We are on the road later than usual this time. My mum came down to stay for a few days and she’s waving us off around 0830. Our destination is just south west of Beaudesert so not all that far really.
The day is overcast and it’s been lightly raining at home for a day or two. Nothing to get excited about – 10mm – but it’s better than watering again which I'll probably have to do again anyway. The Brisbane region has had practically no rain for 3 or 4 months now and it’s really showing. The area is on high fire alert and some sections have really been coping it hard according to the news … days have been hazy with smoke of late.
We make good time to our turn off, but we aren’t in a hurry at all. Taking the first left hand turn after the Logan River crossing, we head south west a few short kilometres until we reach a roundabout. And there is the sign to point us in the right direction.It seems that Stoney Creek Road is mainly a graded track through properties and we follow this for a few kilometres until we reach another sign. Please ensure that you wind up the windows once entering this road, as you pass by the abattoirs and it’s fairly pungent when we go by. And I thought grease trap smelt bad! Glenn hopes we are far enough away from it as the wind is prevailing in our general direction of travel, but I’m sure we will be.
We come to another cattle grid and a sign saying we’ve almost arrived. The next sign says 4wd’s one way – 2wd’s + trailers the other way. Glenn takes the easy option as we haven’t been here before and we aren’t sure just “how 4wd” it’s gonna get.
The last sign points us up a hilly turn and that’s the way we go. All things are going really well until we lose traction and start going backwards. Glenn tells me we have no brakes either and he’s having trouble controlling which direction we slide. OH MY GOSH! My heart is racing … right out my mouth and is on the verge of leaping out the car window. Dear Reader, you do NOT want to hear what I said next! J We slide back about 50 to 100mtrs and come to a stop, and I am out of the vehicle before you could say Oh My Gosh!
Glenn has been caught unawares and is also in slight panic mode.
So our first priority is to ensure we don’t go backwards any further. Recovery gear comes out, winch cable gets attached. Tree protector goes around a tree and we are at least not going any further backwards. My next priority is getting the dogs out of harm’s way and leaving the decision making up to Glenn as to how we proceed. He doesn’t make any plans and we have a bit of a “discussion” about things. I guess the best way to handle this is to remove the camper after chocking the wheels with whatever we can find rock wise and getting the car in a better position – I haven’t done much in the way of 4wd recoveries – and it probably isn’t the best laid plan as I’m still a bit spooked and not thinking in a 4wd recovery frame of mind.A vehicle approaches from up the hill and Glenn toots him to a stop. He comes down to us on foot. It’s Steve the manager of the 4wd park and he tells us that my "Oh My Goodness" must have been a bit loud as his neighbour called and said “I can hear a ladies voice and she doesn’t sound very happy” – understatement really, but nice to know that people are friendly in these parts. Steve says that if we’d phoned him, he’d have been able to get us through the neighbours property easily … so we’ll keep that in mind for a next time. Steve also mentions that the hill is very slippery due to 3 days of constant light rain after months of dry, which means that the dust has turned to mush and isn’t washing off the track. Sounds feasible.
Steve also mentions that there is a large tree about 50 metres up the hill that we can winch from and we should reconnect the trailer first. I guess we didn’t notice it through the smaller trees, so we set about running out cable and straps to this larger tree. As we are doing this 2 more 4wd’s towing trailers come up the 4wd track. With those vehicles both having lockers they’ve found the track no issue. One is towing an older Aussie Swag and the other is towing a new to him Camprite. They are out here for a boys weekend. I’m so glad neither of them saw me go arse up in the mud and slide about 5 metres down the slippery hill. I’ve done some damage to my pride, my ankle and I’ve got more mud on me that the hill does. J
Glenn gets our rig up the hill, disconnects and drives it further up to firmer ground, while I bring the dogs and whatever else we’ve left at the bottom.
Seems we are only about 1k from the entrance and the rest of the track is so much easier.
When we arrive, the other boys are right behind us. We give over our monies, Glenn signs his life away on the form and we get given a map of the place. It’s simply a road map with no “lay of the land” so deciding what is a good track to make it to a campsite is near impossible – especially since rain increases track difficulty and we've never been here before. Since the dogs like water, I’ve suggested a dam site and we are given directions and make our way there. There is one very tight turn where we tear more of the cover on the stone guard, add more scratches to the ute tray and put a mark on the bulbar from a tree, but other than that we find ourselves in our own little valley.
We decide on foot where to camp, as we’ve been directed up another rather slippery hill. Glenn decides that we’ll camp pretty much where we are even at the end of this track even if there are better camps closer to water and we can do our exploring on foot until the weather improves – fine by me - and we do that later.
We pick the best spot where we are and proceed to erect camp and by the time we do its lunchtime, which is probably one of our latest setups for such a super close location.We get stuck into lunch – rissole and salad sandwiches - and some blokes turn up in 4wd’s and start 4wding right in front of us. Seems this section of the park is the easiest to get to and they are having a great time. Once we finish lunch we head over to a better vantage point and watch them for a bit.
We then follow them back to near our camp and watch them slippery hill climb all but the steepest which is right in front of our camp. Only one vehicle makes it to the top but its fun to watch them encourage each other and they all make several attempts before giving up.
We spend a lazy afternoon under the awning out of the rain or going for short walks to have a look around. Soon the rain stops for a bit and we head out to the Mud Pit as I’m calling it, with umbrella’s in hand. We wander its length and discover there are 2 dams here.
A blowout.We gingerly make our way back to camp via the road above our campsite to the east where all the boys were attempting the short upward pointing tracks. Don’t think I’d attempt it on foot let alone in a 4WD.
But we have to think about dinner. Roast chicken and veg. The Ozpig comes out and gets constructed and we’ve searched all the fire pits in our area for some bush timber. Water goes on to boil for showers. We aren’t bothering with the shower ensuite this trip … it’s another thing we’d have to get dry and since we are the only people camping here …
11.11.12The next morning dawns overcast but not raining thankfully. May have a chance at getting things dry today before the inevitable pack up. We start slowly as we always do on pack up day. Today we are going to go for a bit of a drive to see the condition on the exit to the office and if dodgy, request permission from the neighbouring property to exit that way. It’s also a great opportunity to take a tour of where we can get to today. All the boys have said that tracks are very slippery, as does the brochure “Track Difficulty Increases With Rain”.
But first we must pack up while it’s not raining. The canvas is pretty dry, so we’ll take this opportunity while we can. I think it’s our quickest pack up yet!
In no time at all, we are driving back up a slippery, muddy road to the office. It’s our launching point for all the other tracks on the property. Our plan is to get a look at the other camping sites and facilities before we head back to the office and ask for permission to exit via the neighbours property. As we head down the track, Glenn says that this would be more difficult to come out of than the track we are on with the camper in tow. The track heads down on a bit winding to and fro until we reach the other campsites where the track then goes up a bit. The campsites here are well grassed, but some are roped off “for regeneration”. This area is rather small – compared to where we are about the same size. It has large gum trees and is on top of a grassy knoll with a wonderful view to the north-west. It comes complete with demountable toilets.
After doing a drive by we head back to the office. We find the lovely Steve in attendance and give him back his laminated map, sign ourselves out, and head back to the camper to await the neighbour to assist us further. Steve’s putting some newer tyres on his truck and we should be able to hitch up and have a quick drink and pit stop before he comes down to greet us.
After making our way through his property and giving his horses a pat, we are back on the track to the abattoir and paved roads. Glenn needs to put some air in the tyres so I suggest we head for Ill Bogan Park and stop for lunch so he can do so.
We pull into Ill Bogan Park and I see there is a statue of sorts at the back, so head over with the pups while Glenn puts more air in his tyres. It’s a statue of a snake and there is a bit of a story to describe it. Apparently, Ill Bogan means Snake in the local lingo. Pups … everyone out of the long grass … Now!
I take the pups back to the vehicle. We are going to have a picnic lunch on the tables provided, so get out some pup leads so they don’t wander off onto the road. I attach them to the picnic shelter and provide them with some water just as another traveller pulls up in a caravan and also has their lunch, but inside the caravan.
I get out all the things we’ll need for lunch just as Glenn comes to wash his hands. We sit and have a leisurely lunch before packing things up once more and heading back home.
Apart from this being the closest place we’ve been to, it’s also been our longest to site and earliest return home thanks to the weather.
Trip Kilometres: 155Trip Duration: 48 hours