Today Simon and I explored the cane fields between Yandina and Coolum looking for a route that we could use for a future social ride.
This alluvial plain contains a mixture of swamps, farms and melaleuca scrub. It floods regularly, but has many tracks that are fun to ride.
We started near the small farming community of Valdora, with Mount Coolum looming large on the eastern horizon.
Not long ago this area was criss-crossed with narrow gauge railway lines for carrying sugar cane trains which hauled cane to the local mill. The lines are almost all gone now, but there are a few remnants if you know where to look…
We rode eastwards along River Road past numerous farms as Mount Coolum seemed to watch over us.
I don’t think I’ll be staying over, Simon.
Unfortunately a bridge over one of the canals had been washed away. Faced with the choice of doubling back, or wading through the canal, we chose the latter. Like all good leaders I let Simon go ahead to make sure everything was ok.
With Simon’s help I managed to scramble across with the bike by jumping between clumps of mud.
I was happy – we’d traced out a challenging off-road route from the North that would get us to the river.
Our next hurdle was to see if we could join that eastwards to Coolum.
I thought we should mix it up a bit, and looked for a new way to get us into Noosa National Park without getting too close to “civilization”. We did it, but ended up having to negotiate some head-high “fukawi” grass along the way.
We were heading for some bushland near Peregian Springs. I had ridden there a few years ago, and thought it was delightful.
It was like something out of “The Lorax”. I felt really sad. The land is being cleared to build more homes as the area faces an influx of new people who want to live here.
The irony is they’re loving it to death.
I wish developers didn’t turn such beautiful bushland into a sterile desert.
I don’t have any answers – all I can do is enjoy the beautiful places around here while there’s still something to see!
Thanks, Simon, for following me through along some unusual tracks. I’m looking forward to exploring this area with more friends in future.