Great Sandy National Park is spectacular wilderness area north of Noosa, covering over 2,000 square kilometres. Today’s adventure took us from Elanda Point in the south, through the rainforests near Kin Kin Creek then northwards into the Cooloola section of the Park.
We started on the shores of Lake Cootharaba at Elanda Point. It was an easy ride through this flat grassy section towards Kin Kin Creek.
The creek is stunning. We had visited here last week, and as we meandered through the rainforest that shrouds its banks we were glad to be back.
It wasn’t long before we were on the main track heading back to Harrys Hut. But today we planned to go further.
As we slowly rolled northwards along the river, winding through the Paperbarks and Cabbage Tree palms, I heard Paul say, “This is why I ride a mountain bike”…
… I couldn’t agree more.
Although we’d only had a break ten minutes earlier, we stopped again to enjoy the view. Good rides are best taken at a leisurely pace.
When we reached the Cooloola Way, the road was blocked by a gate and a “Road Closed” sign. Someone had kindly penned a message on the warning sign saying “No worries. Keep Going. It’s ok”. To be fair to the sign’s original creator, the road was very rough. It would have been challenging in a Four Wheel Drive. However, it was a lot of fun on a mountain bike.
Our plan from here was to push northwards along the Cooloola way. We didn’t have a clear course planned – we just wanted to see where we ended up. Sometimes the most enjoyable days on the bike are those where you have a plan that’s flexible enough to allow for unexpected discoveries.
Eventually we came across a narrow track heading east, and decided to follow it.
Wandi Waterhole is a remote oasis of cool fresh water. We soaked in the pool before having lunch.
“I wonder what the poor people are doing today”, Eric thought out loud.
John Williamson sings “You know some people never see such things” in his song “The Cootamundra Wattle”. I can’t believe it’s taken me over half a lifetime to see “such things” so close to home.
As we made our way back south, we could see the dunes in the distance behind the beach on the Cooloola Coastline…
… slowly growing closer as we headed back to our starting point.
This is a stunning part of South-East Queensland. Except for campers at Harrys Hut, we didn’t encounter a single person or vehicle all day on this day-long ride. We had the place to ourselves.
We rode almost 60km in about five and a half hours including breaks. The terrain was relatively flat – we only climbed about 350m in vertical ascent, but I burned about 2,400 kcal, and consumed about 4 litres of water.
This ride rates about 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Thanks Eric, Darb and Paul for a great day out!
UPDATE 17 March 2014.
Here’s Darb’s video of the ride.
Max elevation: 106 m
Min elevation: 3 m
Total climbing: 849 m
Total descent: -849 m
Average speed: 15.85 km/h
Total Time: 05:20:39