Gatton to Crows Nest Explore

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
Distance: 44.9Km
Total Time: 3hr 9min

Crows Nest to Helidon
Distance: 75.9km
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!”

EkkaDayMysteryRun 2015

EkkaDayMysteryRun 2015

Well, we had 4 cars in total rock up to our meeting point at BP and after the usual chats, etc, we headed off towards Bellthorpe SF via Sandy Creek  Rd. We took the left hand fork up into the forestry as this was the quickest way up and we reached the Beacon Rd T/O where we stopped for a chat about where we wanted to go….. I ended up convincing the fellas that we could easily
to the “loop” in and out and that it “should” only take us about 1hr or so….. or so I thought….

After a bite to eat we were off and into Beacons Rd and I thought we would do the larger loop, so we took the 1st RH track which lead us along the edge of the SF before dropping into the Creek below. This section had a couple of steep/loose sections, but nothing too hard in the dry. Upon reaching the bottom and crossing the dry creek bed it was upwards again. This upwards section had a couple little loose sections but all managed to pick the right lines and getting up, where we stopped for a “late smoko” (according to Pete).
From this point we headed sth, skirting the edge of the SF again and passing a House on the RHS. We stopped to let a few bikers pass us and then we pushed onwards and upwards. It had been years since I’ve travelled this section and it was from the opposite direction, so I was a little uncertain as to how steep it was going to be…. We reached the steep/loose section with Mark leading the way. It took Mark a couple of goes b4 finding the right line and spinning his way to the top….. Next was SP’s turn…. Chris had a couple of goes, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to make it without some help. Mark reversed back a bit and we connected 3 straps together and after a lot of wheel spinning and dust flying SP was up. Pete & Scrawny’s Cruisers make it up w/o any major problems.

Once we reached the top of this section, it was decided that Pete & Scrawny would turn right to check  the track out and report back to Mark & Chris as to which way would be the easiest….. This is where the “Fun” started…. It was clear that it would be safer for Mark & Chris to continue along the other track and that we would quickly meet up with them at the other end…. or so we thought…. Well, after going up a couple little sections we then headed down to the bottom. Things were going OK….. until we started the climb upwards again and came to our 1st obstacle – a nice steep and loose and well rutted out hill-climb (This is where I was glad that I didn’t bring the Disco). Pete went 1st but fell just short of getting over the top. Reversed down for his 2nd go
and with a few more herbs Pete just managed to scramble over the hard section….. It was now Scrawny’s turn…. After his 1st attempt, he fell a car length short, so back down he went for his 2nd….. 3rd….. 4th attempt where he almost managed reaching the top but succumbed to the loose dirt and rutted section. Out with the strap and after digging a nice little trench with his
wheels, it was clear that Pete wasn’t going to pull him up, so Pete reversed around where we tried a few times and different positions in trying to winch Scrawny up the last few metres, but again, the Winch just didn’t want to pull him up the last couple of metres…. With the Storm Clouds forming above & not wanting to get stuck in this position in a down-pour, it was decided for
Scrawny to reverse down and turn around and head back the way we came (not an easy thing as the track was more difficult in the other direction)… while Pete turned his car around and we continued upwards. Over the Radio we heard Scrawny shout for joy with every hilly section he conquered while Pete & I attempted to get up the next couple of difficult sections…. Again, with a
little more air out of his tyres and and bit more of the “Right-Foot” we eventually managed to get to the top where to stopped at the junction and waited for Scrawny  to catch back up with us….
Meanwhile…. Mark & SP were enjoying the peace and quiet and the views & having lunch waiting for us to finally catch-up with them….. We finally arrived at where Chris & Mark were and we stopped for a very late lunch….. From here, we made our way back out to where we came in, finally reaching the main road…. some 5hrs and 10mins from when we initially entered…. Another
quick chat and we pushed onwards, passing the old Bellthorpe Gantry an continue along Jimna-Bellthorpe Rd, turning off onto Grigors Rd and eventually reaching the end of the rough section where we stopped to air up and take our last few photos before making our way home…… reaching home at around 6pm…..

Thanks for all those that came out, it was a most enjoyable day out, especially for me sitting in the passengers seat for a change and getting a chance to look at the scenery instead of having to drive and navigate at the same time….. Until next time Wink

Trip Report: Rob Macca
Pictures By: Rob Macca, SP1086
Total Distance traveled: 246kms
Driving Time: 6hrs 3mins
Stopped Time: 4hrs 38mins

Fraser Island Cleanup 2014

Day 1

The morning started with an early 2am wake up alarm. With all our packing and pre work done all that was left to do was have a coffee and jump in the vehicles.

We meet up with the majority of the group at the Ettamoga pub with just Ozzycouch left to arrive which he did about 5 mins later. I handed out every ones stickers and camping tags while we got all the paperwork for the registration sorted. All hat done we jumped in the 4wds and headed up the Bruce to Gimpee where we would leave the Bruce and push towards Rainbow beach.

Arriving in Rainbow beach around 7:00 we had plenty of time for some last minute supplies and to fill up with fuel. Normally we would be paying our barge fares here but someone had forgot to tell the people at the Shell servo that there would be about 200 4wds popping in this morning to head over for the cleanup. She said she knew nothing about it so we said that we would pay on the barge.

Heading off to Inskip Point it was not long before we had the air out of our tyres and sand beneath them. Onto the Manta Ray barge there was no waiting as the barge was sitting there and waiting for a few more vehicles before departing for Fraser. With all us loaded we were off and it was only then that it felt like we were truly here for another great time.

Once on the island we were not sure if we would be able to make it around Hook Point as last year there was very little sand but it seems that in the 11 months since we had been here mother nature had deposited mega tons of sand back to the beaches which made our run a dream. Scooting past hook point it was no time till we hit Eurong and stopped at the Water fill point near the Police station. Water jerry filled we continued to Cornwells Break where we were meeting Nola from 4wd Queensland to hand in out cleanup registration forms. At Cornwalls and no sign of Nola, I got on the telephone and found out she was running late and was just passing Dilli Village. We hang around for 15mins or so and in no time we saw the Camper topped troop carrier.

After grabbing a ton of garbage bags and some nice thick gloves, we were off again. It was amazing to see the difference one year had made to the beaches.. Last year we had to take every bypass road and do the Poygan rock crawl traffic jam. This year it was a complete opposite with the beach fully recovered and hard wide sand all the way. We made awesome time up and after a quick stop at the Mahino ship wreck we hit Indian Head and traversed the track joining 75mile Beach to Berebarree Beach. Swinging past the Champaign Pools we were on the inland track which heads to Orchid Beach but we were turning off to the right and up over a small hill to Waddy Point Top camping area.

We were assigned the group camping area right down the back which has vehicle access and easily fit all of us in. But after getting there I noticed that there was no fire ring. I told every one to hang five while i went to find a ranger.. Just as i was opening the vehicle gate to exit the dingo fenced camping area, the rangers were pulling into their station. I waved them down and asked them if they could bring a fire ring in for the group area. They said that there were on more rings and whatever was in there is it.. Apparently people had been breaking the concrete fire rings and they were not replacing them. So i asked if we could move into some of the camper trailer areas and they said it was fine as they have very little bookings for the weekend. Happy with that i knew of a nice big area right opposite the shower block. We all moved into that area which was perfect for us and we all made claim to a spot. First thing for me was to unload the trailer load of wood i carried up in my new trailer. With plenty of help we had the wood stacked and i could proceed to setup my camp.

With camp established Ozzycouch decided to do a run back to Champaign Pools for a look and a swim. Jas and Bec had a nanna nap while us oldies relaxed and took in the serenity. A few hours passed and I started chopping up some of the firewood so Bruce could use his flint. After he had made some fire we all thought Chris Ozzy had been gone a while. It wasn’t until he got back and explained why he had been so long and it wasn’t because of the scenery. The old Vit has decided not to start and it was some time until someone gave him a hand to get it going. Trying to jump start it didn’t help so he had to get a tow to clutch start it.. So when he got back to camp it was tools out to try and figure out why the Vit had gave up the ghost. Turned out it was a compination of things with the Battery being dry and a loose starter solenoid. After raiding my random bolts collection, using some of the distilled water i had we got the Vit in some sort of running order we rand the engine for five minutes to see if it could start but all we got was a click click click.. We still had the hope the next day’s drive would charge his battery enough for it to recover. A few hours later Chris walks over and turns his key and what do you know the Vit started. With all us amazed we let that one go.

Pouring heaps of wood onto the fire in hope of having enough hot coals to cook a roast we all started cooking what we had for dinner and sat around the fire enjoying the company and the usual campfire stories.

Day 2

Saturday started with a nice fried breakfast with plenty of Eggs on offer from Bruce.. After breaky we headed for the cape. A 40km drive up Orchid & Manann beaches with Ngkala Rocks to traverse we would have to make the most of the tides as sometimes Ngkala can be impassable at higher tides.

So at about 8:30 we hit Orchid Beach at Waddy Point driving past the bottom campsites there were only a few campers there and about half a dozen vehicles with boat trailers who had obviously launched their boats at sparrow fart that morning.

Cruizin up the beach we hit Ngkala rocks which is renowned for getting vehicles bogged on the bypass track. Only a few days prior I was watching some Youtube Vids of several vehicles having extreme trouble in the soft sand on the traverse track. Being the lead vehicle and the Heaviest at close to 3T I squeezed through the cut out in the coffee rocks with a bit of a hole and a small stepup I was onto the soft sand. In 4H I made my way up and around with no problem at all and I signalled to the rest of the NBS crew that its all good to come through. I believe that 2 Vitaras didn?t even bother engaging 4wd. The track did have deep wheel ruts but the sand in the ruts was firm and really no issue at all.

Back on to the beach and we had about 20km to Sandy Cape. About 30mins and we were at the most northern point of the largest sand island on the planet. At the cape we all stopped to take in the amazing view and contrast of the surf as one side is rough and the other side is crystal calm. With a quick group shot on the cards we all lined up the vehicles and got some great shots with the surf in the background.

We then headed down the west side towards the Sandy Cape Lighthouse for a look. The calm beach on our right was so beautiful and a real treat. At he entry to the Lighthouse we parked up and then most of us decided to go have a look at the WW2 bunkers but Ozzycouch went up the 2km steep hill to the Lighthouse to take some happy snaps. We reached the bunkers which were about 600m in under an awesome rainforest type canopy. With my new Canon DSLR I went snap happy grabbing some real nice shots of the scenery. At the bunkers there isn’t much left barr a few sandbags and some pots and pans. Amazing how the island had reclaimed the area in such short time.

About a hour and a half and we were back in the vehicles and heading down the Eastern beach. It was no time before we were back at Orchid Beach for a lunchtime beer and a smile. We had to swing past the tip as the garbage Bruce was carrying all morning was getting a bit on the nose.. Bec was not feeling well so Jas took her back to camp and we would catch him on the way back from the tip. We all joined back up and headed for the ‘Secret Spot’ i’d found last year. About 40mins drive and through one stinky water crossing full of mozzys which conveniently ended up in my Poo Troll because I had wound down windows, & we were on the most beautiful beach on the whole island if not Australia. You could spend days there and not be able to take in the beauty. A few hours passed and we had to get back to camp as Bec was there on her own and we wanted to get back before dark.

We got back to camp just on dusk and everyone got ready for another awesome night around the campfire talking about the days events and doing a bit of star gazing.

Day 3

The day started with perfect weather. For the Cleanup we had been allocated the Beaches between Waddy Point and Middle Rocks then over to the Champaign pools and down the beach to Indian Head. We started at Southern side of Waddy Point and made our way toward Middle Rocks. The beach is prohibited for vehicles but we were special and able to drive it for the cleanup. We had that stretch in about 40mins and we joked about doing some rock crawling over Middle rocks to the other side but we had to head back past Waddy and on to the inland track heading over to the Champaign Pools. Parking at the car park we grabbed a heap of bags and walked down to the beach and worked our way back north to Middle Rocks. There was some rather large items that were too big to be carting back up the stairs to the vehicles so we piled into a corner out of sight of the tourists and would inform the organizers where they were. On the way back up the stairs and onto the timber boardwalk we got some claps and appreciation from some of the tour guides who were walking a heap of back packers down to the pools. I was lucky enough for one of my many bags to break open with only 50 meters to go to the car park spilling crap all over the boardwalk. Fortunately there wasn’t too many people and I had a spare back and had it cleaned up fairly quick. Back at the vehicles we all loaded our bags into the trailer which was now quite full. Nola from 4wd QLD popped into the car park and offed us some water and appreciation of our efforts. Down to the beach and onto Indian head with us seasoned Fraser Is cleanupers we had our system down and we were done by lunch time.

Back at camp for some lunch and we all agreed that the rest of the day was best spent back at the secret spot. So we all piled into the vehicles and headed back over to the bay. With the weather turning it on it was perfect for a swim while Ozzy throw in a line to try to catch some fish. Heading down for a swim I spotted a school of bait fish being rounded up by something. I told Ozzy to throw in his line in and with in a few seconds he was on and pulled in a decent sized Dart which he said was the first fish hed caught in Australia that he could eat so he was stoked.. Jas, Bec and I lazed in the water with a heap of bait fish swimming all around us but with several attempts to catch them buy hand I really had no chance. For anyone who hasn’t been to this secret spot you really are missing a part of the island which is sheer bliss. We had a pretty mean setup with three of the vehicles arranged with all out awning out everyone sat back and took in the moment with nibbleys and chips and maybe a few beers we where all content and decided to stay and watch the sun go down. Sharon had a bit of fish and managed to catch a puffa fish but she was just happy to be there and enjoyed every minute of it.

With the sun going down and one of the most spectacular sunsets we took plenty of pics and then packed up our awnings and headed back to camp where we got our fire going. For most of the members this would be their last night on the island but for me I was staying until Friday.

Day 4

Morning arose and the reality of going home is never a good feeling when your at such a beautiful place but for Bruce, Shaz, Jas, Bec and Ozzy it was packup time. Ozzy was keen to get going and head into Lake McKenzie and take some happy snaps. Everyone else took their time packing up and left around 10am. Bruce, Shaz, Jas and Bec stopped in at Eli Creek for a quick swim in the cold water.


Creek Run

Well, The Day started differently to what was originally planned, but in the end it ended up turning out to be a great days 4wdriving…..

The starting time was pushed back to coincide with Mark and Chris being able to attend but this also meant that we would also be down in the danger zone for the avro storms that were predicted… Met Jas at the BP servo and headed off to our start point only to find that it had recently been “modified” and that we were going to have to find another entry point. We made our way up to the power lines where we entered and made our way down the track to a point where we waited for the arrival of Chris and Ivan.

A short 15/20min wait and we were all together and headed off into the bush to find some tracks. By this time the skies were looking quite dark, but we pushed on to find finally finding a couple of good start off tracks b4 heading into the rocky section. This was when I realized that we were doing the track I wanted to do in reverse which meant that we would be heading down the rocky section instead of up.

Reaching the last part of the rocky section and this is when the rain started coming down. I pushed on to get down the bottom with Mark, Jas and Chris following. Ivan decided not to follow and headed back the way we came in. Once down we made our way back to the power lines and met up with Ivan and cont’d our exploring, now being made a little more difficult due to the recent rain making the ground quite slippery in sections.

Upon reaching the top we again entered the bush to find another rocky track which turned out to be a great track. The conditions quickly dried out making the track dry and with good traction. Continuing along the rocky track coming across more rocky step-ups adding some interesting challenges…..

By the time we reached the power lines again time was getting onto about 4pm. From this point we made our way back along the power line track with Ivan adding a little bit to the end of the day by getting bogged, requiring a recovery. Chris tried winching him back out but this resulted in just pulling Chris’s car closer to Ivan’s. The Solution…..”The mighty one Litre” to the rescue pulling him out with the snatch. Once out, it was a quick drive back and air up and head off home……

Trip Report: Rob.


Condamine Gorge 2013

An early start to the day I picked up Scrawn from his place only around the corner & we headed for the meeting spot at Yamanto Maccas.

Arriving at Yamanto just after 8am it wasn’t long till we were all there & heading off to Boonah to pick up RUSS & for the trip briefing.

The road from Yamanto to Boonah was slow going due to allot of road works which were spread out all the way along.

We got to Boonah at about 8:50 & after a quick chat & a stop at the Servo we were off. Heading down Boonah Rathdowney Rd to Carneys Creek Rd. Along there we came to a detour sign which was setup at Head Rd as there had been some landslides along this stretch of road due to the recent storms. The detour is a welcome one anyway as we hit the dirt for the first time. The recent rain had made the usual dusty trip quite pleasant as the road had just the right amount of moisture to not throw up any dust & was dry enough that it didn’t stick to your tires.

Up & over the boarder & Rabbit fence we headed along past White Swamp then on to Spring Creek Rd where we wound our way up to the Lookout which was our first stop for the morning. After a quick look & some pics we were back on the road headed to Queen Mary falls which wasn’t far down the road.

 Stopping at Queen Mary Falls we took the 500m walk down to the viewing platform & we were glad to see the falls were flowing but not so glad about the excessive flies which were getting a free ride on our backs.

Back to the vehicles & we set off to Killarney to grab a pub lunch at the Killarney Tavern. It seemed that we were making too good time as we got to the tavern at about 11am which meant that we couldn’t get the lunch we had planned on as they didn’t start doing meals until 12oclock.  So we bailed & went to the takeaway shop just back along the main drag.

After grabbing our burgers & some bangers & mash we set off for the Condamine River road. Heading over the first causeway just off Warwick-Killarney Rd it was clear that the river didn’t have as much water as we thought. None the less we headed on & hit the first of the 14 crossings.  

The Condamine River Road had been closed early in the year due to Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald which did massive damage to the area. Since then the road has been repaired & new stone dumped at all the crossings which made the entire journey something you could have done in any 4WD or even a 2WD work ute. This road & crossings are in the best condition that I’ve ever seen them in the years we’ve been doing trips to the gorge.

Stopping at the Big Bent tree to eat our lunch & have a chat. We spent some time enjoying the peace until a couple of guys on Motorbikes which were way too loud screamed along the track. I’m not against Trail bikes as I own one myself & enjoy riding the tracks just as much as in the 4by but there is no need to make as much noise as possible when passing a group of people trying to enjoy the area.

After lunch we were off again through the remainder of the crossings & before long we were at the end of the Condamine River Road & back on the black stuff on our way back to Boonah.

Arriving back in Boonah at about 2pm we said goodbye to RUSS & the rest of the group stopped in for a Coffee at one of the Cafés.

All in all just under 400km from Nth Brissy round trip which was a great way to spend a Saturday.

Thanks to the guys who could make it lets see you all on the next one.


Trip Leader / Report: SP1086