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The Hidden Valley

Misty Creek Crossing
Last week, floodwaters prevented us from reaching the waterfall at the end of the East Haldon valley. This week we thought we’d return to Glen Rock and try our luck again.

Casuarina Camp Ground
To give ourselves the best chance of achieving our goal, we decided to camp out the night before, so that we could get an early start the next morning.
Eric by the Fire
This time of year the nights are cold and the sun sets early. After cooking our dinner we cracked open a few beers and sat around the fire to keep warm.

Frosty Grass
The night was freezing. Literally. The temperature reached zero degrees. There was frost on the ground in the morning. I was grateful for a loan of Eric’s spare balaclava and sleeping bag liner overnight.

Spider Webs
In the brisk morning air, dew-drops hung from spider webs like strings of tiny diamonds. In the middle, a spider patiently waited for his quarry, legs and body also speckled with dewy gems.

Misty Creek (Animated)
Steamy mist swirled mysteriously from the creek water.

Misty Creek
We usually don’t arrive at our destinations so early in the morning, so the sunrise wonderland was a visual treat for us.

Misty Creek (Animated)
I braced for the shock of coldness as we waded through the first creek crossing of the day, but was surprised. Yes, the water was cold, but not as cold as the morning air, so it felt warm on my skin.

"Top Yards"
It took us just over an hour to reach “Top Yards”. Last week, it took us almost three times as long to cover the same distance due to the flooded creeks. What a difference a week makes.

East Haldon Road
Eric

This was as far up the East Haldon valley as we had ever been. The track devolved into a couple of faint tyre tracks in the grass. It was getting harder to pedal.

Hike No Bike

Eventually the undergrowth grew too thick. So we ditched the bikes and continued on foot.

Hike No Bike

Our plan was to follow the creek as far as we could. If we were lucky we’d get to the end of the valley and see the waterfall.

Hike No Bike

This was gorgeous country. Pristine creek waters bubbled over ancient rocks through a rugged forest.

Walking up the Creek

Unfortunately it was tough going. Rock-hopping over slippery boulders is slow and hazardous work.

Walking up the Creek

The banks grew steep, and the creek was full of deep waterholes. It was beautiful, but it was too difficult to proceed any further.

Walking up the Creek

As we turned around and headed back downstream, neither of us were too disappointed.

Brett and Dani

On the way back down the valley we met Dani and Brett who were also exploring Glen Rock State Forest on bikes. We were delighted when they agreed to ride with us for the rest of our adventure.

Mountain Biking at Glen Rock
Mountain Biking at Glen Rock
The unusual shape of Glen Rock loomed over us as we retraced our steps.

Brett Jumps for a Mandarin
Brett Jumps for a Mandarin

We stopped at Abbotts yards to see if there were any mandarins on the tree. One ripe fruit was perched a little to high for us to reach, but it was fun trying.

Brett Crossing a Creek
Creek Crossing

Brett showed us how to nail the creek crossings without getting our feet wet…

Riding Across a Creek
Brett
…although he didn’t do too well on the wider crossings 🙂

Brett Crossing a Creek
Eventually we reached the final crossing of the day. Last week it had taken us over an hour to cross here. Today it was over with a splash in a matter of seconds.

Overgrowth
Dani and Horse

We bashed our way through high weeds around the back of a paddock and said “G’day” to a friendly horse on the way through.

Sunset on the Range
Glen Rock State Forest is a stunning place to visit.

It takes over two hours to drive there from Brisbane, so if you plan on a big adventure it might be helpful to camp there the night before.

Eric by the Fire (Animated)
But it’s very cold – so make sure you bring warm clothes or light a warm fire!


We travelled just under 30km in around 5 hours. I burned about 2,500 kcal and we climbed about 500 meters.

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

Thanks Eric, Dani and Brett for another memorable adventure!

Spider Webs

3 comments to The Hidden Valley

  • Groundhog

    It was a chilly 2.5 Celsius when we set off at 7.30 am. The creek water was warm by comparison and it warmed up quickly once the sun crested the hills. A nice day out. Great to see others using the park too,
    Thanks Neil

  • Nice outing Neil and Eric. Early mornings are a special time of the day.
    Neil, did you get yourself a new tent yet? I meant to mention that the single wall tents like mine collect a lot of condensation inside overnight. The dual wall like the Moment DW or Big Agnes tents would be a better long term proposition.
    I’d love to join you guys on a ride but maybe when I get this darn ride off my radar.
    Cheers
    Dave

    • Dave, no new tent yet. I borrowed Eric’s Mantis. He had a EPE Spartan 1-man that looked ok, but they’re not available online at the moment. The Big Agnes Fly Creek looks quite impressive. It would be good to ride with you sometime 🙂

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