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Colinton

Westaway Road, Colinton
“Can we do something a bit easier this weekend?”, Becca asked.

“Easy is fine”, I replied, “So long as it’s interesting :)”

Colinton Memorial
Four of us set off from Colinton on the D’Aguilar Highway and agreed to meet Becca, Tom and Simon at Linville 90 minutes away.

Today it’s little more than a petrol station and a park with a World War I memorial, but over a century ago Colinton was the hub a thriving pastoral district on a droving route which stretched from the cattle sale yards in Newmarket to Cooyar on the Darling Downs.

It’s immortalized in a verse of Saul Mendelsohn’s folk song “Brisbane Ladies” about cattle drovers returning from Brisbane:

The first camp we make, we shall call it the Quart Pot,
Caboolture, then Kilcoy, and Collington’s Hut,
We’ll pull up at the stone house, Bob Williamson’s paddock,
And early next morning we cross the Blackbutt.

Emu Creek Road

I had ulterior motives starting from Colinton: Travellers on the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail can ride on peaceful trails from Ipswich to Yarraman, except for one section between Colinton and Moore where they usually have to ride on the highway. I wanted to check out an alternative route along some quiet roads and road reserves which might make the trip more pleasant.

Emu Creek

So we headed west from Colinton, and through rolling farmland around Emu Creek.

Westaway Road, Colinton

Westaway Road is a quiet track which devolves into a road reserve. We followed it north towards Moore.

Westaway Rd Lot Plan
Westaway Road, Colinton

I double checked some state government maps to make sure we were on a public road.

This was a wonderful track – perfect for riding on a mountain bike or horseback.

The road passed through someone’s paddock so we left any gates as we found them and kept quiet so as not to startle any cattle.

Himstedts Road, Moore
Eventually the track emerged on Himstedts Road near Moore. We followed the gravel road into town.

Pony Trail - D'Aguilar Highway
When we reached the Highway, we followed a freshly graded hose trail beside the road – it was as though someone had anticipated our visit and wanted to make sure it was as enjoyable as possible.

BVRT (Moore to Linville)
At Moore we rejoined the rail trail and followed the signs to Linville.

Brisbane River
The track offered some pleasant views of the Brisbane River. Although it hasn’t rained for a while, there was still plenty of water in the River.

BVRT (Moore to Linville)
Linville

Eventually we rolled into Linville a few minutes ahead of our agreed meeting time with the others.

Graham

We said “G’day” to Graham. I admired his prosthetic leg which he had painted with a picture of Ned Kelly. It looked much more impressive than the skin-toned alternative.

Good on ya, Graham ๐Ÿ™‚

Fixing a flat

Just as we were about to leave Linville, Tom got a flat tyre, so we enjoyed a slightly longer rest while he repaired it.

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)
Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)

Tom made up for the delay by setting a brisk pace up the hill while the rest of us tried to keep up.

The trail between Linville and Benarkin is a steady 5% uphill grade – easy enough for old trains to get up the mountain, but still steep enough for our legs to notice the continuous climb.

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)

We stopped a few times to regroup on the way up. I was impressed by the quality of the infrastructure on the way up. Simon suggested that the old railway lever might be another way to flush the loo.

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)

Although it’s uphill all the way, there were a couple of spots where we rushed down through old creek crossings and up the other side..

Brisbane Valley Rail Trail (Linville-Benarkin)

Simon started to feel the heat.

Culvert

Darb spotted a sign which described an old culvert. I followed him down an embankment beside the track and encountered this delightful tunnel passing under the railway line.

Fettlers Rest

Above the culvert, we saw this art installation made out of the remnants of old railway carriages. Entitled “Fettlers Rest” it features rusty couplings emerging from the ground like resurrected railway workers (Fettlers) rising from the grave. I think their trade union might want to have a word with the railway about employing the dead ๐Ÿ™‚

Horses on the BVRT

As we neared the top we met some horse riders travelling down the range. We gave them wide berth as they passed – although the horses seemed to be at-ease around the bikes.

Blackbutt

In Blackbutt we stopped for lunch at the local bakery. I ate too much, which slowed me down afterwards.

Child at the Gate

After lunch, Simon left us and rolled back down the trail.

As I struggled to catch up with everyone else, I said “G’day” to this boy standing by his front gate. I wonder what he was thinking as he watched strange mountain bikers roll down his street.

Benarkin State Forest

Rather than go back down the rail trail, we followed some long straight gravel roads through Benarkin State Forest.

Bora Ring, Benarkin State ForestBora Ring, Benarkin State Forest

There’s a pair of Bora rings in the forest. Aborigines built the rings in pairs as an important place for ceremonial activities. These days it’s rare to find both rings intact. I was impressed.

Commisioners View
Commisioners View

The trail eventually met the highway at Commissioners View – a high point on the edge of the Great Dividing Range overlooking vast tracts of pine forest. We crossed the busy road and followed the trail towards Rohlmanns Road.

Commisioners View
Rohlmanns Road

The views up here were great. There were wide open panoramas everywhere under a towering blue sky.

Rohlmanns Road

Power pylons strode the landscape like silent titans hauling huge cables.

Rohlmanns Road

“On a clear day you could see all the way to Brisbane”, Eric declared as he gazed off towards the distant horizon.

Rohlmanns Road
Rohlmanns Road

From the top of the hill we enjoyed a steep bumpy descent along Rohlmanns Road. The bumpy track gentry twisted downwards around dark Ironbarks. We all arrived at the bottom safe and smiling.

Rohlmanns Road
Rohlmanns Road

On the valley floor the road undulated over several small hills as we made our way back to Linville.

Becca had a near miss with a skittish cow that jumped across her path. Happily the two of them didn’t collide.

Moore Linville Cemetery

Leaving Becca and Tom in Linville, we made our way back to Colinton and stopped briefly at this cemetery on the way to Moore. It was cool under the trees. Mike made the sobering observation that many of people buried here were born after us. Many more had been under the ground long than they had been above it. We were glad to be alive.

Moore

After a quick drink break in Moore, we retraced our tracks back to our starting point.

Westaway Road, Colinton

As the afternoon shadows grew longer across the paddocks, we followed in the dust behind a herd of cattle.

Westaway Road, Colinton

In total, we rode about 83 kilometres in seven and a half hours. (Becca, Tom and Simon rode about 50km in about 5 hours)

We climbed about 1,000m in vertical ascent, and I burned about 3,300 kcal.

I’ll rate this ride 7.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Eric, Darb, Mike, Becca, Tom and Simon for a fun day out!

For anyone who is looking for a quiet and safe route between Colinton and Moore, I can recommend Emu Creek Road, Happy Creek Road, Westaway Road and Himstedts Road. It sure beats battling traffic on the highway!

6 comments to Colinton

  • That is a handy link Neil. Anything to stay of that main highway!
    I might have to check it out with the kids one day.

  • Rick / Grouch

    Awesome pic’s, looks like a awesome ride. Shame I couldn’t make it. Keep up the great work!!

  • Thanks Rick. I hope you can join us soon.

  • Donald MacLeod

    I was looking for Colinton information on line and came across this!! I didn’t recognise it – and then realised that it wasn’t Colinton, Edinburgh, Scotland, but Colinton, Australia!!

    Looks a fantastic bike ride!! Weather might be a bit warm for cycling though!

    Enjoyed the photos though!

    Best wishes, ( from Colinton!!)

    D

    • G’day Donald
      Yes – we Aussies have pinched a lot of good Scots names.
      I think when they couldn’t find a good Aboriginal name for a place, they used the mother country as a fall-back.
      Thanks for reading about our adventures. We don’t mind riding in the heat – we just ride a bit slower and drink lots of water.
      If you ever decided to visit Australia, and would like to come for a ride, please get in touch ๐Ÿ™‚
      Neil

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