We started near Mount Maroon and followed a dirt road up into the hills. It was a slightly longer route than just sticking to paved roads, but we prefer dirt to tar, and didn’t mind the extra few kilometers.
We’ve ridden this way previously on our way to the Upper Portals. Today the fields were greener, and the causeways wetter from recent rain.
Newman Road is twisty and hilly. We followed it over and around several hills…
…eventually rolling down the other side towards the main road.
When we reached Burnett Creek Road we followed it westwards up the valley.
The views from Burnett Creek Road are impressive. To our left, stood Mount Maroon and the peaks of the McPherson Range, straight ahead lay the imposing Great Divide.
Almost two hundred years ago, Allan Cunningham and Patrick Logan came through here trying to find a way over the range to the Darling Downs. These rocky walls would have made an imposing sight.
A few minutes later we rolled past the shoreline of Lake Maroon. Easter campers and water skiers crowded by the shore.
Eventually, the paved road ended as we rolled onto the gravel. The road drew closer to the McPherson Range. On our left, the odd hump of Mount Philip rolled by.
Ahead lay Minnages Mount, a thousand metres high with its rocky cliff face.
In the distance, we could make out Mount Clunie and the Koreelah Plateau.
The scenery unfolded around us like a travel brochure.
One of the bridges over Burnett Creek was closed. Floods had damaged the bridge, making it dangerous for cars.
We stopped for a while to enjoy the bubbling creek.
At Fletcher Road we made a short detour up the hill towards Carneys Creek Road.
It’s a moderate climb to the top of the road. Over three kilometres we climbed almost two hundred metres. Behind us, Mount Ballow reached over 1,300 metres into the clouds.
I was riding my fat bike today and found the climb more challenging than usual.
At the top of the climb, we had another short break to take in the panorama of the Great Dividing Range stretching northwards.
Although I’ve passed this way several times, I never tire of the views.
Our ride up Fletcher Road was an “out and back”, which meant we could enjoy a fun roll back down the slope we’d just climbed. Sometimes the Gravity Gods are kind.
I took my time. It was tempting to release the brakes and plummet downhill. But instead, I rolled slowly down the road, trying to soak up as much of the view as possible.
As we headed further up the valley, we crossed a second causeway.
The further we went, the more beautiful it became.
We reached our turn-around point where the public road ended at a gate. The creek emerged from the rainforest, over boulders and under a log bridge.
We had been riding uphill for most of the morning. So when we turned around to begin the homeward leg of our ride we were able to take advantage of the gentle downhill slope of the road.
The scenery from earlier in the day played out in reverse, only quicker.
Back past the shore of the lake…
…and the Easter campers.
It had taken us three hours to ride up the valley, and only a brisk ninety minutes to roll back to the cars parked under the watchful eye of Mount Maroon.
We rode a total of about 55 km in about four and a half hours including breaks.
During that time we climbed about 1,020 metres in elevation and I burned about 2,500 kcal.
I’ll rate this one 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks, Darb, Adam, Kaye and Steve for another fun ride.