new experiences, a good laugh and time well spent. Wouldn’t be dead for quids!”