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England Creek

England Creek Bonfire
When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you have good camping gear, every ride looks like a good excuse to pitch a tent. When my friends suggested we do an overnight trip to the beautiful bush camp at England Creek, how could I refuse?

Brendale

We all rode from home, bringing only the things that we could fit on the bike. Having packed everything that was humanly possible, I arrived at the start point on my heavily laden bike impressed by how lightly some of the other guys travel.

Neil at Eatons Hill
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

While they had expertly packed most of their stuff in a simple handle-bar roll and seat bag, I had a lot of extras that I had to bundle in big red dry bag which I tied to the top of everything. It rattled when I went over bumps, but it was secure, and I was happy.

Pedestrian Tunnel, Albany Creek

We followed some quiet bike paths to Bunyaville State Forest where we had arranged to meet Russel. He and Paul weren’t camping with us, but had decided to ride with us for the day to share in the fun.

Ironbark Fire Trail

While light bikes are a joy to ride quickly down steep dirt tracks, heavier bikes take a bit more concentration.

Lanita Rd Rail TrailLanita Rd Rail Trail
EricSimon

After Bunyaville and Ironbark forests, we followed the Samford Rail Trail westward to the pony trails.

Russel
Simon

Although it wasn’t as direct, this was a much quieter way of getting to the D’Aguilar Range compared to riding on the road.

Mt Nebo Road

After all the off-road detours, we only had to ride a couple of kilometres along the main road. Mount Nebo loomed up in front of us, a reminder of the hard work that lay ahead.

Goat Track

Normally the climb up the Goat Track is pretty easy. Today, with the extra cargo, we took it a bit slower.

Roadside Toys - Superman

Out of the corner of my eye I spied something unusual…

Roadside Toys - Superman

Was it a bird? Was it a plane? If the “Man of Steel” could leap tall buildings at a single bound, then surely I could get this bike to the top of the hill.

Roadside Toys - ChickenRoadside Toys - Duck
Roadside Toys - Racer

More strange characters started showing up, glued to the top of signs and fence posts. This was delightful.

Roadside Toys

Eventually Paul and I found an entire tree infested with strange-looking toys. Somewhere inside me, a childlike curiosity awoke…

Roadside Toys - ShrekRoadside Toys - NemoRoadside Toys - B1 and Dora
Roadside Toys - MermaidRoadside ToysRoadside Toys - Lion

While Paul and I had been waylaid by these fascinating toys, the others had ridden past them completely oblivious. It made me consider how many other delightful things we hurry past every day in our haste to get somewhere.

Paul and Golly

“Nice to meet you, Mr Gollie”.

Mount Nebo Road

After a bit more huffing and puffing we eventually made it up to Mount Nebo for an early lunch.

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos

While I demolished a BLT sandwich, hungry Cockatoos picked at the seed we left for them on a table.

Darb

After our break, we made our way up to Dundas Road, to start the long descent into the England Creek valley.

Goodes Road

The views on the way down were stunning.

Goodes Road

Goodes Road is steep. I’ve rocketed down it quite a few times (and struggled up it as well), and I often slow down at this point to enjoy the view to the west.

Simon

The descent ended with a pleasant splash through the “Right Branch” of England Creek. Our destination for the day was the “Left Branch”. We had to climb one more hill to get into the next valley.

DSC00681_Copy

Ah hills… one of the inevitable pleasures of mountain biking. Sometimes you have to walk – most times you stubbornly grind the pedals as you slowly make it to the top.

England Creek Causeway

After one final splash across a bubbling causeway, we arrived at the campsite.

Eric

Eric is an old hand at this, and had his tent already erected before we arrived. He was busy sorting out the fireplace.

Tents

Darb and I have recently lashed out extravagantly on new tents. We proudly set them up.

Simple Tent

Mike is a lighter traveller, and had this excellent tarp arrangement; although during winter I think I’d prefer something more cozy.

Low Cost Tent

Simon is a bargain-hunter and had an amazing low-cost system…

Low Cost Sleeping Mat

… including a “high-tech” pool mattress from Aldi.

England Creek Campfire

Our original plan was to set up the camp, then go for a bit of an exploratory ride on the bikes.

“What do you want to do?” Darb asked me after we had set everything up.

“I want to bludge,” I confessed to him, “but if you decided to go off exploring I’ll come too because I don’t want to miss out”.

In the end, we decided to take it easy and sit around the fire. I cracked open some wine, nibbled on some cheese and nuts, and relaxed.

England Creek Bonfire

It took a while to get going, but Eric did an amazing job of stoking up the fire while sparks spiralled upwards into the darkening sky.

A few things I liked about this particular bush camp:

  • It had plenty of running water.
  • It was remote – there was lots of peace and quiet.
  • We could legally have a fire.
  • The camp sites were fairly flat.
  • There were ample logs arranged around the fireplace to give us all enough room to sit.
  • There were some decent trees from which you could string a line for a tarp.
  • It was in a valley and reasonably sheltered from the breeze.

Moon in Trees

Out in the middle of the bush at night, we all decided to go to bed early. I was fast asleep before 7pm.

Sunrise in D'Aguilar National Park

Down in the valley, the sun didn’t rise above the hills until almost 8am. We got up before 6am, had breakfast, packed and were on the bikes before 7.30am.

Neil on England Creek Road 800
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

It’s a very long and steep climb up England Creek Road. We all climbed at our own pace. I just looked at the road ahead of my front wheel and slowly turned the pedals.

England Creek Road

The views grew more impressive as we climbed higher.

Lawton Road

As we rolled down the other side of Northbrook Mountain we passed a father and daughter returning from an overnight stay at the mountain campsite.

Lawton Road

Alex was carrying a lot of gear. He looked quite tired. The walk looked like it was a long way for Ammonie.

Mike kindly gave them some lollies. This cheered them up.

Mount Glorious

We finished the climb up Lawton Road and emerged at Mount Glorious in the rainforest.

Everyone agreed we had earned a second breakfast, so we stopped off at the cafe for another bite to eat.

Mt Glorious Cafe

Buffet brekkie with a view. Perfect!

Goat Track

As we descended the Goat Track, we could see it had turned into a beautiful clear morning.

Coonan Road
Samford Rail Trail

Darb and I followed pony trails back to the Lanita Road Railtrail while the others took a quick break in Samford.

Ironbark Firetrail

The last major climb of the day was back up through Samford State Forest. My legs were starting to tire. I was looking forward to getting home.

Brendale

We said our goodbyes at Brendale where we had all met the previous morning.

Egnland Creek Bush Camp

We travelled a total of 120km for the weekend in about 13.5 hours. During that time we climbed about 2,600m of vertical ascent and I burned about 6,500 kcal.

I’ll rate this one 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Eric, Darb, Simon, Mike, Paul and Russel for another great adventure.


11 comments to England Creek

  • Awesome work Neil! The England Creek campground looks like it has been upgraded since I was last there. Wine and cheese does sound very civilised as well.
    Now you just need to double your daily kilometres then do that every day for 3 weeks and you will be ready for the Tour Divide. πŸ˜‰

    • Dave, QNPWS has done some great work in D’Aguilar recently. It’s looking great.
      To bikepack efficiently for 3 weeks I think I’d need to halve the weight of the camping gear though πŸ™‚
      Somehow I don’t think I’d be fast enough for the TDV – I’d be too pre-occupied taking photos!

  • Ian Morrison

    Good encouragement Dave!! I have to admit I was astounded at the km/day you achieved.
    Not to worry Neil, you’re far more prompt with the write up!! Great ride Neil et al as usual.

  • Ian Morrison

    even before I read Neil’s reply..honest..
    Dave, Neil, I’ve been thinking..
    “Now you just need to double your daily kilometres then do that every day for 3 weeks and you will be ready for the Tour Divide.”
    My real [although 2nd] response – Neil do as Dave says and then we’ll see how prompt the write ups are!!!
    I love it all, the reading.
    Cheers to you both.

  • Adam Lynch

    Great ride Neil! Looks like a top weekend!

  • Andrew

    Umm, Dave’s selling himself short. He was doing 4 times your daily kms … mind you I just came back from an overnighter where we did a TOTAL of 60km over an afternoon and the following morning, and I needed a nap when I got home.

    Neil … I’m looking for an easy overnighter to do with a couple of friends who are giving this a go for the first time … the shores of a lake out on the northside somewhere??

    • Andrew – I’ll send you an email πŸ™‚
      I agreee with Groundhog – North Kobble is a pleasant and easy “first time” site it’s not far from Hawkins Road, but there’s currently no water in the creek, so you’d need to go upstream for about 1km to top up with water. If you’ve got heavy bikes don’t try riding up “Chicken Break” – it’s extremely steep.
      Neil

  • Groundhog

    We just did a ride to North Kobble Campground.
    If you have someone wanting to try it for the first time, this is a short ride into the campsite. It does have a nasty pinch climb on the bitumen on the way out. It’s only about 1/2 hr ride from the Dayboro Samford Rd. There is also the Northbrook ridge campsite which has a nice view and is a few klms in along Lawton Rd. You have to get your water from the tank further down Lawton Rd. GH

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