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Bikes, Butchers and Baths

Dianas Bath
Tucked away in a remote and rugged section of the D’Aguilar Range, Dianas Bath is a difficult place to get to – even on a mountain bike. Today we ventured to this secluded rock pool via a strangely named and ralrely used track named “Butcher Shop Creek Road”.

Laceys Creek Road
My friend, Nick, was visiting from interstate, so Darb, Simon and I decided to tke him on a tough tour of some of the local tracks close to home.

Wirth Road
After a leisurely roll beside Laceys Creek, near Dayboro, we left the paved road and started climbing up the range along Wirth Road.

ZachZach

A few minutes into the climb, we heard a friendly voice behind us and met Zach who had ridden his road bike up from Chermside and wanted to explore the D’Aguilar Range. With its narrow tyres, Zach’s bike made the rocky climb up Wirth Road much more challenging, but he impressed us as he worked his way up the hill.

Wirth Road
Eventually the rough terrain was too much for Zach’s skinny wheels, and Simon kindly offered to walk with him for the last couple of hundred metres up the hill.

Butcher Shop Creek Road
We left Zach at the top of Butcher Shop Creek Road. This steep track drops 530 metres over about 10 kilometres. The rocky descent is a lot of fun as it snakes down the range, but it demands a lot of concentration.

Butcher Shop Creek Road
Butcher Shop Creek Road

At the bottom of the descent we had to ride across rocky creek beds half a dozen times. I was grateful for the dry weather – this track would be hard work if the creek was flowing.

Stirlings Road
Stirlings Road

The thick forest ended abruptly as we suddenly emerged on Stirlings Road. If you keep following this dusty track you’d eventually end up at Somerset Dam. But today we weren’t venturing so far afield.

Stirlings Road
Creek Crossing

The road has a few wet crossings. We let Simon walk through and check the depth, then we rode through. Thanks Simon!

Bobs Camp
“Bobs Camp” is a lovely little camping site on the banks of the creek – complete with wooden “bunks”. We took a few minutes to check it out. I wonder how many travelers have boiled a billy and stayed overnight here?

Dianas Bath
Eventually we had to ditch the bikes and complete the last few hundred metres to the rock pool on foot. On previous visits I had rock-hopped up the creek bed to Dianas Bath, and was about to do the same this time when Darb suggested “Why don’t you just follow the path?”.

I didn’t even realize there was a walking track to the pool. Darb’s way was much easier.

Dianas Bath
Dianas Bath

Despite months of dry weather, Diana’s Bath was still full, so we jumped in for a swim. After the hot work of pedalling and hiking, the water felt delicious.

Dianas Bath

After the swim, we had a bite to eat. While I munched on a humble peanut butter sandwich, Simon produced a massive Cornish pastie. I’m not sure how he managed to fit that in his bag. I don’t know how he managed to eat it all either 🙂

Dianas Bath

A hiker, Richard, appeared from nowhere while we ate. He had been up to Mount Byron and was on his way back. I was impressed. Some of the slopes around here are very steep, and for someone to cover that terrain solo, in such hot weather, is quite a feat.

Dianas Bath

Our lunch over, we slowly made our way back along the walking path to the bikes.

Dianas Bath Road

The road out was steep. It was hard work pushing up the hill on the bikes.

Dianas Bath Road
Dianas Bath Road

We regrouped at the top of the hill next to the turn-off to infamous “A-Break”. I was glad we weren’t going up that monster of a climb.

Byron Creek Road
Byron Creek Road

After rolling down the other side of Dianas Bath Road we followed Byron Creek.

Byron Creek Road

Byron Creek Road passes through forests thick with Piccabeen Palms, vines, ferns and majestic eucalypts. I was glad we had brought our interstate visitor here.

Downhill Track
Downhill Track

The final track out of the park was down a perilously steep horse track which pretty much went off the side of the mountain range. In many places it was a controlled skid down: there was no way we could have brought the bikes to a halt on some of those slopes.

I loved it!

Note:  Dianas Bath is on private property. The owner currently allows walk-in access only.  Please treat it with respect, clean up any mess you make, take all litter with you, and be courteous towards anyone else who is using the waterhole.

We rode a total of 48km in six hours, including breaks. We climbed 1,350m in vertical ascent, and I burned 3,000 kcal.

This is a tough ride with some long climbs – especially in the hotter months. BUT… that’s the best time to visit Dianas Bath – swimming there is a wonderful experience. If you just want to visit the rock pool, it might be easier instead as a 20km out-and-back ride from the end of Mount Brisbane Road. But the rocky creek crossings of Butcher Shop Creek, and “Bob’s Camp” are well worth a visit too.

Take lots of drinking water.

I’ll rate this one 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Darb, Simon, and Nick for another fun adventure!

Dianas Bath

UPDATE:

Here’s Darb’s video of the ride:

Lacey’s Creek Diana’s Bath 2014-10-25 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

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