Bonfires, Drums, Secret Santa and 4wding in Killarney

It had been a cold week in Brisbane with snow falling just over the border, Friday was the coldest day with freezing winds whipping through the city don’t think I’ve ever seen so many beanies around town. So we were prepared for a cold night with -2 predicted.

We had a nice drive down to Queen Mary Falls Caravan Park going via Boonah then up The Head Road, last time we tried to use it we found it closed due to flooding and slips, I’ve found out it was closed for 18 months in 2013/14. Such a lovely drive with great views to the mountains and passing through pockets of National Parks and travelling beside the rabbit proof fence and the border to NSW. It was just on dusk so we had to be careful of wallabies on the road.

There didn’t seem to be any other club members  on arrival so we checked in and were about to go to our allocated area when Cherie and family arrived – good timing. It sure was cold with a strong wind blowing the tents around as we put them up. Another challenge was to find the flattest piece of ground – rocks kept sinking, the ground appeared dry so must have been due to the snow the previous night. Before too long the home made pumpkin soup was warmed, the fresh bread sliced and we were inside our tent camper having dinner.

It continued to be a chilly night so we all slept wearing beanies, woke up to a mild frost which quickly disappeared as the sky was just gorgeous blue and sunny – we found out that it had got down to minus 4 so I think with the wind chill factor is would have been -4 felt like -8. Still couldn’t complain with such a lovely day to follow. The rest of the club members arrived and after setting up we headed off for an easy drive, most vehicles not even engaging 4wd, along and across the Condamine River. Rob and I had done this on our own a couple of years ago and again appreciated the lovely river and surrounds. After the river we were led up to a lookout with the expected masts and a wonderful view across the town. Back to the camp and it was time for Secret Santa this was fun as it was the version where you could pick a gift or steal from someone else. Indigo was very excited to have her own ticket and even ended up with a useful gift – unlike some others :-).

We hadn’t known it when we booked into the trip but this weekend was Bonfire Night in Killarney but with a twist. There were 44 gallon drums which traditionally are set up to contain a fire either upright or horizontal but wow they are a creative lot in this neck of the woods just amazing what can be done with a few drums – see the pics. There was food & mulled wine to buy and a few different bands to listen to then the evening finished off with an impressive fireworks display . The whole event was held in the showgrounds and raised funds for the local aged care facility.

Sunday morning and grey skies had arrived along with a cold wind so most campers (the club had all sorts of accommodation this weekend including tents, caravans and some even in the cabins) were packed up and left by 10. We went for a walk down to view Queen Mary Falls then headed off back down the head road and stopped at a favourite little camp spot for a lovely walk down the Teviot Brook and a relaxing lunch before home to Brisbane. Another lovely weekend with family and friends.

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29th Birthday Mitsubishi Club @ James Sharpe Park

This weekend started a little differently as I’d been invited to spend Mothers/Grandmothers day celebrations at Indigo’s Day Care so finished work a little early to arrive in plenty of time to see where Indigo spends 3 days a week. We then went inside so she could join her friends in decorating cup cakes and biscuits well when I say decorate it really amounted to eating icing and as many decorations as she could, not too keen on sharing sweet food this little one.

Rob met me and we headed south only a just over an hour to Sharpe Park, just outside Canungra,where many of the club members were already gathered round the campfire. Plenty of room here for all of us and fairly dry after last Friday’s torrential storm.

Saturday we had the choice whether to explore the local area or travel up to O’Reillys, we took the second option finding a new way to get to Black Duck 4wd track. We jumped in with Lyn & Glen and headed north from the camp back through Canungra and turned left on to Wonglepong road then left onto Biddaddaba Road with another left onto Biddaddaba Creek Road this road continued on through 3 or 4 closed gates and then left on to Nindooinbah Estate Road which is the road we normally come in on. It was a lovely drive above Beaudesert with expansive views. The track up Green Mountain has become more rutted with many side tracks for folk to play on. We stopped a few times to enjoy the view and also to admire a Carpet Python.

It was a gorgeous day so we all enjoyed lunch at the top before meandering back down the bitumen road where we spotted a small echidna crossing the road and also a few lovely rock wallabies.

Back in plenty of time for happy hour(s) before gathering together to eat dinner and share the 2 29th cakes. It was good to see Brian & Errol and Christine Gordon foundation members here as well as Barry & Kay Creed and others who have been members for 25 years. There are many people who have been in the club for over 10 years and still frequently attend meetings and outings. This is a great reflection on the club and how it has evolved over the years with many of the more senior (and not so senior) members having graduated from tents to caravans.

Sunday was a lazy morning with many sleeping in, I was pleased to be able to have a quiet breakfast in the sun and catch Tracey to have Happy Mothers Day greetings before they went walking. We left just before lunch to have a wander round Canungra then a picnic on the way before heading to Cherie’s via Greenbank and more Mother’s Day celebrations.

I just found that I hadn’t posted this blog when it occurred – 2nd weekend in May

and Another visit to Glen Rock National Park

Time to return to this National Park where we came last year in March to plant trees. As usual Rob picked me up from work at 3 and we had a really good run turning off at Gatton to arrive at 5pm to see half a dozen club members already settled by a good campfire. Quickly we set up and and joined them, watching the gorgeous full moon rise over the hills. It was a cold night getting down to zero but we woke to gorgeous blue sky promising to be one of South East Queensland’s amazing winter days.

It was disappointing to see that the 100’s of trees we’d planted last time we were here had succumbed to the harsh conditions and Rob thinks only 5% remain. Perhaps if more water had been provided there would have been a better outcome.

There is acres of lantana here so our task of removing some only make a small dent into the plants growing beside the track not far from the campground. We did some teaming up and used chains and tow ropes to haul the plants out by their roots. Sometimes this worked well but more often than not it was just snapping off the plant. They do use spray here but there is only a small window when the plants are in active growth that this is effective. Hopefully they will continue this program and the lantana won’t be the winner. Anyway those of us that did go out to work had a good time and I am always pleased to be able to lend a hand and give something back to the parks that we enjoy so much. Actually I was the only female who got her hands dirty, the other ladies either stayed back at camp or went for a walk in the lovely area. Except for one who came out and took some photos, we used Eric’s drop box and pics are now on Facebook.

We were back at camp sweaty and dirty by 4 so plenty of time for a nice,self provided, hot shower before reconnecting for happy hour. This is the older set of club members so lots of reminiscing goes on, it still amazes me that many of these folk have been in the club for the full 29 years and others over 20.

Again we saw the beautiful moon rise over the hills and had a fairly early night, not so cold as the previous but still down to 3.

Sunday was our day of leisure so with Glen the Park Ranger guiding us we went and visited the stockyards that we saw when we were here last time then went further up the track to another stockyard which is still in use. There is still cattle here and annually they get in contractors to do a muster. Plenty of new fences here to keep the cattle enclosed and of course lots of gates all with a different catches much to John’s amusement. We then backtracked and followed the ridge track, with amazing views, back to camp.

We then leisurely packed up after lunch and decided to take a scenic route home. It was fun using Pocket Earth mapping heading up into the hills south east of Gatton some fun dirt roads for Rob and some amazing views. We came down again by Laidley and I noticed a Wikipedia W on my map on checking it out found that there was a very old railway tunnel so decided to take a look.