Mines, old and new - A Long Weekend in Central Queensland

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by Goosefeather, Jun 15, 2013.

  1. Goosefeather

    Goosefeather Captain Slow

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    905
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
    I work in Australia’s coal mining industry, and my previous role was made redundant. Having secured a new role, it was time to clear my head and catch up with an old mate before commencing work again.



    The plan was to head to Biloela in Central Queensland, then to do a few loops around Bilo. The eventual bike trip is shown below. There was another day trip to Gladstone and Tannum Sands to visit relations from both families, but that was done in my mate’s car as his wife joined us:





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    DAY 1



    The first leg of the trip was fairly dull – up the M1/Bruce Highway to Gympie, then turned off on the Wide Bay Highway, turning right at Woolooga.



    No expense was spared on the high-tech navigation system (the waypoints in the tank bag map folder):





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    First photo stop was at Memorial Bridge – now disused, it is a war memorial erected privately as a public benefit and is the only known privately erected war memorial bridge in Queensland. It commemorates locals who served in the Great War, and was closed to traffic in 1972.





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    Some magnificent gum trees in the area – no idea what species:



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    From there, it was turn left towards Biggenden. There’s gold in them thar hills:





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    And a statue of a stylised digger downtown:





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    Fuel/food/map check:





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    Heading towards Mount Perry, I saw a sign to Chowey Bridge, this is the road in (unusual cloud pattern):





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    It’s a railway bridge built opened in 1905, Queensland’s first long span concrete rail bridge – looks like building the formwork was fun:





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    From the rest area:





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    There is a hole in the rail fence, allowing you to appreciate the view from the bridge. I think it’s a long time between trains out here:





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    On to the Gayndah-Mount Perry Road:





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    The Boolboonda Tunnel, some 12 k NE of Mount Perry is worth a look, but not this time. These shots are from an earlier trip with Happy Snapper:





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    Followed the Mount Perry Monto Road, to the Burnett Highway, and crossed towards Kapaldo. While tar in places, it’s some of the most undulating bitumen road I’ve ridden. While not potholed, it sure used all the suspension travel of the 990:





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    Selene Mine Road is named after an abandoned coal mine that used to supply Queensland Government Railways. There’s not much left of the mine today:





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    Thanks to Bonzle.com, you can see what the train loader looked like around 1940:





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    The road then rejoins the Burnett Highway, which I followed to Mulgildie. Quick catch up with Mum, where I met my mate who’d ridden down from Bilo on his Vulcan 1600, and a quicker beer at Mulgildie Pub – still staffed by backpackers:



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    We took the back road around Monto (avoid the traffic my mate said :rofl), then up to Bilo. My average speed increased somewhat to keep up with the Vulcan!





    DAY 2



    My friend is an avid hang glider pilot, so he wanted to see a new hanger a friend of his had built on a block near Duaringa. Took the back roads from Bilo to Jambin. Lots of gas pipeline activity – they have even built a rail siding to cope with the volume of pipe, but sadly no photos. I was to pass several camps and road/pipe crossing over the next few days.





    Playing “swapsies” on the road between Dululu and the Capricorn Highway – a slightly different riding style. Lots of low down hill climbing grunt - :





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    The hanger – currently holding an ultra-light plane, a catamaran, several hang gliders, and a work vehicle. While there are longer term plans to build a proper house, the donga at the back serves for the time being:





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    Cuppa time:





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    When the owner’s wife went to town in his 4x4, we were left to use the bikes for the tour of the property – owner’s young lad on the back of the 990, and the owner on the back of the Vulcan:





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    Found the Duaringa airstrip, and measured the length by GPS for the property owner:





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    When comparing speed notes with my mate afterward’s I realised why I couldn’t see him for dust :evil





    The route home was through Baralaba, Rannes, and Goovigen. The route drops from Duaringa down to cultivation on the Duaringa-Baralaba Road:





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    A bit of the orange and the green for the Irish out there . . .(OK I admit I upped the saturation on the photo, but this is more how it appeared to me than the original photo):



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    Over the mighty Dawson River:



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    This is Mount Ramsay, on the Rannes Goovigen Road:





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    Things got a little interesting here – just outside Rannes, we went over a causeway. The Vulcan blasted through, and as I followed, the 990’s back tyre lost traction on the SLIPPERY algae on the causeway, then bit in again. After that puckering moment I decided to go dead slow on any similar causeways . . . too slow it turns out 



    Came to a near stop for this crossing, and the front slipped out – no inertia, and over she went:





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    My mate was ahead and had got used to losing me from me taking photos, so I was on my lonesome:





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    Adrenalin is a wonderful thing – lifted the bike to about 45 degrees then realised the sidestand was not down. Lowered the bike again, sorted the side stand, and remembered to get a photo. Went to lift again, and no adrenalin, all I could do was get to about 15 degrees before my feet or the bike slide on the algae (did I say SLIPPERY ?).





    Luckily some locals came by, slowly enough to not run into me over the blind crest, and helped with the lift. My saviours (love her hat ?):





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    No major damage, beyond my pride. My mate back-tracked about then, and off we went again. We found out that the same crossings had claimed a few bikes on a local bike club run a few weeks earlier (thanks for the photo, Cheryl). . .





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    DAY 3



    There was no Day 3 riding – drove with mate and his wife to have lunch with his daughter in Gladstone, and beers with my brother in Tannum Sands.





    DAY 4



    The aim was to get home to Brisbane, taking a couple of deviations on the way. One proved to be a long-cut however so I didn’t make my goal.



    Lots of roadworks in the area, a lot repairing flood damage from earlier in the year.





    Via Banana, to Moura, The dragline bucket is from an older dragline at Moura Mine (Marion 7900), and relatively small, as is the gear:





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    Not a bad sized spline, though:





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    The business end of a continuous miner, although it has no picks fitted. Moura has a tragic history of underground coal incidents: Kianga (1975, 13 dead), Moura No 4 (1984, 12 dead), and Moura No 2 (1994, 11 dead):



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    Off to Theodore, past the mine - the Moura Mine is now operated by Anglo, as the Dawson Mine, and has a strike length exceeding 40 km:





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    There is a viewing platform on Gibihi Road:





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    A few bottle trees:





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    Still following the mine south:





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    Until the road goes under the mine haul road. Hope the engineers got their calculations right – picture this with a couple of loaded Cat 797’s crossing (say 600t gross, each):





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    Made it through !



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    Did I say lots of roadworks?





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    Hope this big fella saw the signs and is pulling up!





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    Looks like I just missed the Theodore trail ride for this year:





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    Gratuitous black and white shot:





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    Ilsa Delusion Road – I thought it was “a Delusion called Isla”, but apparently it goes from Isla Downs to a place called Delusion:





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    Looking in the general direction of Isla Gorge National Park (I think) – have to see that another day:





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    WTF? – palm trees in the middle of the bush:





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    And more . . .





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    Lots of unfenced roads here – some of the local stock lying in wait just beyond the bridge:





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    Eidsvold-Theodore Road – looks like they’ll be doing some bridgeworks soon:





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    Down through Cracow. More trees – Grasstrees that is:





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    This looked like a short cut on the map – turned out to be a long cut – while all gazetted, the western section’s major role is simply property access, and has a few creek-crossings:





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    Oh no – SLIPPERY – and I am somewhat spooked after my earlier experience, and very much alone!





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    I survive, and then negotiate a worse sandy crossing – a couple of heart stopping moments, then onwards. No time for a photo!





    The sign is a bit hard to read – “Time is relative – SLOW DOWN – You live longer”:





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    Hmmm – an unintentional selfie while putting the camera away:





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    The road improves, and I encounter an exploration rig, looking for coal:





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    Must be getting closer to Mundubbera – I see the first orchard:





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    Then across the Burnett River:





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    And into town, where I can check if my GPS is telling the truth:





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    I take the road south, towards Dalby, then encounter a few more bottle trees at the Proston turn-off:





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    I’d told my wife my target for the day was Brisbane, but I would re-assess my plans at dusk . . . well, it’s time to do that:





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    I’m just past Hivesville, visibility is poor, I believe it’s raining in Brisbane, and for once in my life I make a sensible decision – find a room in Kingaroy for the night.





    DAY 5





    I embark on another long-cut and head towards Bell, where I know the school principal from Bilo school days, and hadn’t seen her since – had a great chat.





    An isolated Bunya Pine:




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    I was to see a great horde while going over Blackbutt Range, but didn’t get a photo unfortunately, so here’s a link:



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    Chat over, it’s time to head for Kaimkillenbun:





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    Where I find more disused infrastructure . . .I went past many abandoned railway lines and silos on this trip:





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    A quick break at Cooyar, and one last bridge:



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    then home via Yarraman, Blackbutt and Kilcoy in time to wash the bike, cook dinner.


    Just under 1,770 km for the long weekend.
    #1
  2. jmcg

    jmcg Turpinated..

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2011
    Oddometer:
    449
    Location:
    The Dandenong Ranges, Vic
    Enjoyed your RR.

    :thumb

    Thanks,

    JM.
    #2
  3. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,201
    Location:
    Brisbane, almost heaven!
    Those palm trees you found are very rare... you weren't far from Isla Gorge National Park. Have been all around there in my Landy. Great trip and report!
    #3
  4. Domromer

    Domromer Desert Rat

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Oddometer:
    1,096
    Location:
    Charleston, South Carolina
    Cool report. I liked the out of place palms.
    #4
  5. johnno950

    johnno950 Long timer

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,076
    Great part of qld!,thanks for ride report and photos.
    #5
  6. davorallyfan

    davorallyfan Commonist

    Joined:
    May 2, 2005
    Oddometer:
    16,619
    Location:
    Capitalist
    I'm a big fan of the Theadore Pub.

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    #6
  7. jtb

    jtb Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2003
    Oddometer:
    2,228
    Location:
    Hawkesbury NSW Australia
    Nice work! Thanks for sharing! :clap
    #7
  8. Goosefeather

    Goosefeather Captain Slow

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2006
    Oddometer:
    905
    Location:
    Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

    Had a fairly sedate trip - didn't get to the pub . . .

    except Mulgildie . . .

    oh, and Baralaba . . .

    come to think of it we dropped into Goovigen pub too . . .

    and there was lunch at Port Curtis Sailing Club . . .

    then beers with my brother . . . :1drink
    #8
  9. robmoto

    robmoto Long timer

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Oddometer:
    3,921
    Location:
    Australia
    Great report, thanks :clap.
    #9
  10. panhead_pete

    panhead_pete Gone riding

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2012
    Oddometer:
    1,196
    Location:
    Hakuba Japan
    Great pics and RR. I need to take more pics on my rides :)
    #10