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Byron Gully

Byron Gully
Have you ever enjoyed the view from a lookout and wondered what it would be like to explore the valley below it? Today we did just that – exploring a hidden valley near the upper reaches of Byron Gully, west of the D’Aguilar Range.

Chambers Road

We started just outside of Dayboro and followed Chambers Road as it climbed the D’Aguilar Range.

DarbSimon and Paul

There’s no gentle introduction.  The track ascends steeply.  Some of us clicked the gears down and spun the pedals till we got to the top.  Some of us walked.

Calum

SimonJason

Although it’s steep, Chambers Road is the easiest way I know to get over the range.  After a few minutes we reached the top, then accelerated down the other side, rainforest trees and palms a green blur on either side of us.

Byron Creek Road

We followed Byron Creek west.  The sun hadn’t reached this part of the forest yet, so most of us kept our jackets zipped up against the cold.

Riding in the cold is a novelty for us in Queensland.  Sometimes it’s tricky to get the fine balance between keeping out the cold and allowing in enough ventilation to avoid over-heating.

Byronvale

At the National Park Boundary we jumped the gate and rode through Byronvale.

Earlier in the week I had spoken with the land owner who kindly gave us permission to ride through.

Byronvale

We rode past the homestead, but no one appeared to be awake yet, so we kept riding through.

Byronvale

The track crossed Byron Creek a few times.

At first we were able to avoid getting our feet wet.

NickDean

Where possible we tiptoed over the rocky creek bed, or climbed around it, then continued our westward trek.

Byronvale

Eventually the crossings grew too deep to avoid.  We bit the bullet and waded through.  There are worse things in life than wet feet.

Calum

Some other crossings were shallow enough to ride through.  Calum’s fat tyres parted the water divinely.

Stirlings RoadHappy Valley Road

We planned to explore the terrain underneath the peak of Mount Byron, and eventually turned into “Happy Valley Road” following it up the valley.

Happy Valley Road

Mount Byron loomed ahead.

I recalled the many times we had explored its peaks, looking down at this valley…
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Instead of looking down from the lookout, we were looking up from the valley.

Happy Valley Road

Mount Byron loomed ever larger as we approached it.

Byron Gully

Strangely we lost sight of the mountain as the creek, and our track disappeared into bushland.

Byron Gully

First the blue-gums grew thicker around us…

Byron Gully

…then plantation pines…

Byron Gully

The road reserve stopped at an impressive collection of huts.  What an amazing place to get away from everything!

Byron Gully

We relaxed on the grass for a snack while Eric regaled us with stories of his recent trip to Europe.

Byron Gully

Since the road did not progress any further up the valley, we decided to turn around and retrace our steps.

Byronvale

This time we didn’t even flinch about wet feet.

Byronvale

We followed the track back through Byronvale as we slowly regained the altitude we had lost earlier in the day.

Byronvale

I mentioned to Jason that there was a rock pool called “Diana’s Bath” not far from here.  He suggested that we could probably call this spot “Jason’s Bath”.  Perhaps not as spectacular, but steeped in intrigue and mystery nevertheless.

Byronvale

Our route from earlier in the day unravelled in reverse as we left Byronvale and followed the tracks back into the national park.

Byron Creek Road

…slowly back up the range.

Mount Mee Horse Trail

After finally reaching the top again, we followed the Mount Mee Horse Trail down some steep tracks back to our starting point.

We rode 44km in just over five hours.  During that time we climbed almost 1,200 metres in vertical ascent, and I burned about 2,500 kcal.

Apart from the big climb at the start of the day, this was a reasonably easy ride.  I’ll rate it 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks to Eric, Darb, Paul, Jason, Calum, Nick, Simon and Dean for another memorable ride.

I wonder how many more hidden valleys we can find?

Byron Creek Road

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