Glen Rock National Park is south of Gatton, in the East Haldon Valley, a picturesque pocket nestled under the towering ridges of the Great Dividing Range.
But the first challenge was to get safely across the flooded creek with our bikes. We agreed not to take unneccessary risks, so we sent Eric across the creek to see if we’d be able to get over while carrying a bike. I’ve learned numerous times to trust Eric’s instincts. When he said he didn’t want to risk crossing the creek while carrying the bikes, we agreed and sought an alternative route.
We made our way back to the visitors centre to check out a topographical map that Eric had brought with him. The map suggested there were a few other creek crossings we could try – so decided to have a look around to see what we could find.
He eventually found a safe creek crossing, and after an hour of poking around we began our ride in earnest.
If we were unsure, we’d first send someone through without a bike, so they could test the depths.
Eventually we arrived at “Abbotts Yards” – an old stock yard halfway up the valley. In the nineteenth century this area was attractive to cattle men. The mountains provided a natural fence for the cattle, which meant they could graze on the abundant pasutre and water, without straying too far.
We were making progress, but it was becoming clear we wouldn’t make it to the top of the valley.
I marvelled at this place as we made our way home. It was beautiful. Tucked away in a hidden valley at the end of a quiet rural road, it’s not the sort of place you’d find accidentally. But the rugged hills and bubbling creek were gorgeous. I was happy to be here, and would love to return.
Although this had been a spectacular clear-skied day, we had travelled less than 25km in just over four and a half hours including breaks. Even in dry weather, this is rough country, so if you’re planning to ride here, it would be prudent to under-estimate your expected progress.
Considering the conditions, I’ll rate this ride 8.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
We passed through 28 creek crossings. At most of them we had to carry our bikes over our heads. That was hard work. Riding was the was the easy part.
Thanks Eric, Russel and Mike for another memorable day in a beautiful place!
Max elevation: 486 m
Min elevation: 339 m
Total climbing: 576 m
Total descent: -553 m
Average speed: 10.60 km/h
Total time: 04:35:52