Coomera River

Coomera River

The Coomera River starts its eighty kilometre journey high in the pristine rainforests of the Lamington Plateau.  Today we explored some of its remote valleys.

Coomera River

We started at Ferny Glen, south of the military town of Canungra, and followed the road southwards into the mountains.

Coomera River

Before riding up the valley, we took a short detour up a steep hill.

Coomera River

Tabletop Road is a steep climb which rises 500 metres in elevation over about six kilometres.

Coomera River

We clicked down a few gears and spun the pedals.

Coomera River

Although it was hard work, we were grateful for the clouds and cool temperatures.  There was no rush – it’s easier to climb long steep hills if you ride at a gentle pace.

We stopped a couple of times to regroup.

Coomera River

Coomera River
(Photo: Adam Lynch)

As we mashed our pedals and climbed, the valley floor slowly spread out below us, an endless vista of rolling green hills stretching to the cloudy horizon.

Coomera River

Eventually we reached a locked gate.  I had spoken to the land owner earlier in the week, who had kindly agreed to let us jump the gate and ride the last few kilometres to the summit.

Coomera River

As we neared the top, the gradient eased.  It wasn’t so difficult to push the pedals any more.  We were able to relax and enjoy the view.

Coomera River

The summit is known as Lahey’s Tabletop.  It adjoins Lamington National Park and has some great views.

Coomera River

We took a few minutes to sit in the grass, catch our breath and enjoy the fruit of our labour.

Coomera River

The journey down the hill was much quicker than the trip up.

Coomera River

We accelerated downwards, keeping a careful watch on the bumpy road, while trying to check out the view at the same time.

Coomera River

At the bottom of the hill we resumed our leisurely trip up the Coomera River Valley.

Coomera River
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Rain fell almost imperceptibly as we rode upstream.  This was perfect weather for cycling – not too hot, not too cold.

Coomera River

The paved road ended at a farm gate.  We went through and followed the track.

Coomera River

“Gee I love this!”

I grinned stupidly as we waded through the water.

Coomera River
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

We crossed the river several times.

My shoes were saturated but I didn’t care.

Coomera River

It’s tricky carrying a bike through rocky knee-deep water.

We took it easy, and no one fell in.

Coomera River

Eventually the track ran out.

Eric pushed his bike up a hill in an attempt to see if he could re-discover the track.

No luck.

Coomera River

Further south, I could make out the Coomera River Valley as it twisted through dense rainforest, and under the cliffs below O’Reillys.

Coomera River

We retraced our tracks a few hundred metres and found The Illinbah Track at the boundary with the national park, the sign barely visible behind the trees.

Coomera River

Yes – this was a track, but it was not suitable for bikes.

Coomera River

We explored on foot for a while.

Coomera River

The dense forest closed in around us.

What a magical place.

Coomera River

On our way out we said “G’day” to the local farmer and his boys.

Coomera RiverCoomera River
Coomera RiverCoomera River
        (Photo: Adam Lynch)

Apparently there’s an artist in the neighborhood with a great sense of humor.

Coomera River
The great thing about valleys is that the return leg is mostly downhill.

We coasted effortlessly back over idyllic causeways.

Coomera River
(Photo: Adam Lynch)

Coomera River

The scenery from earlier in the day replayed in reverse as we made our way back to the start.

Total distance: 36.58 km
Max elevation: 649 m
Min elevation: 144 m
Total climbing: 1119 m
Total descent: -1105 m
Average speed: 17.31 km/h
Total time: 03:44:20
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We rode 36km in just under four hours.

During that time we climbed about 860 metres in elevation, and I burned about 1,700 kcal.

I’ll rate this one 7 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.  The climb at the start was challenging, but the cool weather helped.  It would be much harder on a hot day.

Thanks Darb, Eric, Adam, Calum and Jason for another fun day in a beautiful place.

Coomera River

 

4 Replies to “Coomera River”

  1. Wow. Always wondered what this area looked like on the ground after seeing on Google Maps. Those deep, green valleys are reminiscent of the Swiss Alps! Thanks for the ride report, Neil.

  2. Great report as usual Neil. Beautiful place.
    Do you know if the last dirt section of Illinbah Rd is public access?
    I was thinking of hiking up the national park from the end of the road.

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