Trip Diary

08-2012 Peel Island (An Ekka tradition)
08-2012 Moreton Island
07-2012 Rocky Point
06-2012 Blakesleys
06-2012 The Bedroom
05-2012 Breakfast on Karragarra
05-2012 St Helena
05-2012 Perigee Bedroom
02-2012 Queen Mary II
02-2012 Mud Island
11-2011 St Helena
11-2011 Shorncliffe to Redcliffe
10-2011 Weinam Ck to Dunwich
10-2011 Peel Island
10-2011 Breakfast on Karragarra
10-2011 St Helena and Green Island
09-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
08-2011 Fraser Island
08-2011 Canaipa Passage
08-2011 Karragarra
08-2011 Stradbroke Island
07-2011 St Helena
07-2011 So long, and thanks for all the fish.
05-2011 Green Island
05-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
04-2011 Upper Noosa River Weekend
04-2011 Easter at Woodgate
04-2011 Mud Island
04-2011 Karragarra for Breakfast
02-2011 Bongaree
02-2011 St Helena
01-2011 Weinam Ck to Blakesleys
10-2010 Moore to Blackbutt Rail Trail
10-2010 Whitsundays
09-2010 Mud Island
09-2010 Redcliffe
09-2010 Girraween
08-2010 Upper Noosa River
08-2010 Potts Point
08-2010 Peel Island
08-2010 Gateway to City Bike Ride
08-2010 Mud Island
07-2010 Blakesleys Afternoon Paddle
07-2010 Kedron Brook to Scaborough (and return)
04-2010 Colmslie Beach
04-2010 Brighton Park
01-2010 Nundah Creek
01-2010 Blakesleys
01-2010 Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
01-2010 New Year Paddle
12-2009 Potts Point
08-2009 Raby Bay to Peel Island
08-2009 Wynnum Creek to King Island
07-2009 Sandgate to Redcliffe
05-2009 St Helena
04-2009 Wellington Point to Peel
04-2009 Breakfast on Karragarra
03-2009 King Island
03-2009 Mission Point
03-2009 Mud Island
01-2009 Morning Tea at The Pin
01-2009 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
01-2009 New Year Recovery Paddle
12-2008 Caniapa
12-2008 Pine Rivers
11-2008 Coochie Night Paddle
10-2008 Breakfast at Karragarra
10-2008 Girraween
10-2008 Coomera Falls Circuit
09-2008 Hinchinbrook Island
09-2008 Manly Harbour Festival
09-2008 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2008 Weekend at Blakesleys
08-2008 Old Woman Island
08-2008 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
07-2008 Upper Noosa River
07-2008 Weinam Creek to Dunwich
06-2008 Scarborough to Bongaree
06-2008 Wellington Pt to St Helena
06-2008 North Stradbroke Jazz Weekend
05-2008 Point O'Halloran to Blakesleys
04-2008 Upper Noosa River
04-2008 Aquatic Paradise to St Helena Is
04-2008 Eprapah Creek
03-2008 Paradise Point to Moreton Island
03-2008 Wynnum Ck to Tangalooma Point
03-2008 Amity Point weekend
03-2008 Bremer River
03-2008 Brisbane River - Gregors Ck to Barneys Rocks
02-2008 Play Day - Coochie Mudlo
02-2008 World Wetlands Day Paddle
02-2008 Brisbane River night paddle
01-2008 Australia Day Week
01-2008 Blakesleys 3/4 Moon Paddle
01-2008 Shorncliffe to Nudgee
01-2008 Brisbane River - Barneys Rocks to O'Sheas Crossing
12-2007 Raby Bay to One Mile via Blakesleys and Potts Point
12-2007 Diamond Head to Tipplers
12-2007 Wynnum Ck to Green and St Helena Islands
11-2007 Bike Ride Bay Islands
11-2007 Tingalpa Creek
10-2007 Potts Point Night Paddle
10-2007 Return to Gilligans Island
10-2007 Salt Water Creek and Coomera River
09-2007 Elimbah Creek
09-2007 Scarborough to Caboolture River
09-2007 Fraser Island Whale Watching
09-2007 Circumnavigate Russell Island
08-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
08-2007 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2007 Brisbane River City Reach
08-2007 Peel Island
08-2007 Brisbane River
08-2007 Green Island Day Trip
07-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
07-2007 Mooloolah River
07-2007 USS Kitty Hawk in Brisbane River
06-2007 Black Tie on Peel Island
05-2007 Harrys Hut Camping Weekend
04-2007 Theodolite Creek
04-2007 Upper Burrum River
04-2007 Circumnavigate Big Woody
04-2007 Walkers Point to Toogum
03-2007 Boat Passage to Big Sandhills
12-2006 Woodgate to Mon Repos
10-2006 Fraser Island Whale Watching
04-2005 Keppel Islands
12-2004 Fraser Island
10-2004 Munna Point Camping Weekend
10-2004 Mooloolaba to Maroochydore
09-2004 Coochie Mudlo Island
08-2004 Karragarra Island
07-2004 Wellington Point to St Helena Island
06-2004 Noosa River Camping Weekend
05-2004 Brisbane River Night Paddle
04-2004 Budds Beach to Moreton Island
10-2003 Bulwer to Tangalooma
05-2003 Eatonsville to Harwood Island


SEQSK Discussion Group
SEQSK Newsletters
Adventurer Anthony Malloch

Date: 10-09-2010
Getting to Girraween can be as much of a weekend away as being there. This time we decided to go via Boonah to Moogerah Dam, then take a back road that would pop us out behind Storm King Dam, onto Pyramids Rd entering the National Park from the northern end. Well that was the plan. There were times when we thought the weekend might be spent in a tent on the side of the road.

Heading out via Amberley we realised that we had left the flat bread and hammer behind. Not a tent peg mallet, a proper hammer. The last time we had pitched a tent at Girraween the ground was so hard that driving wire tent pegs almost killed the plastic mallet and left it with a crater face. Turning left at the top of town we had to drive the entire length of the shopping strip as the only parks were on the very edge of town. Walking back up the hill was like stepping back in time, light years from the slick blandness of a suburban shopping centre. Sure, the so called big brands and services were there, it was just that you might find them behind the counter of a local store. Conversations floating up the street centred around an iphone were about dressage, the elderly sat on their walkers and watched people wander by chatting to those they knew. We like to find the camping store in small towns as they often carry stock not seen elsewhere. As we stepped in the door on the left was a display for Thule roof racks, on the wall a rack with Ultra PFD Type 2 life vests, next to it a light weight cag. This place was a right Aladdins cave, not only for paddlers but bushwalkers or people travelling overseas. It may not have been a big store but the stock had been chosen by someone with a discerning eye. A magnificent cream quilt was handed over the counter. True to form this shop was also the agency for the dry cleaners and local home brew. Check it out the next time you are in Boonah.

Having scored water bladder refills, a hammer from the $2 store, flat bread from the IGA (where the a selection was as good as Woolworths at Camp Hill), we headed out on the wrong road for Moogerah Dam. The Google instructions didn't make sense, the map even less. Thank goodness for road signs. It took a cream bun, a coffee and the tranquillity of the lake to settle my feathers. I am a truculent navigator if I don't have a clear sense of where we are on the map. A noisy and nosy minor was the first to also make himself at home at the table. Having spied the jam smudges on the packaging he contorted himself and licked it off with a methodical efficiency that had to be seen to be believed. His contortions inevitably resulted in the packaging flipping over which while startling him, did not put him off. The lorikeets, butcher birds, magpies all came in but it was the minor who got the jam.

Walk across Moogerah damn wall and look over the downstream side half way across. Six feet at the top, 16 feet at the base in a hyperbolic curve means that you cannot see the bottom of the wall. There is no way I could bungy jump, I couldn't cope with a peek into the void without a serious attack of heebie geebies.

Written instructions taken from Google and a fine red line on the map with no name had us turning left onto Croftby Rd. It was raining, the dirt road greasy. There was no traffic, no homesteads, just cattle and it was very unclear as to where this was going. The countryside was becoming more spartan. Eventually we popped out onto a road that followed the Teviot River and took us to The Head.

Here the road split and we took the right hand fork to follow the Condamine River. After being chased by cattle, a couple of grids later we came to signage that indicated the road crossed the Condamine River 14 times. By now there was a lot of run off, the road was getting very soft and muddy. The prospect of a rising river had us turn tail and follow the Falls Way. Running just inside the Queensland border along the ridge this sealed road took us into the clouds and by lookouts that were whiteouts. There were large brown signs suggesting photographic opportunities but the only thing in focus was one grubster of a Feroza.

Time for fuel. Killarney was the next stop where we were served by a local at the co-op who we later found out has been working at the same place for over 50 years. He was very friendly and asked if we were following on of those sat nav things. Chuckling as he asked, he said they were very good at getting people lost on roads that did not exist in the area. In view of the recent rain he also suggested we go to Girraween via Stanthorpe, not the fine red line I was eyeing up on the map.

After Legume it was onto the dirt - a beautiful wide road with few corrugations and with recent rain, no dust. Ignoring the suggested turnoff to Stanthorpe it was right onto Sugarloaf Rd just before Wilsons Downfall. Now it was guess work as none of the roads around here were named on the map or in life. We missed the turn off to Storm King Dam and drove through what appeared to be the southern end of it instead. A bit of guess had us on Neilsen's Rd and the 4WD adventure began in earnest. The Feroza might be a bit underpowered for weight, but it is not a soft roader. We came across a creek with guide posts half way under water. Time to take the shoes off and walk. Wishing I had a stick and being ready to walk on water at the sight of a swimming snake it became clear these crossings had a concrete base. With hubs locked in there were more opportunities to wash my tootsies. Don't think I would be a keen volunteer to do the same anywhere north of Townsville. Eventually a sign post fessed up to Pyramids Rd - somehow we were following the Google written instructions again and about to come into Girraween.

It had rained 2 inches overnight and water was running everywhere, in the streams, down the side of the road, or filling marshy lakes that took over the road. More wet toes. Once in the national park a road works signed warned about a grader. Around the corner and we were in it, right good and proper. Slewing over the road in soft sludge with no firm base it was time to lock the hubs again and hope the car could crawl out of the slush once stopped. No worries, a bit more grubby, but nothing another creek crossing couldn't deal with.

We came into the camp ground to find Graham and Christina set up in a way that would make a kayaker blush. Their camper trailer had everything including a kitchen sink. However there no sign of Dean or Alison - we wondered where they might have ended up, turned out it was stuck in traffic, not a creek.

With hammer in hand we were usurped by the rain. The fly needed sand pegs, in some cases double pegging the ground was that soft. We knew it would be cold so this was an opportunity to try out the down filled inflatable sleeping mats that are aspiring to supplant the blow up air mattress.
Next Page
Moogerah Dam
Methodical minor
Creepy lean
Leaning at The Head
Calves giving chase
Not today
Waterfall way
Into the clouds
Shrouded views
What a groster
Daggs Falls
Road to Wilsons Downfall
Cattle herding
Onto Wilsons Downfall
Ford Feroza
Ladies first

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