About Me

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Queensland, Australia
Two Life Motto's: 1. It's All About The Journey 2. De Camino A La Verada - Do Not Stray From The Path.

Bush Camping ...

Bush Camping ...

I've created this blog mainly to let family and friends know where we have been "Bush Camping" of late as well as a permanent record for us. Sort of an online Scrapbook I guess.

We live in the South East Queensland region of Australia, so I am trying to camp in places that are, at most, 3 hours from Brisbane. Places you can visit on a quick weekend trip, over a long weekend period, or take a week or fortnight to explore. On occassion, we may venture much further afield (here's hoping) and show some other destinations we've managed to locate.

I've tried, where possible, to add links to important things. Such as websites for the places, towns, national parks, state forests, or places of interest. Please click those to take you away from my site, to theirs ... but don't forget to come back! I've added these so that you may get up to date information about these places.

If there is something that I haven't covered or that you can't locate information on ... Contact Me has been set up for you to send me an email. It's for comments or questions you may have about anything to do with the blog itself, my photo's, our camper trailer, or the destinations. Please don't hesitate to provide information on other places we can go, as we are always happy to visit another location.

You can also learn more about me and our camper trailer by visiting the Other Pages links.

Please Enjoy.
Tracey =^..^=

16.04.11 Poplar Flat - Main Range National Park

Booked in here site unseen ... just hoping for the best.  We'd heard alot about Gordon Country and Goomburra Valley, and the photo's on their websites looked nice.  So we were hoping that alot of walks through the National Park would keep us entertained if all else failed.

Firstly it's a nice drive out to Aratula, raining all the way.  Up through Cunningham's Gap towards Warwick.  Signs told us to expect delays of 15mins on the way up.  They are still trying to hold the Gap pass together after the torrential rains of recent months.  They might be winning ... it was hard to tell ... but they were giving it a good effort. 

We had a 'heated discussion' after missing the turn off, but I think we've come to a mutual agreement on how to overcome this in the future *fingers crossed*.  Regardless, the map I'd been using to navigate, lit our fire that night.  Now to get another map before our next trip.
So we finally turned down the correct road and headed north towards Goomburra, as the rain eases off.  Not a large township at all ... more a gathering of a few houses and a hall.  At Goomburra, we turned right and headed east down Inverramsey Road.  The scenery is lovely down this valley. 
The road is the only way in or out, so expect to pass many other cars along the way.  The road is by no means large enough to accommodate 2 vehicles, so ensure you get some tyres off the black stuff, but pick your spot well as the sides are currently soft and sticky and not to mention slushy.

We pass the above named campgrounds, a wildlife sanctuary and a not so 'corner' store, which appeared to have the essentials should you run short.  At the 30k mark, we are off the bitumen and onto the black slushy, sticky road.  From here on in, I'd recommend a 4x4 or a very careful driver for wet weather, as there are a few creek crossings.  The road has just been graded so if the drivers are careful, the road will remain intact for awhile.  I do hope they grade that lookout road next. 

We look at both campsites ... Poplar Flat and Manna Gum ... to see which is the nicest of the two.  Poplar Flat is more open on one side with a smaller loo block ... where Manna Gum has lots of gum trees, larger loo block and Bell birds chirruping away madly.  Manna Gum also has the start to a few walks and a carpark for the day trippers.  Where to camp?  
Poplar Flat
Manna Gum
Manna is the most booked for this weekend, although there is no-one there when we arrive (it's lunchtime).  As we go to head back for another look at Poplar (where we are booked into) another camper approaches along the one lane crossing.  I request Glenn reverses and notice a campsite we hadn't seen.  The other campers head in that way and we assume they will continue through to the other campsites, but they don't.  They want the one we've just pulled into to get out of their way ... saying "We've always camped here in all the years we've been coming out" so I guess that's their way of saying Piss Off.  I'm a bit miffed that Grey Nomads could be so rude ... we were in there with our vehicle and they still insist we move by standing in front of our vehicle so that if we did want to pull in we couldn't.  I wasn't keen on the gent standing by the drivers door staring at us, so I light a smoke and walk back the way we drove in, letting Glenn decide what he's gonna do.  Our first campsite standoff!  It's right beside the road and if they are that desperate ... they can have it.  There are plenty of other sites better than that one.

We head back to Poplar and pick a spot.  We haven't done the usual "check it right out first" and simply pull into the first fireplace we come to.  Which, as we find out later, is a pity ... there is a private spot down closer to the creek that would have been nicer.  Maybe next time.

So we set up camp, put up an end wall for privacy and the draught flap to keep out the rather chilly wind that's about.  It's still sprinkling, but eases off further as the day progresses.  We then check out the toilet block (2 x each sex with wash basin) and head for the Dalrymple creek to see what's to see.  Not much really, but the creek is beautiful.  The rapids are quite rapid and we can't find any animals inhabiting the shallows.  It would be great in Summer, but today it's just cold.

After lunch and a few drinks around the campsite, we notice a leech or two.  We continue to check for these for the rest of our stay.  Even found one in bed!  So if you are ever up this way ... check for leeches if you have a dislike of them, but they will simply "fall" when they consume enough vital fluids.  I think mine were a little tipsy, but they much preferred their blood mixed with Glenn's Bundy!

We do one of the close walks and see birds and Wallabies, but not much else ... except for leeches.  There are two lookout walks which I'm saving for the morning as they are under 1k each return from a distant carpark along Forestry Reserve Road.  The day clears enough so we can see some blue sky.  However my shoes and socks are soaked from the squishy conditions and walking through some creeks on the start of yet another walk (which turned out to be 6k's or more), before we backtracked to camp. 
We check out the park information sign, and the lower campground.  As the light departs the day, we start cooking dinner.  Chicken boobs, sliced, coated in a spicy flour and then crumbed, with some fried veg and some curly noodles.

I notice that a young couple is having trouble lighting their fire, so take them some pine blocks and some egg cartons ... both of which are great for getting a fire going.  Seems they have wet timber (probably knicked from along the road), but soon have a nice fire going.  They've been sitting reading books all day and continue to do so for the rest of our time there.  Not even a walk.  Our other neighbours are an older couple with 3 grandkids in tow ... all young boys.  They try to keep them entertained with ball games, shuttle cock, and pushbikes (which are making a mess of their clothes).  Another couple in a van are not doing much at all and we hardly see them.

After dinner we head back along the walk to see if we can see any nighttime creatures.  We pass the first couple we "met" and they haven't lasted very well, being that it's only 7pm, they are fast asleep it seems.  After an hour or so along the track, having seen hardly any wildlife at all, we return to camp and sit in front of the fire for the rest of the night, listening to the overly loud gurgle of the creek.  Nice.

Next morning we are awoken at 6:30 by the first of the vehicle visitors for the day cruising through to see what's to see and they are gone 5 minutes later.  It then becomes a steady stream of vehicles (maybe 2 or 3 an hour) so we get as much of a sleep in as we can.  Snags and eggs for breaky.  We get some visitors too.
Female Satin Bowerbird
 Male Satin Bowerbird
 Bowerbirds Bower ... Sexy Yes? 
You can see they love all things blue.
Then we jump in the car and head for the road to the lookouts.  Alas, it's closed due to the wet weather, but we do find a picnic area for day visitors we hadn't noticed, which has a sculpture of a frog (sorry no photo).  Nothing else to do except head back down the road we came in on and check out the other campgrounds a little more closely.  Goomburra Valley even allows us to drive in and park, then walk around the place.  It's very clean and tidy and would be a great place to visit, but it does seem a little small.
A Gordon Country campsite
We return to camp and slowly start to pack up.  The weather is starting to close in once again, so we want to make sure we have dry canvas.  Once packed, we head for Allora, and of course it starts raining again.  I decide to list the campgrounds on our way out:  Goomburra Forest Retreat; Gordon Country; Goomburra Valley; Goomburra Valley Animal Sanctuary; Gordon Country's entry; Goomburra Lodge; Jandowen 4WD Park.  Keep in mind that there is alot of private land in between these (especially the Gordon Country campsites), where camping is forbidden.  The plan now, is to head home along the Clifton-Gatton Road and have a late lunch at Heifer Creek.  This road makes a great alternative to climbing the 2 other ways up the range (Toowoomba or The Gap). 

We find that there are 5 campers at Heifer Creek all enjoying the peace and quiet.  The closer we get to home, the more the rain eases off again until it's dry roads at home.  Hosing off some mud was a great way to finish a nice weekend, regardless of the initial challenges.

Trip Kilometeres: 430
Trip Duration: 48 hours

P.S.  We trialled a 50mm high density foam beneath our existing mattress (of 110mm) to see if I gained a better sleep, than I had been.  Having back surgery sure makes you aware of how you sleep and the comfort level of your mattress.  It made closing up the camper a little harder (due to the extra foam), but I found the comfort a little better, not waking up as achy as I had been.  Going to give it another shot over a 2 day weekend and if we find it fails, we'll then trial a pillow topper without the extra 50mm foam and see how that performs.  There was still enough room to get our table and chairs on the bed before we closed the camper, just made closing it use a little more effort, so we'll have to check it for dust and water sealing apon it's next opening.


dragonsgirl said...

Another awesome write up of your great adventures. Where to next?

Carolyn™ said...

Lovely spot - great photos

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