Please note: you can find a more up to date version of this blog at http://blog.neilennis.com

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Beerburrum State Forest

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A Road Through the Forest

Beerburrum State Forest is full of tracks, roads and trails. Some of them wind through the trees. Some of them, like this one, go on for ages in one direction.


Chilling by the Creek #1

Elimbah Creek winds through the forest crossing the roads in several places. Not all the tracks have bridges, so if you don’t want to get wet feet it’s a good idea to plan the route beforehand.

Chilling by the Creek #2



Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Chasing Roos

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Chasing RoosChasing Roos

Chasing RoosChasing Roos

I spent the afternoon on my bike chasing kangaroos around the wetlands at Deepwater Bend.


It was an utterly futile quest, but it was a lot of fun. Sometimes they’d stand still and look at me, and as soon as I’d get the camera out, they’d bounce off.


So I tried holding the camera in one hand and the handlebars with the other. This is not a good idea. I didn’t fall off, but I could almost hear the malicious macropods laughing at my erratic attempts to steer and photograph at the same time.


I’ll be back, Skippy!


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Diana’s Bath (Almost)

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I tried to ride to Diana’s Bath today. It’s up in the D’Aguilar Ranges half way between Dayboro and Kilcoy. It’s about a 100km round trip from my place and I would have made it except I ran out of time. But I’m happy with my efforts to get within 5km on my first attempt.


Mt Pleasant

A stand of Hoop Pines and Bunya Pines grow along the upper reaches of the North Pine River in Mount Pleasant.


Surveyor Robert Dixon drew a map of the area in 1842 and noted a “Bunya Scrub Camp” on the upper reaches of the North Pine River (he called it the Eden River). But I think this bunch of trees is even further up the river than Dixon surveyed.


Upper Reaches - North Pine River

This is the source of the North Pine River. It continues for another kilometre upstream from here in the rainforest. This is the same river that passes within 500m of our house on its way to the sea about 50km downstream.


Byron Creek

Byron Creek flows westwards into Reedy Creek and eventually into the Stanley River before it meets the Brisbane River near Esk.



View Diana’s Bath in a larger map

This map gives an idea of how close I got. About 1.5km as the crow flies, but about 5 on the road.



Friday, November 19, 2010

Floods and Mushrooms

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You're gonna get wet

Grant Street causeway, North Pine River, Petrie. This crossing is directly below the North Pine Dam, often floods, and is closed to vehicular traffic. But I regularly ride through on the bike. Only problem is, you get wet feet :)


Mushrooms

This bunch of mushrooms decided to grow on the leading edge of a gate. If the gate swings open, it will knock them over. I had to open the gate, so before I did, I took lots of photos. Then I carefully lifted the gate up and over the mushrooms to avoid disturbing them.



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Monday, November 15, 2010

Alfred Delisser was here

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Alfred Delisser


Photo courtesy of John Henley

Alfred Delisser was a 19th century surveyor who surveyed the Nullarbor Plain in the 1860’s. Noting the distinct lack of trees, he coined the name “Nullarbor” from the latin words “Null” (lack of) and “Arbor” (tree). The Delisser Mobile Sand Dunes in Eucla National Park are named in his honour.


In the early 1880’s he surveyed much of the Blackall Ranges and Glass House Mountains, proceeding via The Old North Road. On that journey he probably crossed Mosquito Creek.


You can read more about Albert Delisser at John Henley’s excellent website about the Mapleton Tramway.




Along the Old North Road: Mosquito Creek

The crossing is still there today surrounded by peaceful bushland. I ride it quite regularly on my bike. By some strange quirk of geography, it rarely floods – even after much rain. There once was a bridge over this crossing, and I think it’s possible to see the remains if you look around hard enough.




Survey Tree, Kurwongbah

So I was delighted after finding this survey tree last week at Mosquito Creek just near the crossing to discover that it was blazed by Alfred Delisser in 1889. He had passed through this area several years earlier and was probably quite familiar with it, making him an ideal choice. No survey marks remain on the tree, apart from its original blazing. In fact the wooden “heart” of the blaze has fallen out. I thought it deserved a bit of respect so I cleaned it up and set it against the tree.


The tree itself isn’t that big. But it could easily be over 200 years old. Ironbark trees grow slowly.




Here’s part of the survey plan of the Mosquito Creek crossing created by Alftred Delisser in 1889. Many thanks to Leith Barter for obtaining this copy for me.


The survey plan is over 111 years old. But even as Delisser created it, the road he was on had been used for 45 years by Evan Mackenzie and the Archer Brothers as they made their way north to Durrundur Station.


But even that is fairly recent compared to the thousands of years that the original track had been in use by Aborigines walking from Meeanjin (Brisbane) to the Bonyi (Bunya) feasts in the Blackall Ranges.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mountains to Mangroves

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I did a pretty long ride today. From our place I headed out to Samford, then up into the D’Aguilar Range to Mt Nebo, down some beautiful dirt tracks to The Gap, then along some cycle-ways to the Moreton Bay Bike way through the mangroves in the Boondall Wetlands, and back home. This was a solo ride. I’ve done similar distances with friends before, but this was the first time I did it by myself, which meant I rode a lot more conservatively than if I was in a group.


That’s not to say I didn’t have setbacks. I got a flat near Samford, which wouldn’t have normally been a problem. But I have tubeless tyres. When they go flat on the road, you have to stick a tube in. But my bike has thick rims, and the tube stem didn’t poke out far enough for me to lock the pump on it. Eventually I figured out if I screwed on a presta / schraeder adapter, I could inflate the tyre through that instead. But it took me three-quarters of an hour to figure out how to do it. (Next time it will take 10 minutes).


South Boundary Road

South Boundary Road is a beautiful track which runs from Mount Nebo to The Gap and passes through lush rainforest and open eucalypt bush land. On any weekend it’s a free-way for mountain bikers :)


Which way?

Lots of trails branch out from South Boundary Road. Even with a GPS I missed one turn – the same turn I missed last time. Thankfully there are lots of signposts to show the way.


Mt Coot-tha Forest

The southern end of Brisbane Forest Park borders Mt Coot-tha forest, which has been set aside by the Brisbane City Council.


It has miles of trails to ride as well.


I couldn’t resist leaning the bike up against a large spotted gum and taking a picture of this old wrought iron gate in the middle of nowhere.


Bikeways

After leaving the forests of the D’Aguilar Range I headed east towards the coast.


Thankfully most of the way is via bike ways which go through the many parks that line the creeks on their way to the sea.


Kalinga Park is usually full of people enjoying a picnic lunch on a Saturday. Today was no exception


All up, 112km with 1750m of vertical ascent. 5,800 kcal burned. (That’s a lot of Gatorade :) ).



Friday, November 12, 2010

Burke and Wills were here

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The carving says “B&W 70 1860″. Burke and Wills passed this way in 1860 on their way from Melbourne to the Gulf Country. They carved their initials on this tree as a survey marker.


Amazing how slowly a tree grows. And amazing to touch something of such national significance. About 100 miles south of here is another tree, the “Dig Tree”. Google it for more info. It’s an amazing story.


This photo was taken in 1993 when I visited Birdsville with my mate, Brian.



Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mosquito Creek

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Mosquito Creek Crossing

One of my favourite spots on the Dunlop Lane / Smiths Road loop is the Mosquito Creek crossing. It’s in the middle of several km of quiet bushland trails. When I first rode it, I had to dismount to complete the crossing, but these days I just zip across it on the bike and always feel smug about it :)


Survey Tree, Kurwongbah

Another survey tree. It’s amazing how once you know what to look for, these trees just seem to pop up everywhere.


Surveyors “blazed” Iron Bark Eucalypts like this one, for use as survey markers, because the species is very slow growing. So a mark will remain relatively unchanged for decades. This one is probably almost 100 years old. I’ll update when I find out more info from our wonderful local history librarian.


Moo?

A camel thinks she’s part of the herd. I stopped the bike and asked the camel if I could take her picture. The only reply I got was a very low grumble. Camels have attitude!