On the last day of the year, with scorching temperatures and stifling humidity, our destination almost picked itself. It would be difficult to resist a ride to the cool waters and shady forests of the Upper Noosa River.
We started on the shore of Lake Cootharaba at Elanda Point. The lake surface retained its mirror-like stillness in the early morning calm air.
We followed grass tracks for a few kilometres as we headed north from Elanda Point.
Near Kin Kin Creek the open grass paddocks gave way to shady groves of Cabbage Tree Palms.
We walked past a family sitting on the edge of the footbridge over the creek, their fishing lines dangling hopefully in the water.
In the warm water, dozens of two-foot long mullet floated, languidly ignoring the fishing lines.
The tranquil beauty of Kin Kin Creek is mesmerising. It would be easy to gaze at the reflections of trees and sky for hours and forget about everything else.
We resisted the temptation and kept moving.
Back in the forest, we snaked through endless groves of Cabbage Tree Palms and Kauri Pines on the creek banks.
“Look at the size of those fish!”
Paved with millions of brown leaves, the shady path twisted around fallen trees and vines. Tree roots poked up in odd places. With a bit of concentration, we guided our front tyres over the bumps.
We took a short break at Fig Tree Point on the banks of the Noosa River.
Adam decided to see if fat bikes really do float. (They don’t)
Watercraft floated slowly through vast flotillas of Water Lillies.
We left Fig Tree Point and headed north through the bush towards Harrys Hut.
Some of the fallen logs were too big for us to ride over.
We stopped briefly to check out the historical logger’s hut built in the 1950’s. But, we had more urgent things on our minds…
That water looked irresistible.
There’s something magical about a cool river on a hot day.
Oliver’s dive drew a unanimous score of ten out of ten from the judges.
I never tire of cool swimming spots on hot summer days.
After we dried off we admired the local wildlife. This lace monitor sat stock still in the shade. Perhaps if he didn’t move we might not see him?
The 4WD road to Harrys Hut was bumpy and dusty. Rather than take the shortcut through the bush like we did on the bikes, motor vehicles have to come the long way round via Como. It can be busy at times…
…so we left it as soon as we could in favour of a quiet track through the bush.
The track eventually ran out.
Well, actually, it didn’t. We lost the track and pushed through the thick grass for a short while until we found it again.
We eventually emerged back on to Harrys Hut Road. The dirt baked in the hot midday sun. Time to look for some shade.
We followed a vehicle track back towards Kin Kin Creek.
Yep. Those big fish were still there.
“Catch us if you can!”
We retraced our tracks from earlier in the day.
The fishing family had grown weary of the sun and gone home.
We looked forward to evading the heat too.
Back through the grassy tracks towards Elanda Point.
Max elevation: 53 m
Min elevation: 17 m
Total climbing: 488 m
Total descent: -468 m
Average speed: 13.51 km/h
Total Time: 04:02:34
We rode almost 35 kilometres in four hours, including breaks.
In temperatures around the mid to high 30’s, I burned about 1,800 kcal and we gained about 170 metres in elevation.
This was a short, flat, easy ride through beautiful country. It was the perfect choice for a hot day.
I’ll rate it 6 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.
Despite the easy score, in high temperatures you need plenty of drinking water to enjoy this ride.
Thanks, Eric, Adam, Jason, Calum and Oliver for a fun day on the bikes!