The one thing I like about riding a bike is that you become one with the elements. If it’s hot, you sweat, if it’s cold, you shiver and if it rains, you get wet. All of this is fine and dandy, but sometimes it pays to stop along the way and take in what you would normally miss.
Last weekend was a bit like that.
We took a ride up to Gympie; pronounced Gim as in Gimble and Pee as in… err… Anyway, we went for a ride up to Gympie and decided to make a day of it and come back via Imbil, Kenilworth, Obi Obi and the Kondalilla Falls National Park.
About 360km (220mi) round trip, give or take a bit.
Gympie is about 160km (100 mi) north of Brisbane and is and easy 2 hour (boring) ride on the Bruce Highway. Originally settled by European graziers, it became one of Australia’s most productive goldfields in 1867 and remained so, right up until 2008. Last Sunday though it would serve as a start point for our trip back to the northern suburbs of Brisbane.
From Gympie we took the Mary Valley Road to Imbil and then on to Lake Borumba Via Yabba Creek Road.
Imbil is a blink and you’ll miss it kinda town with a population of 942 (2011 census) . It was established in 1868 at the start of the gold rush. Today it’s the home of the the Mary Valley Art Festival and the International Rally of Queensland which is organised by the Brisbane Sporting Car Club.
From Imbil its a short 20km (12mi) ride out to Lake Borumba, which is actually a rock filled, un-gated spillway dam across Yabba Creek. Built in 1964, it’s used for irrigation, town water supply and recreation. There’s a camping area at the end of Yabba Creek Road and it’s somewhere I might look into in the future for a weekend getaway.
The last stop on our trip was Kondalilla Falls. Kondalilla is an aboriginal term meaning “Place of Rushing Waters”
The main falls, Kondalilla, weren’t rushing too much when we arrived, probably because of the lack of rain during October. We decided to do the 4.6km bush walk anyway and weren’t disappointed. The walk takes in the main falls and the smaller rock pool at the half way point, which is popular with the locals as a place to come and cool off.
About halfway along the bush-walk is a spur which leads you to a trail called the Great Walk. It’s about 58km (36mi) long and offers gorges, waterfalls, rock pools, scenic views, warm subtropical rain-forest and tall open eucalypt-forests, camping areas are also provided.
Try as I might, The Pillion wasn’t interested in taking that detour, something about me being crazy and needing a dirt bike.
I’ll leave you with some happy snaps from Kondalilla.