Left at 8.40am headed for Duck Creek Road with 11 vehicles. Back at Hungry Jacks, Brent was last to sign on as he was too busy chatting to some members of the Brisbane Jeep Club, so he was given the trip report which he quickly volunteered me, his mum, to do the report – thanks Brent! Turned onto Duck Creek Road at 9.00am. Brent told me that Duck Creek Road was a privately built road. For access to use the road, there is an honesty box where Nick stopped briefly to drop off the donation which is used for maintenance of the road. After the recent rain that affected large areas of Queensland and down the eastern coast, the tracks weren’t creating any dust problems for the convoy. The Feroza that was just in front of us was entertaining bouncing about on the climb up to the top of the first section at Tomma-up-Lewis lookout, where we stopped for a quick look at the view and to have a chat. The track continued on in an upwards climb until we came to the quarry where Nick asked if anyone was interested in trying their approaches to negotiating the quarry. Now entered Karina Ann's Glenn which is a small section of rain forest, still continuing to climb and the track having a few rocky bits at Tonkin's Rise. The track levelled off for a bit and then more climbing until we reached the top, where we stopped at 10.30am for an early lunch. The view from here was fantastic and we were almost level with the base of some clouds. The club BBQ was provided so most of us had brought along some sausages and onions for a tasty lunch. “No Brent, I don’t want any Spam!!!” The weather forecast was for a wet weekend with a low depression off the coast. We had been lucky with only cloud and a few moments when the sun was sneaking through. By 11.40am we were back on the track and entered into more rainforest sections. Leanne was delighted when she found a couple of mud puddles, which only quenched her thirst a little. She was later delighted when she came across one large enough to splash muddy water onto the bonnet. Sarah said that she would later wash the car. We left the rainforest area to views of Luke O’Reilly’s farm and views over the open fields and beyond. Back again into rainforest until we reached a T-intersection where we turned right. After driving 3klms and driving on bitumen, we stopped at the car-park of O’Reilly’s Resort at 12.10pm. After a chat and good byes, some left and others stopped to go to the café and have a look around. Thank you Nick and Max for leading the trip. Had a great day as I’m sure everyone else did. Cheers, Bette Brian
Here we are at June already I can’t believe it has gone so fast. In the past month we have had a Trip to Crofters estate to do a cleanup and have a weekend of play The owner is really appreciative of our effort and looks forward to having us out again. on the same weekend some of the members went to the Queensland 4x4 club black tie dinner. We took part in the annual Fraser Island cleanup, Teppanyaki meal , A Bribie Island trip and also ran a Ladies day at Swan Gully . I would like to thank The Trip leaders Aleisha, Leighanne, Dave Mohr, Natasha and Dave Meier. And also all members and visitors who attended as it is you the club members that make MDORC such a great club to be a part of.
I had the pleasure of attending the Ladies day to cook lunch and it was good to see so many women get out there and give it a go.
We are now at the time of the year where we need to remind everyone about membership renewals and the upcoming AGM where all positions will become vacant and open to nominations
The dirt road to Birdsville was very dusty, with a few mud puddles. We stopped in Betoota, a deserted town with a population of zero, to explore the abandoned buildings. With no fuel between Windorah and Birdsville, our first stop was the Birdsville Roadhouse, a well stocked outlet for supplies with lots of local knowledge. We then went to the Birdsville Hotel, got settled into our room, and headed to the pub for dinner, which was a very generous and tasty meal. The next day our adventure to the Simpson Desert began.
We left Birdsville along a rough dirt road, travelling about 40km to the bottom of Little Red Sand Dune. After lowering our tyre pressures we made it to the top of Little Red with no trouble. The view from the top, of the red desert sand, stretched for miles in front of us. We then headed back down Little Red and travelled along a track at the base of the dune, to get to Big Red, which is on the same sand dune, but a few kilometres north. The eastern side of Big Red loomed high in front of us, but we made it up quite easily. The eastern side of Big Red is the most used, so the sand is fairly compacted. At 40 metres high, it is the Simpson Desert’s highest sand dune, and the view from the top is awesome. Our camera got a very good work out. After feeling like we were on top of the world it was time to venture further into the desert.
Going down the western side of Big Red proved quite challenging. The sand was very soft, giving way from under
our tyres, as the car slid to the bottom. What a ride! As the day progressed we continued further into the desert, along the QAA Line, making our way over many sand dunes, some rough and some smooth. A flag attached to the bullbar is a must when travelling in the desert to avoid a head on collision over the crests of the sand dunes. At the top of each dune the track ahead stretches as far as the eye can see.
By early afternoon we made it to Eyre Creek where we stopped in the dry creek bed for lunch. Some years Eyre Creek flows a couple of metres wide and deep, but when we were there it was bone dry. We decide it was time to make our way back to Birdsville, so began our journey east along the QAA Line. The view heading in the opposite direction was just as amazing. We arrived at the base of Little Red where we enjoyed playing on the dunes, before deciding to move along to Big Red again for one last adventure. This time as we made it up the eastern side of Big Red, we took a different line at the top, which had a blind turn, resulting in the car falling in a hole behind a clump of grass. After digging away at the red sand and using the club’s Maxtrax’s we were able to reverse the car out of the hole.
We saw a group of cars had now gathered at the base of the western side of Big Red and were contemplating going up a very steep, rough track to the top, so we decided to go back down the western side to watch them. They all neededseveral attempts each at getting up this challenging track, so we thought we may as well have a go. After three failed attempts with tyres at 17psi, we lowered the tyres to 14psi, and with a long run up over some big bumps, we hit the sand dune with speed, negotiating deep ruts and holes, making it over the steep incline on our fourth attempt. After a day filled with adventure that we’ll never forget we made our way back to Birdsville for another well earned pub meal.
The next leg of our journey saw us we travelling north to Boulia, then east to Middleton, Winton and Longreach, meeting many outback characters along
the way and making the typical tourist stops to see dinosaur remains, museums, cattle properties and sheep stations. We came across a map in Winton, which travelled a remote dirt track to Opalton, which has a population of only two. Following this map we realised we were well off the beaten track, on remote dirt, muddy road. A breakdown here could prove to be a disaster, with no other passing motorists for days. Making it back into Winton just before sunset we breathed a sigh of relief.
We continued our travels east to the coast over several days, arriving in Rockhampton and enjoying a visit to Capricorn Caves. We then headed 100km
north to Byfield National Park, through some inland tracks and up a sandy track, aptly named Big Sandy, before arriving on Nine Mile Beach, a pristine untouched paradise. We camped at Nine Mile Beach, enjoying having the whole beach to ourselves. A midnight re-blow up of our air mattress saw the mattress end up in a bin back in Rockhampton the next day!
Heading back down the coast we ventured to Bundaberg for Gary to visit his little piece of Heaven on Earth……the Bundaberg Rum Distillery. Arriving back in Brisbane after a two week whirlwind tour, we are already planning our next trip…bigger and better!
by Gary Eikenloff
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