Near Wamuran, we stopped to check Evan’s car for a fluid leak, but later found it to only be Fraser Island sand dropping from the chassis. We were worried about fire in the mountains but driving up Stoney Creek Road there was no smoke, so no fire. It was a lot cooler up in the mountains than down on the highway. The big trees blocked the sunlight making it bearable to 4wd.
The tracks are mostly stone and they aren’t exactly flat. We bounced around for a while before turning into Dog Road. Two steep rutted declines lead us down to a rocky creek crossing. We climbed out and up the opposite bank following Dog Road along through the trees. Vertical drops close to the track’s edge kept our attention on driving in the wheel tracks.
Bellthorpe is a beautiful area with big leafy plants, tall tree, vines hanging down over the road, creeks with cool flowing water, and wildlife like wallabies, deer bellbirds and pheasants. Such a good place to get away and forget about city life for a while.
We slowed to pass an oncoming car which turned out to be a ranger. I informed him about our club and that we had permits, we all filled out the trip participation book and were responsible and will leave no rubbish anywhere. He said that’s good and wish there were more like us around.
We stopped at Beacon Road for some refreshments and a chat and then headed off again.
The hills were getting steeper and steeper and down we went, low gear crawling. Not being able to see over the top of some drops felt unnerving. We arrived at the steep hill we’d been talking about which was too steep to walk down. I started my descent slow, steering into the ruts trying to keep traction. The nose of the car was down and the tail up. No stopping now. Whew, made it! It’s an amazing piece of road. Standing from the bottom it looks about 40 degrees. The rest came down with beaming smiles satisfied with the challenge they had just completed, all chatting about the hill and asking each other what it was like for them. We were off again knowing that we will soon be back this way but in reverse. How the hell will we get back up that hill. Is it just too steep?
From there the tracks were still steep and loose stones and soft dirt made it hard, spinning, steering and climbing, searching for traction to get up. Stuart at one point got caught up on a crest. As I walked back down to assess the situation, as any good trip leader should, I ungraciously fell head over heels down the hill. I was ok, only my pride was hurt. After some deliberation I asked Stuart if he could reverse. He did and he gave it another go on a different line and got up and past the crest.
A big stick coming out of the bush gave a few of us a nice pin stripe down our right side.
Back out on Beacon Road for lunch but someone was missing. Where’s Evan? He’d blown a hole in a radiator hose so Richard went back to help. After some bush mechanic skills and strong tape, Evan joined us for lunch.
After that everything else seemed a breeze. Dog Road in reverse was fun as needed to have accurate wheel placement to avoid a big rock. We bounced back over all those stones to Bellthorpe Day Use area for the end of the trip.
I would like to thank Brent and Michael (tail end), Michael and Dan, Richard and Rob, Evan (Sergeant of Arms) and Aleisha and family, and Stuart and Jean for a fantastic day of 4wdriving. A great club outing I hoped everyone enjoyed.
Written by Gary Eickenloff