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Nanango to Jimna

Brisbane River
If you traced the Brisbane River as far upstream as you could, you’d end up near Mount Stanley, to the east of Nanango in the South Burnett. Today’s epic adventure was a point-to-point ride starting at Nanango, rolling down the slopes of Mount Stanley and following the upper reaches of the Bribane River to Linville, before heading up the Conondale Range to the small forestry town of Jimna.
Jimna Visitor Information CentreLocal Knowledge
Before setting out we met with Dave Wright, a Jimna community leader who runs the local visitors information centre. He’s lived here since the 1940’s when his father was a timber worker, so Dave is well-acquainted with the forest trails in this part of the world.

I left my van at Jimna, and got a lift in Eric’s car to Nanango where we stayed the night, so we could get an early start the next day.
Cheers!Ready to Go
We stayed at Uncle Bobs Cottage – a B&B in East Nanango on the edge of the State Forest. Our hosts, Rod and Celia Price run an organic vineyard there, and kindly let us try some of their delicious Verdellho.
RodEast Nanango Forest
Rod decided to dust off his old mountain bike and ride with us part of the way up the nearby hills. His property is surrounded by a network of trails through local hoop pine forests, so his B&B is an ideal base from which to explore the local forests – especially if you like good wine 🙂
Enjoying the View
Enjoying the ViewSomewhere near Nanango
After leaving Rod, we slowly made our way towards the edge of the Great Dividing Range which gave us some great views of the South Burnett.
Enjoying the View
Mount Stanely Road
Eventually we were able to look down into the valley surrounding the upper reaches of the Brisbane River near Mount Stanley, before enjoying a long steep descent down to the river.
Brisbane River
Brisbane River
It’s hard to believe this is the same muddy brown river that meanders through the city. Up here it’s pristine, crystal clear, and delightful.
"No Shootin"
Enjoying the view
The road follows the meandering course of the river, undulating over gentle hills. It’s an easy ride with pleasant views.
Andrea and Wayne
Andrea and WayneAndrea and Wayne
We were pleasantly surprised to meet a couple of touring cyclists, Andrea and Wayne from Bli Bli who were making their way up to Nanango. After the steep descent we’d already made down Mount Stanley Road, Eric and I could only wonder at what sort of hard work they had ahead of them to get up the range.
Brisbane River
Brisbane River
We crossed the river at least a dozen times – sometimes over dry causeways, sometimes through water. This is one place you wouldn’t want to ride after heavy rain.
DSCN3047_copy
DSCN3045_copyWhere to?
We passed a few old buildings and historic sites which hinted clues about the history of the district. When we finally reached the junction of the East and West branches of the Brisbane River, I was surprised at how many different places you could get to from this remote spot.
Brisbane RiverBrisbane River
We stopped for lunch by the Brisbane River near where it meets with Monsildale Creek. Eric was carrying a lot of gear because he was camping that night. This meant he was able to boil the billy and make us a hot drink. Our friend Rients joined us here too. He had ridden up from Brisbane the day before, via Esk and Moore (about 150km), and was also planning to camp with Eric that night.
Monsildale Creek
Monsildale RoadMonsildale Road
From here we rode eastwards along Monsildale Road. The road follows Monsildale Creek, and we had to wade across it several times. At one deep point Eric was up to his chest in water as he carried his bike across. I let him cross first, and watched carefully to make sure it was safe 🙂 Eric’s bike was heavily laden with overnight camping gear, so it was hard work hoising it above his head and wading across the creek.
Monsildale Creek
Monsildale Road
As we headed east, the “road” devolved into a track until it was quite clear we were riding along someone’s very long driveway.
Gillyland Farm
Gillyland FarmGillyland Farm
We eventually reached the farmhouse. This cattle property is owned by the Gillyland family, who kindly let us ride through. We said “g’day” to family elder, Stumpy, who was cleaning a huge fish out the back. “So you’re heading to Jimna, hey?” he asked. “You’ll have to go up the side of Mount Buggery to get there” he commented – hinting about the steep climb we had ahead of us.
Monsildale Creek
Monsildale Creek was crystal clear as we rode beside it. We took this opportunity to re-fill the water bottles before the climb.
Monsildale Creek
Monsildale Creek
Our track gradually morphed from a pleasant country road to a steep winding forestry track as we slowly made our way up the Conondale Range. “Mount Buggery” I kept muttering to myself as I remembered Stumpy’s words. It definitely was hard work after the distance we already had put in.
Jimna / Murgon
At this stage, Rients and Eric motored up the hill with their super-human legs. I slowly followed wondering what sort of diesel engine these guys were carrying. A worn out old foresttry sign gave me hope that our destination wasn’t too far away.
Resting after the Ride
Dave WrightCharlie
And before we knew it we had arrived in Jimna. Dave was busy at the barbequeue, frying up hamburgers for us, and Charlie entertained us with an old song, “Sweeney” by Henry Lawson.

We rode 90km in just under 9 hours including breaks. I burned almost 3,500kcal and we climbed almost 1,800m. This was a tough ride. If you’re doing the entire trip from Nanango to Jimna, I’d rate it 9 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter, because of the steep climb at the end, the many creek crossings, and the logistics of getting enough food and water to last the distance.

If you take the easy option and ride from Nanango to Linville, I’d rate it 7.5 out of 10.

Either way, this is not a ride to do after heavy rain, and as a point-to-point ride, it requires planning to get to and from the end-points.

Thanks Eric and Rients for a great ride.

Thanks Rod and Celia for your warm hospitality.

Thanks Dave and Charlie for the delicious food, and stellar entertainment 🙂

And thanks to the Gillyland family for letting us pass through their beautiful property.

16 comments to Nanango to Jimna

  • Eric

    Great work Neil. I’ll manage to get you out bikepacking overnight sooner or later.
    Eric

  • Bikeboy

    Nice write up Neil. Stunning scenery.
    It’s great to find out about little gems like uncle bobs that look like great places for a family visit.

    • Bikeboy,
      You could easily fit mum, dad and two kids in the cabin we stayed in. Nice and comfortable. And there are miles of tracks at the front door.
      We’ll definitely do a social ride up there when it cools down and dries up a bit.
      Neil

  • Neil, I have one word for you after reading and seeing the memories of this trip.

    Inspired.

    You couldn’t have picked a couple of better blokes to join than Eric and Rients.
    I’m sure I can use this ride as a training route for my Timor prep.

    Thanks for sharing mate!

    Sean.

  • Omo

    Great meeting you! It was a fun ride. It was like being dropped into a ‘Great south East’ shoot arriving at Jimna! The guys there were great! They started reciting poems about a crow after you left…your Coke did id get paid for (only kidding!)…
    Donna ended up picking me up near Kobble Ck. she was shopping in the village and had a look at BOM, a big storm was on the way so I ended up getting a lift home for the last 20k’s.
    Already planning the next ‘big one’…..

    Rients

    Did you end up taking a vid of the gents at Jimna?

    • Rients

      There’s a short video of the guys singing “Sweeney” at the end of the blog post before the map.

      Did you see it?

      And I agree – Dave and Charlie were amazing – like our own personal rendition of “Australia All Over”.

      Neil

  • Eric

    From Jimna there are offroad trails to Imbil, Murgon,Kenilworth, Kilcoy, Linville, Bellthorpe, Nanango and Woodford to name a few. If you want some challenging and rewarding offroad riding, this is the place. David Wright at the Tourist Info Centre can provide maps and bunkhouse accommodation (with hot showers)if you book in advance. Ph 5497 3174.
    And yes there really is a Mt Buggery.

  • Great ride and write up Neil! I looks so green and picturesque as well.
    I think it is time to start back into the bikepacking now that it is cooling off and your ride is just the inspiration I need. Thanks.

  • Eric

    What was I carrying?
    Each trip you learn more. Rients is the expert!
    Front forks- 2 x 1.5 lt PET water bottles in racks.
    You can sterilise the water in these before transferring it to your Camelback.
    Front handlebar bag- all my food for 3 days including snacks, noodles, M&M’s.
    In my Camelbak HAWG backpack- Kovea gas stove inside a cooking pot, POLAR fleece, First Aid Kit, 3 lts of water, AY-UPs.
    In the frame bag- 2 sleeping bag liners (didn’t take a sleeping bag), thermal underclothes, balaclava, flynet.
    On the rear rack- Wild Earth Tent wrapped in Thermarest sleeping mat and sports towel all inside a dry sack. The dry sack doubles as a bucket if you need to wash or shave.
    On the top bar,one snack bag with ready to eat food, one small bag with map and GPS batteries.
    If it’s not a cold time of the year, I don’t take a sleeping bag and sleep in layered clothing inside the sleeping bag liners.
    All up, about 5kgs of gear plus 6 kgs of water when full.

  • […] and I had ridden through here a while ago on our way from Nanango to Jimna, and had both wanted to […]

  • Excellent write up and photos of a great ride. It is a very scenic area. Just a correction in case people do get the wrong idea. Mt Buggery is north east of Kingaham station on the way to Imbil. Not in this vicinity from Nanango to Jimna. But there are lots of terrific bike tracks out these ways – see the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail too. There is excellent (council approved) accommodation at Jimna also for groups such as mountain bikers. As with most of Jimna, it has no association with the Jimna Visitors Information Centre – you can book through the website. Visit Jimna – lots of beautiful places to explore and a great spot to ‘hang out’!

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