Paddle and Pedal

Paddle and Pedal

Today’s adventure involved kayaks and bikes as we traced out a large loop around the North Pine River and Redcliffe.

Paddle and Pedal

We started at Clontarf on the south-western tip of the Redcliffe Peninsula, and set out across Bramble Bay with the tide and wind at our backs.

Paddle and Pedal
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

We were paddling up-river on an incoming tide.  We’d be paddling with the current, which would make our journey much easier.

The downside was that the tide was still low, so we had to take care to not run aground on sand banks.

The safest route involved following the long bridges that stretch southwards across Bramble Bay.

Paddle and Pedal

My friends had long sleek boats that cut through the water.

My kayak was short and fat: nice and stable for an inexperienced paddler like me, but slower.  Thankfully we took our time, and everyone waited patiently for me to catch up.

Paddle and Pedal
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

The incoming tide, and easterly breeze helped push us up the Pine River, as we left the bridges behind.

Paddle and Pedal 

The strength of the current became apparent as we floated pas a submerged wreck.

Paddle and Pedal
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

To starboard (that’s the right hand side in cycling terms) lay the relatively undisturbed mangroves and beach of Hayes Inlet at Dohles Rocks…

Paddle and Pedal

On our port side (I’ll let you guess which side that is) lay Deepwater Bend.

Paddle and Pedal

We’d been paddling for about an hour, so decided to pull our vessels ashore and have a short break.

Paddle and Pedal

On the horizon lay the unmistakable triangular peak of Mount Samson, jutting above the D’Aguilar Range.  I often look at this range and imagine our tyre tracks all over its shady trails.

We’ve had a lot of fun in those mountains!

Paddle and Pedal
(Photo: Tony Ryan)

Our short rest stop over, we continued our paddle upstream past Deepwater Bend…

Paddle and Pedal

…and under the Pine River bridge on the Bruce Highway.

Busy traffic scurried overhead while we floated…

“…gently up the stream.
Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily.
Life is but a dream.”

Paddle and Pedal

The river split in two at this point.

To our left, the South Pine River twisted slowly away to its headwaters on the slopes of Mount Glorious.

The North Pine River lay ahead.  We followed.

Despite the assistance from the elements, my shoulders felt tired and sore.

Paddle and Pedal

We floated under our road of the day – The A J Wyllie Bridge between Petrie and Lawnton.

We had come about fifteen kilometers.

Not long now,” I said to my mates.  Half to encourage them – half to myself.

Paddling was hard work.

Paddle and Pedal

We came ashore at Stephen Lawn Park in Lawnton.

The park is named after the man who owned the land on which Lawnton Railway Station was built.

Stephen Lawn was a blacksmith from Yorkshire.  During the Gympie gold rush of the 1860’s, travelers would stop at his Wheelwright  and Blacksmiths Shop on Gympie Road for repairs.

Paddle and Pedal

We had no need of a wheelwright today.

We lifted the boats onto trollies, then hauled them through the park, and down the street to my place.

Paddle and Pedal

After a quick break, we stowed the kayaks, donned our cycling gear, and set off back to Redcliffe for the second half of our adventure.

Paddle and Pedal

“Gee this is easier than paddling” I said to Adam as we rolled over the bridge that we’d paddled under half an hour ago.

Adam agreed.

Paddle and Pedal

For most of the trip back to Redcliffe we followed the bike path adjacent to the Kippa Ring railway line.

Paddle and Pedal

But it wouldn’t have been a real “ride” unless we spent some time on dirt, so we were happy to eventually leave the bike path and follow a gravel track through Hayes Inlet.

Paddle and Pedal

At Clontarf we continued along a shady bike path through quiet parks towards the water.

Paddle and Pedal

The sun was now high, and a stiff breeze blew across the bay.

It was a glorious day, but I was glad we had completed our “paddle” earlier in the morning

Total distance: 42.2 km
Max elevation: 34 m
Min elevation: -28 m
Total climbing: 3462 m
Total descent: -3443 m
Average speed: 11.47 km/h
Total Time: 05:11:02
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We traveled about forty-two kilometres in about five hours.

The half on water took us three and a half hours.

The second half took about ninety minutes.

The paddle was hard work – I’d rate it about 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.  This section is always best done in the morning and on an incoming tide.  In other conditions it would be much more uncomfortable.

The ride was easy and rates a leisurely 4 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Darb, Calum, Adam, Paul and Stephen for an unusual fun adventure!

Paddle and Pedal

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