We are on the road by 0815 and the weather is forecast for wet, wet with a little bit more wet thrown in for good measure and it’s raining as we leave. Perfect for camping!
Okay maybe not perfect, but we are getting used to it. We head towards
Ipswich and continue along the Darren Lockyer Way to Gatton, where we stop to grab me some gum boots. This delays our arrival to site by about 30 minutes.
Okay maybe not perfect, but we are getting used to it. We head towards
Heading down the Clifton-Gatton Road, Glenn keeps an eye on the trip meter as we need to go roughly 22k’s and head west on Wagners Road. The farmstay is another 1.7k’s, noted by some signs sending you either horse riding or to the guest house. We head to the guest house, as Sue told us she’d be cleaning it for a family arriving later in the day.Remember when you come across a closed gate, close it behind you and if it’s open, leave it open ... you are in Cattle Country and the property owner doesn’t wish to mix different paddocks of cattle or have them escape. The “front” gate of the property has a quirky mailbox … a cute goat … so you can be sure you have arrived when you see it. We’ve crossed Ma Ma Creek once, and we do so again before opening the gate to the house yard. Up a steep but bitumen coated driveway and we round a corner to find a 16 year old guest house and a 1950’s homestead, with showers and toilets for campers.
Alas, no one is home. We can see the horse yards over on another hill so I do the traditional Cooee, but to no avail. I get friendly with a cow and a goat, we give the dogs a pit stop and decide to wait for a bit. At the 45 minutes stage, we head back towards Gatton, until I can get a phone signal to give them a call. I’m guessing they don’t live on the land or have gone into town. With a dodgy signal, I get hold of Pete and he says he’ll be about 10 minutes away to show us around. We return to site and await his arrival.
Once he arrives, the boys get to talking about cars and I give his dog a good patting. Before too long we are following him to the front gate, where we leave our car, and he takes us for a 4wd around to potential campsites, which really is above and beyond, but we’d never have found a few of them ourselves if he hadn’t given us the personal tour. One of them is simply perfect for us, but with our rig being so long, we may have had issues coming back over Ma Ma Creek and with the onset of rain, it’s not our best option at this time. Heading up a 4x4 track that takes us back to above the houses, we find the “campground” where most visitors spend their time. Then it’s back into the house yard, where Pete draws us a mud map of the tracks we could drive and marks some things of interest that we could visit. There is the original house on the ridge (circa 1880’s) amongst other things … and the view from up there would be fantastic. He’s very entertaining with his many stories of places and things. We hear a Cooee and find Sue at the front gate, so head back down. Seems she’s been shopping in Toowoomba. Both Pete and Sue are friendly, easy to talk to and make us feel right at home.
With mud map in hand, we head along the creek to check out the first camping option, but Glenn feels we’d be better off in the main camp ground with the pending weather, so we head up there. The track up is a little slippery with the camper attached, but we make it safely. It’s 1500 before we’ve picked a site and are setting up. One of our latest set ups yet. It’s probably our highest camp yet and we aren’t near the creek and we can’t see it, but we can hear it if we listen carefully between showers.
The site we’ve chosen looks over theOnce set up, we go for a bit of a wander to check out rocks larger than our vehicle, camp site views from different angles and watch the showers roll in. Glenn heads up a track to the top of the ridge line and I head around to see the rest of the camp ground. We meet back at the bottom of the track and he says he made it up to a gate and then turned back. Due to the wetness of the track and its steepness, he suggests we won’t be driving it today, which is fine by me.
valley of Wagners Road and we can see the rock encrusted escarpments on either side of us. Seems we will have a great vantage point to watch the rain roll up the valley towards camp which it’s been doing for most of the day. Scenery wise, the campsite is great.
We head back to camp as the weather sets in. Short shower after short shower, so we set up some wet weather options. End wall. Car shade up. Second awning goes up to protect the driver side window of the camper so I can open it for ventilation … hasn’t been out for some time. OzPig comes out and gets set up. Get some steak out to defrost for dinner. Now there is nothing to do but settle back and enjoy the rest of the day simply because we can, and keep an eye on his goat herd high up on the ridgeline.
I’ve bought some new dog beds and this is the trial run for them. Waterproof outer, cotton inner and I’ve filled mine with some foam I had stored. Glenn went with some old pillows. Luckily for us, the ground under the camper doesn’t suffer from sloppy sludginess like it did at Cobb & Co and stays rather dry. The ground is hard and is really soaking up the moisture, so I think perhaps it’s the level of where we are that is making the difference.
After dinner, we don our gum boots and head down hill to see if there are lights at the house. The trip down and back is not at all graceful on my part as I have zero grip and the road is very slippery, so just checking a light status was almost more than I could do. Yes, there are lights.
It was wonderful to fall to sleep with the sound of constant rain on the canvas. We get up and have coffee and toast for breakfast. Day is still overcast with a potential for rain. As we are eating, a field mouse heads out from damp bushes and under cover under the camper. He is very small with a high cute factor, but I’m hoping that he doesn’t have ideas about getting inside or dropping by the pantry. Telashi is keeping a very good eye on it.
I put out a solar panel in the hopes that it will put something into the batteries as its very bright although still overcast. It’s noted that it’s putting in 0.4 amps and even when raining still puts in 0.2 amps. Better than nothing I guess.We are joined by the resident cows which peaks the interest of our pups. There is mostly horse poo in this paddock, but as yet we haven’t seen one running loose. There are a couple down near the house however, so they must be on a roster for access with the cows. Today is cow day.
We don’t really have a plan for today at all. I throw the ball for Telashi till she’s puffing. Jack even gives chase for awhile, but due to his age gives up quickly. I wander around taking photos from different angles in the area.
Lunch is sausages on buns with salad, the smell of which attracts visitors to camp. The owners drop by to ensure we are okay and get to chatting with Glenn. Our neighbours head past as well on a walk up the hill, and they are heading back down the hill before the owners head off. A shower of rain sends them all packing though and it’s back to eating what remains of our lunch.
We sit back and enjoy the rain once more and it gets heavier and heavier so we sit in camp and keep ourselves amused till dinner. That involves reading, drinking, laughing, walking around in the rain, more laughing and drinking, some relaxing, and keeping an eye on the goat herd high on the ridgeline. Dinner is Thai chicken and veg with 2 minute noodles, which, as always, is wonderful. I was quite surprised that Kiah fell asleep and snored before bedtime. She’s usually on constant surveillance of the perimeter, so it’s quite notable.
The rain stopped overnight and during the night I could hear the creek far below us. When we arise, the sun is out and drying things for us and adding amps to the battery bank. As we’ll be able to see any showers long before they arrive, we feel confident on getting things mostly dry before we need to fold anything away, but prepare like torrential rain is on the way in the next half hour.
Before long, the overcast conditions return and the temperature drops. Before it thinks about raining, we are 98% dry and pack the camper away which leaves a few things to pack in the car and we sit out of the rain under the car shelter. From here we can’t see the goat herd high on the ridgeline behind us.
Pete drops by once more for a chat, this time with a goat on the ute and the two from the house yard following him ... quite funny to see goats trotting after the car. They are very people friendly and only too happy to get a pat or scratch. We tie up the pups as they are very interested in the new camp visitors. One goat gets closer and closer to the pups and starts “coughing” at the dogs and giving intent stares. Very threatening goat behaviour … can’t wait till it stamps its foot to scare them off. LOL!We are finally packed and heading out around 1300 and it’s still raining. The road back down to the houses is rather slippery as well. Going down is a little harder with the camper on than just a work ute alone. Pete coming up and down has made it a bit mushy as well. On two occasions the rear of the ute attempts a pass, so Glenn adjusts the trailer brakes to compensate. Very interesting 500 meter drive. We give Sue a wave as we head out and are back on the
On the trip home we see rain all around, but most of the way there are dry roads and we don’t get any further drizzle till we are parked in the driveway. To my amazement, the rain gauge shows that 97mm have fallen at home since we left!
We found this site very peaceful. As with our last camp, the owner is keen to keep an eye on you and stop by for a chat. In wet weather and for the campsites much further up the creek, I would suggest 4WD only, but longer dry periods should see 2WD’s enter the main campground and perhaps beyond. With 1000 acres of gorge country to camp on, there should be a site suitable for the slightly more adventurous as well. If you find you need something to do whilst staying here, they offer horse riding, there are some intersting things to see onsite (like the original house), you can take a 4WD around the property and it's not far from the Darling Downs Zoo.
Trip Kilometres: 292Trip Duration: 72 hours