Neebs Waterhole

Eric and Cooloolah Sand Patch
The purpose of our ride today was to explore some trails around the headwaters of the Noosa River near Neebs Waterhole in Great Sandy National Park

Noosa River
We started the day riding north along the riverbank from Harry’s Hut.

Noosa River
Noosa River

Several of our more memorable adventures have included the beautiful Noosa River. It was good to be back on a cool winters day and soak in the serenity.


Our trail meandered through a strange looking forest of twisted eucalypts growing slowly in the sandy soil.

Toolara State Forest

We eventually reached the boundary of the national park, with pine plantations on our left, and vast plains of native forest on our right.

Cooloola Way
Extreme Caution

“The Cooloola Way” is a rough dirt road heading north-east from here all the way to Tin Can Bay. It has some bumpy downhill sections which are a lot of fun to ride on a bike…

Cooloola Way

…We followed it back into the national park for a while.

Neebs Waterhole

We left the road and followed a narrow track through some spectacular open plains.

Neebs Waterhole

And then into some dense paperbark forests.

It was impressive to see such a variety of vegetaion and terrain in such a small distance.

Broken Derailleur

Then disaster struck. A stick got caught in my derailleur, twisting and breaking it.

Broken DerailleurBroken Derailleur

The derailleur is the mecahnism which changes the gears. The only way to repair this sort of damage while you’re on the trail is to remove the derailleur and convert the bike into a single-speed.

I’ve done this before, but the chain ended up being too tight, damaging my rear cassette, so I let Darb and Eric help me out and fix the bike.

Broken DerailleurBroken Derailleur

With a single-speed, I didn’t have the luxury of changing gears when the terrain got rougher. Plus the slightly loose chain kept dropping down a cog or two. To fix this we attached a green stick to the chain-stay, inside the chain, to push it out and keep the chain on the right cog. It was a bit noisy, but it did the trick.

Neebs Waterhole
Neebs Waterhole

Not long after that we reached the waterhole.

Although the water is stained brown by tannin from leaves, it’s pure and fresh. On a warmer day we would have had a swim, but today it was too cold.

Neebs Waterhole

We had planned to return via Wandi Waterhole, but with my mechanical problems we decided to play it safe and return via the Cooloola Way.

Toolara State Forest

There are many trails around here that we are yet to explore. I’d like to come back again (with a properly working bike) and see what we can find.

Noosa River
Noosa River

We made our way back through the paperbark forest near the river to our starting point.

There were still a few hours left in the day, so we decided to have a look at nearby Doggrell Tree Conservation Area.

Gympie Messmate

Doggrell forest contains some majestic Gympie Messmate trees.

Gympie Messmate

They tower upto 60 metres above the forest floor.

Gympie Messmate
Gympie Messmate

These huge trees are prized for their excellent wood, which explains why it’s difficult to find many mature trees still alive in the wild…

Gympie Messmate

You can still see the cut marks in the old stumps where loggers placed boards so they could climb up and fell the tree.

Gympie Messmate

You don’t often see Kauri Pines growing in the wild, so when I spotted this one I decided to hug it 🙂

Cabbage Tree Palm

Everything is big here, including the Cabbage Tree Palms which grow 15 to 20 metres high.

Canoe On The Noosa River

All up we rode 51km in 5 hours including about 90 minutes in breaks.

This is an easy and pleasant ride in the cooler months – I’m rating it 5.5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. Take plenty of water in warmer months.

Thanks Darb and Eric for another spectacular ride.

Thanks too for an excellent temporary repair job on my bike!

UPDATE: Here’s Darb’s video of our ride:

Harry’s Hut Neebs Waterhole 2014-07-19 from Darb Ryan on Vimeo.

Total distance: 51.61 km
Max elevation: 132 m
Min elevation: 16 m
Total climbing: 789 m
Total descent: -763 m
Average speed: 15.19 km/h
Total time: 05:15:18
More data

5 Replies to “Neebs Waterhole”

    1. Kenny, please get in touch with me if you’d like to clarify which tracks are ok to ride a bike on, and which ones aren’t. Since there was only a 3 of us we broke a couple of rules, but I think it would be easy to adjust the route to make it appropriate for more people on an official club ride.

  1. A nice read Neil, shame about the ‘mechanical’. After one too many derailleur issues on solo rides I splurged on a IGH. Mind you, it was just a good excuse to purchase another bike to go with the IGH!!!

    1. Hi Phil, actually I did consider internal gears after the hassles I had. I’m curious: Do they feel smooth when you’re grinding up a steep hill? Does it make the bike feel heavier?

      1. Difficult to say whether it makes the bike feel heavier or not Neil as I have it on a steel framed (heavy) touring bike rather than my mountain bike. I love them for grinding up a hill, they feel smooth to me and they are so much easier to downshift on a steep incline. Very little cleaning required either which is a huge plus. I was hooked from the first ride. Having said that, they are a luxury item given their price tag albeit an increasingly popular one.

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