2010 Trip Diary
to Sydney Brisbane
- 300km Radius Brisbane
to Bourke Bourke
to Cape York To Weipa Weipa
to Townsville Townsville
- Blrisbane Brisbane
- 300km Radius
2.2.10 The 23rd saw me leaving Sydney, and heading north
towards Brisbane. I had decided to go up the Pacific Hwy, and
do a straight thru run, figuring that I could come back and do
the coastal detours without the van. Brisbane is to be my base
for the next few weeks. The drive was without incident, and I
managed something like 700kms, spending the night in a delightful
little place called Broadwater. I reached Capalaba about 10.30
on Sunday morning, settled in, and was then taken on a tour of
the Redlands area on Sunday afternoon.
Australia Day saw us head down into the Tomewin National Park,
where we drove thru some of the most beautiful mountains and farm
country, reaching Murwillambah, before returning via the Numinbah
Rd, taking in the Natural Bridge on the way through.
National Park Trip Photos
then to the 30th, where a run north took us to Bribie Island.
Island Trip Photos
ended the month with us heading back down the Princes Hwy, now
visiting the coastal regions bypassed a week previously, working
our way down the coast to Byron Bay, before again heading for
the hills, and the Bangalow road, bringing us home via Lismore,
Nimbin, Mt Burrell, back to Murwillambah where we grabbed a subway,
and it now being dark, headed for home. The weather had turned
and although disappointing on one hand, gave us some amazing photography
opportunities with the sunlight, backed with heavy dark clouds,
and low cloud on some of the mountains late in the afternoon.
The roads are listed as tourist roads, but are narrow and winding,
and there is no provision to stop and take in the view or for
Bay Trip Photos
It was decided that we would head down towards Armidale in NSW,
and modify our destination if we were running out of time. We
needed to be back in Brisbane on Sunday night, so a 1000km round
trip was extremely optimistic.
We headed for Ipswich and turned onto the Cunningham Hwy, somehow
passing the front gate of Willowbank Motor Racing Circuit. And
so, it came to pass, that we didn't pass, and instead called in
and had a look.
Not much further down the road, we drove into Aratula, and thus
our first distraction for the day. The sign said Lake Moogarah,
and so it was. The river had been dammed some years ago, and the
resulting catchment has become a popular recreation area.
We then drove on around the lake, back onto the highway, and continued
on towards Warwick. The Main Range stood between us, and so we
stopped at the top of the pass, called Cunninghams Gap to climb
to the lookout and have a look. In the early days, Moreton Bay
required food supplies, and the inland farmers needed to be able
to get their produce across the range to the coast. Alan Cunningham
was given the task of finding a way across. He blazed a trail,
but it really wasn't suitable for easy transportation. The highway
now bears his name and a monument stands at Cunningham's Gap in
We passed through Warwick, and stopped for lunch at Stanthorpe,
where we amused ourselves photographing some of the many Eastern
Water Dragons that inhabited the park. And so on to Tenterfield,
where it now being late afternoon, and having gained an hour in
the last few kms as we passed into NSW (daylight savings) we decided
to stay the night.
Tenterfield was mooted as the first capital of Australia at one
point in time, and the architecture in the town reflected those
times. A visit to the famous Cork Tree, and of course The Tenterfield
Saddler rtounded out our tour of the town, before we set out for
the Boonoo Boonoo NP.
On the way to the NP, you pass Thunderbolt's Hideout, and it is
a must to stop and have a look at this unique collection of rocks
that served as Thunderbolt's retreat.
As we approached Boonoo Boonoo NP, it was noted that we had climbed
past the 1000m elevation mark. We also had no problem spotting
the local breed of kangaroos which were not sparse in numbers.
We also collected a couple of leeches as we moved around the extremely
wet areas by the river taking photos.
On reaching the carpark, it is a 300m walk to the lookout over
the Boonoo Boonoo Falls.
We then headed for Casina, and my GPS took us down Black Swamp
Rd, which is not that far from the NP, and treated us to some
absolutely glorious farming countryside. This in turn took us
onto the Bruxner Hwy, which took us through more amazing mountain
country mixed with grazing lands to Casino.
From here, we decided to travel to Beaudesert, via Kyogle, Grevillia
and Rathdowney. This took us back into the hills, circumnavigating
what I suspect to be Mt Lindesay in the process. Whatever it was,
it dominated the horizon. By now, it was raining, and the objective
was to get home in one piece. This had been the weekend that Surfers
Paradise got 400mm of rain, and Brisbane 100mm.
And we missed it - we had a comparatively dry weekend by comparison.
I'd been having problems with the batteries going flat in the
van, and an apparent inability to run 240v power without going
thru the inverter, so decided to get it all sorted once and for
all. This meant taking the van to Caboolture, some 60kms north
of Brisbane. A bit of sightseeing whilst awaiting for the van
saw me in the Glasshouse mountains, and then at Godwin Beach.
Godwin Beach Photos
Gympie was the place on the map that we decided to head to next,
however, rather than drive straight up the Bruce Hwy, we decided
to take an inland drive via the hills. Once we climbed to higher
altitude, we were treated to some amazing views of the Glasshouse
Mountains from a different perspective. Captain Cook noted that
the mountains looked just like the chimneys at the glass making
factories in Britain, and thus named the range.
Maleny and it's local attraction, Lake Baroon Pocket dam were
visited on route. followed by Witta, And then we found Booloumba
Creek NP, which has a ton of space for camping for both tent and
caravan. It is a delightful spot, but accessible mainly by 4WD
(you need a high clearance vehicle to negotiate the creek crossings.
Kenilworth is an attractive small town, followed by Brooloo, and
then Kadanga. This is the town that threatened to disappear under
water had the Queensland Governments planned damming of the Mary
River gone ahead. We finally pulled into Gympie and set up camp
for the night.
It appears that 8 years after Queensland separated from NSW, it
found itself in dire financial strife, and it was the Gold discovered
in Gympie in 1867 which saved the fledgling state.
We spent an hour cruising around Gympie, photographing some of
the beautiful architecture in the town.
Then it was on to Kilkaven, and lunch at Goomeri. We detoured
up Boat Mountain Road, which took us to an elevation that allowed
us to appreciate the surrounding area, before winding our way
back to the main road, that took us into Murgon.
We called in at the peanut capital of Queensland, Kingaroy, before
moving onto Wondai, where there is a shop set up exactly as it
was 50 years ago. I had the pleasure of looking through the shop
some years ago, but sadly, it was closed this trip, because it
was Sunday. Wondai looks as though there has been a concerted
effort by the town to clean up, as the buildings all looked freshly
Nanango was our next stop. The towns streets feature a number
of wood carved statues depicting the pioneers of the town. Then
to the Wivenhoe Dam, before wending our way back to Ipswich and
I decided it was time to see where a champion racehorse came from,
and so we set sail for Goondiwindi. We had to go over old ground
by going back out to Warwick, before turning west and heading
for our destination.
However as always happens, thank goodness, we got distracted and
found the Leslie Dam just outside of Warwick.
After admiring the Dam, and rock sculptures of local pioneer Patrick
Leslie and his wife, we hit the road, deviating to have a look
at a small hamlet called Karara, saw Elvis at Oman-ama (see photos),
and arrived at Inglewood. We had a bit of a nosey around this
town which is where you turn off for Texas (Elvis and Texas in
the same neighborhood?), and then made our run into Goondiwindi.
A quick look around town before pitching the tent for the night.
Time to look around, and very obviously, the statue of Gunsynd
was a must, located just beside the Border Bridge, which crosses
the McIntyre River into New South Wales. And then to the local
water park. the locals have been industrious, and have excavated
a water channel around a piece of land, and it is fed by a creek,
allowing the locals to indulge in skiing and other water activities.
the water level was reasonable when wee were there, but Iwould
imagine is now pretty full after the drenching that Qld has suffered
Time to start heading back to Brisbane, and we chose to go through
Millmerrin. You greeted at the town boundary by a Teepee, which
is apparently a loo (it was locked when we went through). the
Millmerrin Shire holds a Camp Oven contest every two years, and
also has a biennial National Rendezvous of Muzzle-load rifle shooters.
The town commissioned a regional firm to paint a number of murals
around town which depict the pionering history of the area. Fortunately,
none of these have been defaced by mindless idiots with spray
packs..........yet. A bit of photography at a beautiful park on
the northern boundary, and we set sail, only to discover Yandilla.
This church is all that remains of a small community, and is the
2nd oldest church in Qld. It was built in 1878, on the site of
an ealier church. The graveyard around the church was established
Another detour into Brookstead, and then onto Pittsworth. The
main road runs past the town, which is a pity in some respects.
The locals are probably happy that their town is not inundated
with blowins, but probably equally disturbed by the revenue lost
from passing traffic. The town features some beautiful architecture.
We then followed a couple of dirt roads, enjoying the countryside,
before rejoining the main road and heading to Toowoomba. Toowoomba
is a major Rural City, with a population of 90,000 people. It's
origin dates back to 1827. The major attraction for us, was a
visit to Picnic Point, which overlooks the plain stretching back
It was time to head back to Capalaba, and yet again we had been
lucky, managing to avoid much of the rain that was saturating
Anyone who is motor racing fan will remeber Lakeside Motor racing
Circuit, and the epic battles between Peter Brock and Dick Johnson.
I decided to go have a look at the refurbished track. At first
it looked as tho we wouldn't get in, as the gate was closed, but
negotiation with an official finally allowed us to not only look
at the track, but to do a slow lap around the circuit.
Took another trip north this weekend.
We decided to travel via northern suburb Redcliffe, and discovered
the wreck of the Gayundah, before deciding that the town was too
urbanised for this weekends trip plan, and so we decided we would
do that at a later time, and headed North.
We wasted too much time negotiating traffic at the Sunshine coast,
before realising that the Sunshine Coast I saw a number of years
ago, was nothing like today. It is now very urban, and so, time
to get out of there fast.
And so we arrived at Pomona. The town is dwarfed by Mt Coomoora,
which is famous for it's King of The Mountain footrace. As with
many country towns in Qld, it has some cute architecture. We the
wound our way around to Kin Kin. This is a rally cute little town,
nestled in the hills, with a river running through the bottom
of town. A week after we were ther, I believe the town was flooded.
We asked Wanda (my GPS - cos we wonder where she's gonna take
us) to take us the shortest way to Rainbow Beach, and so she duly
turned us into a forest road, which had warnings about the potential
for being flooded, and 4WD only. So we thought, what the heck,
and enjoyed the drive thru the forest to the Tin Can Bay Road,
before finally arriving at Rainbow Beach.
We awoke to the news that a huge undersea earthquake off Chile
had set off a tsunami, and it was due to reach our coast in about
an hour. aA couple of hours later, and still no real action in
the ocean, and we decided that it was time to get moving. we headed
down to the Inskip Peninsula, and then set sail for Gympie, which
was the jumping off place for the next bit of our trip. We would
cover some old ground, but pick different routes to get back to
We called in on the Bjelke Petersen Dam which had way less water
than other Qld dams at this time.
Running back into Nanango, we discovered a gem we had missed a
fortnight before, with a Garage that had a mural, and a workshop,
both unprotected by any sort of door, and neither touched by the
And so to Crows Nest, and more timeless buildings. It begs the
question, why are we in so much of a mind to destroy our heritage,
and replace it with buildings with no character. They don't rip
down 600 year old buildings in Europe (do they?). Most of ours
will never reach that, especially in the cities.
I knew there was a genuine German Clock Maker/Shop on the New
England Hwy, but thought it was a few hundred Km further north.
So imagine the delight when we found it not far from Toowoomba.
sadly, we got there 5 minutes after it closed for the day.
But I was on a mission, to revisit an historic railway station
at Spring Bluff. And as we approached, we passed a coal train
also heading in that direction. And so we managed to photograph
the station, the train passing through the station, and then it
was time for coffee at the cafe which was open when we arrived
about 20 mins ago. You guessed it............ we missed it by
5 minutes as they had closed up for the day.
And so we headed down the Murphys Creek Road and wound our way
back home. 330 km on saturday, 550 km on Sunday. A great weekend.
Coast Trip Photos
With the country literally being under water (many off the towns
we visited in the last few weeks are under water) we decided to
actually explore some suburbs closer to Brisbane.
We had abandoned Redcliffe last week, and so we went back for
a closer look. We found a great little cafe decked out in 60's
decor - called the Retro cafe, it was just that. And the food
was great too.
Then to Petrie, and a rebuilt Historic village. The Moreton Bay
Fig Trees here were fantastic.
It started raining, and by the time we got to Dayboro, it was
teaming down. We hung around until the rain backed off, and we
got our photos.We then aimed for Mt Mae, and then decided to cut
across country to Wamurin. The road was narrow, steep downhill,
and very windy around a mountain, and tons of fun - wet, winding,
steep narrow road. We got home in one piece, and hoped for less
rain on Sunday.
Dayboro Trip Photos
Time to visit the lookout at Mt Coot-tha. But first kangaroo Point,
which overlooks the Brisbane River and the city, and is the locality
where the Storey Bridge is located, and the Brisbane Jazz Club
has it's home.
We then headed for our destination, got in the wrong lane on a
crucial intersection, and found ourselves heading for Moggill,
and while we were heading in that direction, why not have a look
at the Moggill Ferry. It was just like the ferries that run the
Murray River in South Australia and Victoria and down there, because
there are no bridges, the service is free of charge. .... not
in Queensland, here they charge a fee.
We then actually found the right road back to Mount Coot-tha,
where we spent time with a thousand (weeelllll) tourists, most
of whom couldn't speak English, overlooking Brisbane city and
the Brisbane River winding it's way through Indooroopilly. You
could also see landmarks some 40-50 kms away. We continued the
drive around the mountain, passing the four major TV channels
perched on top of the hill, before finding ourselves back home.
Another fabulous weekend.
Coot-tha Trip Photos
Saturday morning, and time to tick off another box. When I was
13, I had the good fortune to be sent on an Eastern States tour
with the Young Australia League and one of the places we visited
was Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary. Now I couldn't remember much about
it, so here I was, 49 years later, heading back out to revisit
this little piece of koala heaven.
It is set in a piece of bushland on the Brisbane River, not too
far from the city. And it is gorgeous. It's a must to take the
kids (or the grandys). The kids can feed the kangaroos, have their
photo taken with a koala, or just marvel at the many Eastern Water
dragons that run free around the park. There are wombats, Tassie
Devils, emus, Dingo, a menagerie of exotic Australian birds, and
more. it was a great morning
Pine Sanctuary Photos
Back on Feb 28th, I mentioned that we had stumbled onto a German
Clock Shop just out of Toowoomba. But we got there 5 minutes after
they closed. So we decided to head back out and have a look. We
followed the Murphy's Creek road around again, and had a closer
look at that community, before arriving at the Clock Shop at Carbarlah.
Now this is 15kms out of Toowoomba, and stands on it's own on
a stretch of the New England Hwy - Nothing within kms of it.
The original owner built a replica of a German barn, lived upstairs,
and decked out the lower floor as a clock shop. He sold it to
the current owners a few years ago, and moved back to Germany..
The place is full of Cookoo clocks, and there is a room full of
grandfather clocks at the rear. There are battery operated clocks
(where the cuckoo can be shut down for the night), and mechanical
clocks. All are handcrafted in Germany. One of the Grandfather
clocks was made of glass, and would set you back a cool $24,995.
We then headed for Prince Henry Heights lookout, catching sight
of a 1959 Ford Zephyr at a service station in the process. Having
once owned a 1957 Zephyr Ute, I swung around and collared the
guy, who told me he had bought it for his wife, had done some
restoration work a couple of years ago and he was allowed to drive
it, I guess as long as he filled it with petrol :-)
Then, instead of sitting on the hwy all the way home, we took
a detour through Grantham and Gatton. This used to be the main
road before the highway was built to bypass the towns. Grantham
has sadly become a sort of ghost town, probably because Gatton
is a major centre just down the road, and the bypass probably
didn't help either.
Another box to be ticked. We had travelled extensively through
the SE Qld Mountain Range, but still hadn't done Mt Tambourine.
And so, that was our task today. We headed south down the Pacific
Hwy, turning off at Beenleigh, and wending our way to the Mt Tambourine
We came across a turnoff to Cedar Springs Falls, and decided it
needed to be investigated. Leaving the parking area, we started
the 900 metre walk to the falls. We didn't have to go that far,
before the lookoput point was reached, which overlooked the first
part of the creeks descent. We also descended, as one tends to
do at these places, and followed the track, recording the creeks
progress as we did. We came across a number of people wandering
back up the track, all carrying tripods and heaps of camera gear.
I had an SLR and a video camera, and thought that was enough.
Turns out, there was a camera club having a day out at the falls.
Once having recorded and seen, it was time to head back to the
car, and remember I said we descended........
Back in the car and having recovered - it wasn't a tough climb,
but I have been sitting on my bum a lot recently - am looking
forward to getting back on the road in a weeks time where this
will become daily ritual - but I digress. Back in the car, we
resumed our journey up the Mt Tambourine Road, passing through
Eagle Heights on the way, until we reached the village of North
Tambourine. Now so far, all this had reminded me very much of
Kalamunda, and the way Perthites troop up there on Sundays.
A look at the hinterland spread below us from the Rotary lookout
was very much appreciated, as was the view from the next lookout
just a few hundred metres down the road. This lookout is used
by local hang glider pilots to launch themselves into space. Sadly,
this Sunday wasn't one of their launching days.
Continuing around the mountain and heading down to Nerang, we
copped a great view in the other direction towards the Gold Coast.
Now it was a journey of family, visiting a relative at Mudgreeba,
and then into NSW to Murwillumbah to see another relative.
TRIP VIDEOS 2010
Desert In Bloom
- North Queensland
Telegraph Track - Qld
Hwy - Qld
Gulflander - Normanton - Qld
War Memorial - NSW
O Bourke Hotel - before the fire
The Ant Ordeal - Bourke
Moffat - Top Shelter Shed - Carnarvon NP
you would like to contact me or email
your thoughts or comments, please feel free to do so. I would
love to hear from you
more photos, visit Lesley's site. Queensland,