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Waterfall Creek

Waterfall Creek carves out a lush and scenic valley in Springbrook National Park.  Today we explored it on our bikes.

(photo: Tony Ryan)

I’d never even heard about this secluded spot until I read about it in “Where to Mountain Bike in South East Queensland” by Gillian Duncan and Mark Roberts.

I was curious.

Simple curiosity often inspires enjoyable adventures. So we drove out past Hinze Dam near Nerang, parked the cars by the side of the road, and set off down a ferny bush track into the national park.

(photo: Tony Ryan)

The track crossed the creek half a dozen times.

We splashed through, bouncing over large rocks.

Technically it’s not that difficult provided you keep moving.

I stopped pedaling at one crossing and got wet feet.

After about twenty minutes the forest cleared.

We left the fire trail and followed a narrow single track through the grass into dense forest.

(photo: Tony Ryan)

The temperature dropped a few degrees as the greenery closed in.

We had to walk in one or two places.  We didn’t mind.  This was a beautiful spot and we weren’t in any hurry.

I chatted with Adam as I rode, telling him about how I got a stick through my front spokes a few weeks ago and had ended up doing a somersault through the air and landed on my back.

Thankfully I wasn’t hurt, but none of us wanted that to happen today, so we rode at a walking pace.

The track emerged at Waterfall Creek again – this time further up the valley.

It continued uphill.

At this point, if we continued upwards, we’d end up at Springbrook at the top of the mountain.  It would have been a tough walk, but impossible on bikes…

So instead, we looped back down the hill and through some open paddocks.

The major climb of the day started at Chesters Road.

I slowly fell behind Darb and Adam as we mashed the pedals up the hill, and thought about what I could do to upgrade my “engine” 🙂

I wasn’t sure what we’d find up the top of the hill, but that didn’t matter.  It was fun to simply explore new places.

(photo: Tony Ryan)

Eventually the track ran out.

We ditched the bikes and scrambled over dead-fall, trying to find a spot that offered a good view of the valley below us.

At one or two spots we caught glimpses of green farmland, and cliffs on the other side.

Unable to climb any further, we turned the bikes around and enjoyed a long slow coast back down the hill.

After one last short but sharp climb, we bounced down a rocky fire trail back to the cars.

Total distance: 20.72 km
Max elevation: 419 m
Min elevation: 54 m
Total climbing: 924 m
Total descent: -910 m
Average speed: 11.68 km/h
Total Time: 03:18:23
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This was a surprisingly short ride – only twenty kilometres, but it took us about three and a half hours because of some rough terrain and steep climbs.

During that time we climbed about 920 metres in elevation, and I burned about 1,500 kcal.

I’ll rate this one 8 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter.

Thanks Darb and Adam for another fun day of exploration.

(photo: Tony Ryan)

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