FLANAGAN RESERVE, SOUTH EAST QUEENSLAND

FLANAGAN RESERVE

Another camping adventure awaited us with a new social camping group.  Bright and early we left North Brisbane thru Beaudesert and followed the Mount Lindsey Highway 33km to Rathdowney. We then drove through Rathdowney and just past the school we turned right into Boonah-Rathdowney Road. We followed the road for 7kms then turn left into Upper Logan Road and approximately 4 kms followed it to the end the intersection. We then turned right into our destination, Flanagan Reserve.



Flanagan Reserve is 12 hectares of bush camping located on the upper reaches of the Logan River. Set in the shadow of Mt Maroon just near the border between Queensland and New South Wales, Flanagan’s Reserve started life as a large well treed paddock of 28 acres surrounded by private pastoral properties, with an occasional resident caretaker in a caravan at weekends. It then cost $2 per night with no charge for dogs. It is about Five years since our last visit and we found quite a few changes. The old tin shed drop toilets have been superseded by a small amenities block, with two toilets, one shower for each set plus a handicapped toilet and shower. Hot showers are 2 minutes for 20 cents and cold free. The washing up area is under cover and surprise, surprise, a free washing machine. The building blends in beautifully with the surrounding bush and extensive landscaping has been started.

The Logan River runs down one side of the camping area so you can, as we didn’t, choose a spot overlooking the river. The river, which is fed by Barney Creek, starts in the hills not far away near Mount Barney, so it isn’t the wide flowing river. Fire places and tables with bench seats are strategically placed around the grounds.

Since it has been a very dry summer, there is a decided lack of grass in some sections. The spring fed Logan River is flowing, but with water being drawn for amenities there isn’t the luxury of watering the sites. Management is very environmentally friendly and aware in other areas as well. Ashes from the fireplaces are compressed to fill holes in the roads around the reserve and camping on the riverbanks is strictly discouraged.


That night we had a communal campfire and camp oven buffet night. Everyone brought their camp ovens or dish to share and try to impress the group old and new.
Everyone mixed it up so we didn’t  cook the same thing. Eg. roast lamb/beef, tapas, entree, desert etc etc…


The plan was to place your camp oven or dish in a communal area to select from like a buffet. Dinner was served about 7pm, We then enjoyed the food and relaxed relieving stories of the past days 4wding adventures .


Next morning near the river bank, we walked to a little grave that’s dated back to the early 1800’s when this whole area was a stopover for the drovers and cattle drives. In this instance, the young mother didn’t survive the birth of a baby and the baby died as well. It is a very peaceful place where they are buried. The gravesite has been restored and will be getting a plaque put there to tell the story.



A couple of other items to look out for are the old survey tree, which is believed dates back to the turn of last century, and the billy tree.  Visitors are invited to hang their old billies in one particular gum tree – it makes quite a talking point.


Fishing is mainly for bass and believe it or not, other than lures, local grasshoppers are excellent bait for bass. There are photos of catches in the office Other visitors include lots of birds including grey babblers, who were very busy gathering sticks for their nearby nest, apostle birds chortling away, yellow tail black cockatoos in the tall trees plus the usual assortment of lorikeets, kookaburras and magpies. Possum family members are very regular visitors every Wallabies are on the adjoining cattle properties and very rarely come into the reserve itself.


We found the campers here extremely friendly. Flanagan’s Reserve is ideal for motorhomes, caravans and campers who are fairly self sufficient and very reasonably priced. In fact it is the best value camp in the area and the only one with hot showers that takes doggies. Gerard and Juanita work in with other camping areas nearby and have regular meetings. There is no lack of communication between the various owners/managers which is a nice change – they are all working together to make their district the most presentable they can to attract campers. There is a nice little site with reviews on other nearby camping areas to visit whilst in the area as well as a brief piece about Flanagan’s

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THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

The Springs Camping and Adventure Park is situated just south of Warwick on the New England Highway in the Granite Belt region of South East Queensland.   The Granite Belt is a premium food and wine destination surrounded by stunning national parks and prehistoric granite formations.
The tracks wind over 700 acres of beautiful and varying terrain, ranging from Easy to the Extreme to cater for all vehicle types and class of driver.  There is also the Ironman Test Track for you to have some fun and test your skills!

Delivering a choice of campsites, the Main campsite is found some 1.4kms into the property and is accessible by 2WD’s and 4WD’s.
It is situated in a beautiful gulley with your own rock escarpment and creek. All sites are secluded and have shade. The main campsite has a purpose built modern shower and toilet block with hot showers.  They are just what you need after a long day in the Park. 

Drinking water is provided for all campers and wood for campfires is available.  All tracks are signposted, named and graded for difficulty and a detailed map of the Park will be provided on entry.
The road from the office to the camp ground is well maintained and easy with the exception of a hill climb just past the office which could prove to be a bit of a challenge in the wet or if you where towing a trailer like we were.

We were there for Doing it in the Dirt, in conjunction with a Social 4wd Group and The Springs 4×4 Park for the first ever #DrivingTheBluesIntoTheDirt in aid of raising funds for Beyond Blue. We had to arrive Saturday morning and eventually found the area the group were camping. After finding the only flat spot around, we were told that it was reserved for a parking spot. No one around, we decided to pack  the camp gear back in the trailer and started heading back home. Upon leaving we found a flat gully opposite a group on a buck’s weekend.

We unpacked and setup and we had plenty of room for our dog to run around. The night was spent with drinks with the boys on the bucks.



Overall would I recommend The Springs to campers? DEFINITELY NO.  Sixty Five Bucks for one night. Their dreaming if they think I’m heading back there again. The Springs is more for 4wder’s who are more than happy to smash up there 4wd’s and whine later how expensive it is to fix.


We attempted to head to one of the lookouts, and then halfway we turned back because of the state of the track and the little to no signage. We really enjoyed the camping and the only socializing was with Matt’s buck’s party. 


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MT MEE, QLD

MT MEE

A day trip in a serene natural setting is for you, D’Aguilar National Park is a truly stunning region just north of Brisbane, with beautiful subtropical rainforests, eucalypt woodlands, and scrubby gum forests. Lookouts dot the landscape, providing amazing views of Moreton Bay, the Glasshouse Mountains, and crystal clear rainforest pools.



Mt. Mee is so close to Brisbane that it is an easy 4wd day trip idea.  Mt Mee is part of the D’Aguilar National Park and only about 15 minutes from Dayboro.  D’Aguilar National Park is divided into two sections, north and south.  The majority of the northern part is 4wd access only. Mt. Mee is a beautiful mountain located in the northern section of the National Park and the northern section of D’Aguilar is often just called Mt. Mee



We Started our Day in Dayboro and entered the state forest at the very south end via Laceys Creek Rd.  We almost turned around before getting to the dirt roads as Laceys Creek Rd is signed as a no through road just before the gravel road starts.

Wasn’t too happy getting stuck a little at A Break, but reversed back and took a different line we cleared it okay. I knew from the two previous trips that there were some big holes at the start of the climb and also near the top.

A bit further on we had another hill with big holes and then a steep climb. The track fell away to the left so it was important to keep right while negotiating the hill. All fine and we made it to the top with no hassle.



We continued through the forest crossing little streams, up and down small hills and driving on loose surfaces. The tracks were dry with little mud. It looked like the rain didn’t make it up there. As we ascended higher up the mountain the view was amazing.

 



We then left the group and visited the Gantry day use area, where there are toilets and plenty of room to stretch your legs. The Piccabeen walk was a short 1km boardwalk circuit taking us through a grove of piccabeen palms.

The Gantry itself is a somewhat bizarre looking structure. A shed like building, it was used to house a massive crane used to hoist timber up from the forest floor. Apparently it operated until 1981 and the saw mill produced timber which was used in structures around Brisbane including Saint Stephens Cathedral in Brisbane CBD and bridge connecting Redcliffe to Brisbane. The sheer size and height of the structure makes it definitely photo worthy and something you definitely don’t see every day.



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LESLIE DAM, WARWICK

LAKE LESLIE TOURIST PARK, WARWICK

We left the bustle of the city behind as we set off on a three-day weekend at Leslie dam with a Social 4wd Group. We drove along the Border Range Loop. This scenic route took us from Brisbane to Ipswich and across the Great Dividing Range to Warwick before heading to 12 kilometers west to Lake Leslie Tourist Park. The drive encompasses the state’s oldest provincial city, one of its most picturesque areas and a World Heritage-listed rainforest reserve. Mountainous views, ancient trees, wildlife, waterfalls and fresh creeks. Sightseeing and a spot of fishing are the order of these three days. Be sure to bring a camera and a spare memory stick to capture the countless points of interest and intrigue along the way.



We unpacked our gear and started exploring the Dam. Leslie Dam was built across the Condamine River to supplement the groundwater supply for irrigating farms along the North Branch of the Condamine River. The dam was named after a pioneer of this area. Patrick Leslie settled here and established a very sizeable station. The sculptures near the Dam Lookout are in memory of Patrick and his wife Kate. The lookout gives way to great views over the lake. All the natural boulders in this area are also interesting. We spent a bit of time letting our puppy (Shari) run loose. We headed back and caught up with everyone at the campfire. Late afternoon was a spectacular sunset.

The next morning we headed in to Warwick CBD, while the others went the tourist train to Clifton for the day. Nestled on the banks of the Condamine River lies the “Rose and Rodeo Capital’ of Warwick, and host to the annual October hoedown of Australia’s elite bull riders. We took a walk in the main street and ended at the markets in the park. Just before lunch we headed back to the dam for lunch and a spot of fishing. With the dam at 12% you would think the chances of catching some fish would be high.


No luck and no fish, we headed back and joined everyone at the fire for a yarns and drinks.

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