Queensland road trip July

ndaciuk

New member
Look for some advice.

This upcoming July me and my wife will be flying into Brisbane road tripping to Cairns. We have reserved a Toyota Hilux with a cap and rooftop tent.

We have a total of 13 days to make the trip, trying to mix in as much as we can (camping, forest, beach, reef)

Our plan so far is:
Mapleton NP
Hervey Bay
Gladstone area
Marlborough area
Mackay area
Cannonvale
Bowling Green NP
Girringun NP
Innisfail
Carins

With the above plan looks like we will be averaging about 2-3 hours of driving per day over the 13 day trip.

Looking for any advice from some with experience in this area.

Thank you!
 

flashkiwi

New member
I assume you have rented a 4x4. Check the insurance as depending on the company they limit the areas you can go.

From Mapleton NP I would head to Noosa then up the beach to Rainbow (you will need a permit), then Inskip and Fraser Island. (Get local advice as recent cyclone has torn the beach around Mudlow rocks.) You can then go from Fraser to Hervey Bay then follow the coast north (1770, Krombit Tops NP and Byfield NP). Then Whitsundays and Atherton Tablelands. For planning get yourself a Hema Atlas - https://www.longitudemaps.com/Australia-Easy-Read-Road-and-4WD-Atlas-p/2286890.htm
 

Paddler Ed

Adventurer
FlashKiwi's is a good option, but check what the restrictions are on taking the camper onto Fraser Island - quick look at Britz says not allowed on Fraser Island (https://www.britz.com/au/en/campervan-hire/5-berth-outback) in bold letters... that might rule out that option, and likewise it might preclude the beach drive north (in the older rental T&Cs I found it does not cover beach driving for Britz vehicles (http://www.britz.com.au/SiteCollectionDocuments/PDFs/AU_Britz_RentalAgreement_Camper_1617_English.pdf, 17.1F) but as a beach is a recognised road (ie road rules apply) it might not be a drama in a 4x4 hire vehicle.

Personally I'd look at heading to the west a bit as well, but that's me - I like the areas west of the Great Dividing Range (the Atherton Tablelands are the northern end of that). Claremont to Longreach, and then back to the coast but that is quite a detour - but a very different experience to the coastal area.

Ed
 

tanuki.himself

Active member
if you can find someone with - or get a copy of - the Camps book there used to be some great free/cheap campsites on your route - Balgal beach north of Townsville and the waterfalls near Henrietta creek on the road from Innisfail up to the Atherton tablelands are definitely memorable. Paronella park is definitely worth a couple of hours if you want to see what one whacked out immigrant with a fetish for concrete can achieve with too much time on his hands. Definitely try and get up onto the tablelands but be very careful with your speed - there is nothing else for the police to do up there other than set speed traps. And a trip on the Kuranda railway is also worth the money for the journey - up on the train and down on the cablecar....
 

Rumpig

Adventurer
Kroombit Tops mentioned eatlier is a nice spot with the Beautiful Betsy plain wreck to visit, it's nearby gold mining history is worth a look around and The Razorback Track is a nice drive to do there also. If you end up at Byfield National Park also mentioned earlier, be sure to reduce your tyre pressures heaps for the big sand hills there, if you have no soft sand driving experience then you may struggle in a few places in that park.
If you can spare a day and want a nice drive to do out of Brisbane that"'ll have you doing dirt road driving with stunning views of The Great Dividing Range, visit a lookout or 2 along the way, cross the same river in a gorge 14 times and visit a few waterfalls aswell all in the one day, then let me know (it's all easy driving, water crossings usually fairly shallow)...be happy to dig out my trip notes for that drive for you (hopefully I have them still) or if timing is right and I'm not working, I can take you on that drive (I took Oneleglance from this forum and his family on a similar day out when they visited Australia quite a few years back).
Be aware that school holidays are on here from 29th of June to 14th of July, so if you plan on being here then you may struggle to find campsites in some places. This is also the time period many Southerners head North to avoid the cold weather, so it can get busy in some locations and some of the free camps then.....not saying you won't find somewhere, just thought worth mentioning though as a heads up.
 

ndaciuk

New member
All great tips we really appreciate it! We are renting with Australian 4WD hire which does not seem to put any restrictions for places like Fraser Island. We did just get the new Hema road and 4WD atlas for which seems to be great!
 

ndaciuk

New member
Kroombit Tops mentioned eatlier is a nice spot with the Beautiful Betsy plain wreck to visit, it's nearby gold mining history is worth a look around and The Razorback Track is a nice drive to do there also. If you end up at Byfield National Park also mentioned earlier, be sure to reduce your tyre pressures heaps for the big sand hills there, if you have no soft sand driving experience then you may struggle in a few places in that park.
If you can spare a day and want a nice drive to do out of Brisbane that"'ll have you doing dirt road driving with stunning views of The Great Dividing Range, visit a lookout or 2 along the way, cross the same river in a gorge 14 times and visit a few waterfalls aswell all in the one day, then let me know (it's all easy driving, water crossings usually fairly shallow)...be happy to dig out my trip notes for that drive for you (hopefully I have them still) or if timing is right and I'm not working, I can take you on that drive (I took Oneleglance from this forum and his family on a similar day out when they visited Australia quite a few years back).
Be aware that school holidays are on here from 29th of June to 14th of July, so if you plan on being here then you may struggle to find campsites in some places. This is also the time period many Southerners head North to avoid the cold weather, so it can get busy in some locations and some of the free camps then.....not saying you won't find somewhere, just thought worth mentioning though as a heads up.
Would love to see the route you are mentioning if you can find your notes, also would very much welcome the opportunity to be shown around a few spots in person!
 

Rumpig

Adventurer
Hi ndaciuk...
i just had a search through my computers files and couldn't find the particular file i was looking for, which was a combination of 2 drives combined into one.... what i have found though is those 2 seperate trips notes that i want to combine into the one drive for you, which is what i thought i had on file but can't find. Give me some time, and when i have a moment i'll redo both those trips notes joined together as the one drive, then i'll send it through to you.
What date will you be arriving in Brisbane on?, there's a chance we will be away for 2 weeks in July, but that's not a certainty yet.
Cheers
Mal
 

ndaciuk

New member
Oh wow that would be fantastic thank you!, We arrive the morning of July 6th and will begin heading north from then on.
 

Rumpig

Adventurer
Hi ndaciuk,
I've finally redone my trip notes for you and tried messaging them to you internally through this forum, but it appears to be there's to many characters in it to do that function, so i'll just post them here for you.
This drive is not in the direction you want to head initially on your trip, but the start point is only about an hour out of Brisbane and the drive well worth doing from a scenic viewpoint. The view at Governors Chair Lookout is spectacular, the drive through Condamine Gorge itself is very pretty, and the Waterfalls like Daggs Falls and Queen Mary Falls etc are well worth visiting and viewing. Just a word of warning....It does get cold (for us here in SEQ atleast) around that area in July at night time and mornings (5 degree celcius minimums and occasionally lower), so if you are a warm weather person then you will need to allow for that.

Note...these trip notes start at the Kalbar Showgrounds, which are located at Lot 377 George St in the town of Kalbar. The main entrance to these showgrounds is off of George St, turn into the showgrounds and make your way to the rear right handside of the showgrounds where the side entrance / exit is located on Edward St, this is where your trip notes will start. This is a loop drive that starts and ends at the showgrounds here.

GOVERNORS CHAIR LOOKOUT and CONDAMINE GORGE SELF DRIVE DIRECTIONS

TRIP RATING – EASY

Zero trip metre at rear gate of showgrounds TOTAL

0.0 klms Turn left onto Edward St. 0.0 klms
1.3 klms Turn right into Old Kalbar Rd 1.3 klms
0.2 klms Road turns to gravel 1.5 klms
1.0 klms Turn left at T intersection 2.5 klms
2.7 klms Turn right at T intersection onto main road – Boonah – Fassifern Rd. 5.2 klms
3.6 klms Turn left onto Lake Moogerah Rd 8.8 klms
9.9 klms Lake Moogerah on RHS..... if you have time at the end of this drive, a visit to the day use area here to view the spillway wall and views of the Great Dividing Range across the water is well worth doing 18.7 klms
3.0 klms Turn right – Lake Moogerah Rd (Mt Edwards) 21.7 klms
4.5 klms Keep right – Lake Moogerah Rd 26.2 klms
0.1 klms Bridge – Reynolds Creek 26.3 klms
0.3 klms Road turns to gravel 26.6 klms
2.1 klms Road turns back to bitumen 28.9 klms
3.0 klms Turn left – Spicers Gap Rd 31.9 klms
2.8 klms Continue straight on – road turns to gravel 34.7 klms
1.8 klms Road turns to bitumen 36.5 klms
0.3 klms Road turns to gravel 36.8 klms
1.4 klms Main Range National Park 38.2 klms
0.5 klms Spicers Gap camping area on LHS- continue straight on 38.7 klms
0.1 klms Pioneer Graves picnic area, turn left into here and park vehicle 38.8 klms
 

Rumpig

Adventurer
NOTE...a public toilet is located here at the picnic grounds, aswell as some tables and wood fired bbq’s.
Signboards here should explain the location. Follow the walking track to the right of the toilet block down to the cemetery, it’s an easy 260 mtr return walk. Take note of the brass and copper tacks used to make the inscriptions in the concrete of the cairn.
0.1 klms Turn left out of carpark back onto main road 38.9 klms
1.5 klms Moss’s Well...park car on LHS of track and do the short 120 mtr return
walk to the well. Signboards here should explain the well. Continue on along track after viewing well. 40.4 klms
0.5 klms Governors Chair Lookout carpark area.... Park vehicle and do short 300 mtr return walk to viewing area up the stairs located on lefthand side here 40.9 klms
WARNING....THERE IS NO HANDRAILS AT THIS LOCATION AND
VERTICAL CLIFF FACES TO FALL OFF OF. KEEP AN EYE ON CHILDREN
HERE!!!
On returning to your vehicle from the lookout, you now have the option
of doing a 3.2 klm return walk along the now closed section of Spicers
Gap Road. This road contains “rare examples of nineteenth century road
building techniques”. If you plan to do both the Governors Chair Lookout and Condamine Gorge drive in the same day, due to time reasons it is probably best to leave this walk for another visit though.
Once back at your vehicle this is your turn around point, so head back
down the range on the road you came up on.
4.1klms Road turns to bitumen 45.0 klms
0.2 klms Road turns to gravel 45.2 klms
1.7 klms Road turns to bitumen – continue straight on 46.9 klms
2.6 klms Turn right onto Lake Moogerah Rd 49.5 klms
3.2 klms Road turns to gravel 52.7 klms
2.2 klms Road turns to bitumen 54.9 klms
0.4 klms Turn right onto Croftby Rd 55.3 klms

0.0 klms ZERO TRIP METRE HERE ON CROFTBY RD 0.0 klms

0.3 klms Road turns to gravel 0.3 klms
1.8 klms Grid 2.1 klms
1.3 klms Grid 3.4 klms
2.4 klms Grid 5.8 klms
4.8 klms Road turns to bitumen 10.6 klms
0.3 klms Turn right onto Carney Creek Rd 10.9 klms
5.3 klms Turn right onto The Head Rd 16.2 klms
2.3 klms Grid 18.5 klms
1.2 klms Grid 19.7 klms
0.4 klms Grid 20.1 klms
3.1 klms Grid 23.2 klms
5.9 klms Tiviot Falls Lookout 29.1 klms
Park vehicle here on road side and then look straight across the valley (slightly to your left) to view the falls. If there’s been no recent rain then not a lot of water comes over the falls, and it can be a touch hard to see at times. The falls descend 38 metres from the McPherson Range near Wilsons Peak. Wilsons Peak stands at 1230m in height and marks the intersection of the Great Dividing Range with the McPherson Range i n the Scenic Rim region. The Queensland and New South Wales border fence also leads up the middle of it.
Once you have viewed Teviot Falls, continue on in the same direction up the road you were driving on, crossing over the grid as you leave.

5.8 klms Grid – Continue straight on 34.9 klms
0.7 klms Keep right (sign Cambanoora Gorge).... Road turns to gravel 35.6 klms


NOTE...You are now driving the Condamine Gorge Road, also know as the 14 River Crossings Rd, but these days called Cambanoora Gorge. Originally the road through the gorge was used to carry supplies and mail to early settlers along the length of the gorge, and to bring timber to the railway in Killarney, but these days it is a well maintained gravel rd popular with 4wder’s due to the fact it crosses the Condamine River 14 times as you drive along it.
2.0 klms Grid 37.6 klms
2.6 klms Beware of cattle on roadside 40.2 klms
5.4 klms Grid 45.6 klms
5.5 klms Road turns to bitumen 51.1 klms
1.5 klms Turn right onto Condamine River Rd (sign Killarney) 52.6 klms
3.2 klms Turn left onto Willow St 55.8 klms
0.3 klms Killarney Hotel on you left hand side 56.1 klms

NOTE...The pub in Killarney Hotel does meals daily, and the Foodworks store in Ivy St has a small bakery in it if you want pies and sausage rolls etc. There’s also a coffee shop just across the road from the Killarney Hotel, and a takeaway store on your left hand side a short drive down the road as you head out of town towards Queen Mary Falls. If no need to buy a meal here, you might prefer to use the picnic grounds located a short distance further on at Queen Mary Falls carpark area, there are bbq’s and toilet facilities located here also.

0.0 klms ZERO TRIP METRE OUTSIDE HOTEL ON MAIN STREET 0.0 klms

0.2 klms Head out of town along main street towards Queen Mary Falls direction,
and cross The Condamine River at Ellen Backhouse Bridge 0.2 klms
3.7 klms Turn left into Spring Creek Rd / The Falls Drive 3.9 klms
2.4 klms Browns Falls on left...a walk from the car park area here is required to
be done to view these falls – sign in car park advises 600mtrs 20 mins ( you need
to clamber over rocks as you go) 6.3 klms

1.0 klms Daggs Falls on left... a viewing platform is located at the car park area
here and gives good views of the falls below 7.4 klms
3.2 klms Continue on up the road you were on, Queen Mary Falls car park area on
left. Park vehicle here and do walk to falls, there’s quite a few stairs to
negotiate along the way (easiest route is to do loop walk in a clockwise direction, look for the track to left of picnic area). 10.5 klms
*NOTE...Queen Mary Falls has toilets and a picnic area here. There are wood fired bbq’s available for your use aswell as numerous picnic tables also. There is a cafe located just across the road from the car park area aswell that has bright colourful birds (Rosellas and Lorikeets etc) coming in at times for feeding.
 
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