Monday, October 25, 2021

Border Patrol

This is from a post I made a few weeks back in the local motorcycle forum, Netrider . Please forgive the cut'n'paste format.


It has been a looong week and I need a break. So, before they finally plunge us into lockdown like all the cool states I thought I had better load up and get out of dodge for a few days. With pretty much zip planning or research conducted I clicked at Ride With GPS for a half hour to come up with the Border patrol route.
I may do all of it. Or, maybe some of it.....or maybe bugger all of it. I will take it as it comes and see what pans out along the way.
Goodbye to this.....


And hello to this......

All loaded up and ready to go. A late start but better late than never.

i-jn9mq3n-L.jpg ;)

It was bloody hot on the plains leaving Brisvegas. I saw a top of 36C and it seemed to be averaging 34C but climbing Cunningham's Gap saw the temperature drop by 6 degrees. Much better! And it continued all the way down to 24° by Applethorpe. I had taken the back road from Warwick to Dalveen which included some nice dirt and the odd railway bridge and church.

 I stopped at Cottonvale, where the border comes right by the road and stopped on the aptly named Border Rd. Putting the front wheel in NSW and the back in QLD for shits and giggles and nary a boy in blue in sight. (Photo to come)

As it has been a late start I didn't hang around in Stanthorpe, just a splash of fuel then on toward Texas.


I got a few interesting photos along here but they are all on the camera which is refusing to talk to my phone, so they will have to wait until I get home to sort it. (now sorted)

The road from Stanthorpe to Texas is very underrated with vistas unfolding when you last expect them and some really nice twisties on the Texas end. Looking south to NSW from the Stanthorpe - Texas road.

I went out to the border crossing south of Texas to check how well guarded it was. No sneaking across to the unclean state here!


The camp ground to the left of the bridge was chocka block full of caravans. I got a picture with the bike by the river (and no caravans) with NSW in the background before heading back into town for beers and dinner. Thats Texas back there.....


The Southern Border Accomodation Park (caravan park to normal people) proved to be a winner with a nice grassy spot to put the tent and newly renovated toilet blocks. It was only a short-ish stumble to the pub too.


Texas is a great little out-of-the-way town. A real hidden gem.


Day 2

Up at the crack of noon today 🙄 and packed up as quickly as I could to head for Yelarbon. I'm finding it really refreshing to be riding for the sake of riding, rather than to get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, which had been the case for pretty much the last 30 years. I was really savouring the back road to Yelarbon with its lush green grass along the verge and almost zero traffic.

 I made great time 😉 and was at Yelarbon before I knowed it!

They have some sweet silo art there and I managed to get a few shots in the clear before a road train pulled up in front to fill up with wheat.

Turning left at the end of the main street instead of the usual right for Goondiwindi, I took "the river loop", another quiet but well sealed back road. I saw a couple of turns to the south that were signposted Yetman. Now Yetman is in the Covid state (NSW) so I took the second turn to take a look.

The low level bridge wasn't manned but it was blockaded. Some enterprising banana bender had left their car on the bridge and hoofed it home.



(Lots of farmers have land on both sides of the river/border which must be frustrating as hell)
A late breakfast in Goondi at the bakery filled a hole nicely and I picked up a few odds and ends at the Foodworks, checked out the old highway bridge in town that leads south, then out the road to Talwood.



I whipped the ponies hard, safe in the knowledge that most of the boys in blue are tied up on border watch. And why not? The roads are wide, well made and very empty.
A quick look around Talwood then off down the Mungindi Rd.


More pony whipping ensued and I was at Mungindi in no time. Unfortunately the pub was across the river and upon asking the cop at the control point for directions he indicated it might be a bad idea to cross for "lunch" (beer).


Bugger. So I fuelled up and headed north. Fcuk me, it's cheaper than Brisbane, at $1.60 a litre, waaaay out here!!



Another quick blat up to Thalon to take in their silo art.


And their cenotaph.


Walking into the pub for lunch I was greeted with a "g'day Dave!" Bugger me, it was a mutual mate of @Chiller and I who has been doing laps of QLD while he waits for the Sydney madness to abate so he can go home. He was tempted to take my bike for a spin as his 5 bikes haven't been ridden since he came north in May and he is suffering withdrawals!


Then, another blast through Dirranbandi to Hebel where I was greeted by the bar maid, who was out the front rolling her own, before I had even got off the bike with a "do you want a beer?"😁
Does the Pope wear a funny hat?


While I enjoyed a few light beers and a chat with said barmaid one of the police from the road block wandered over for a chat and to check out the AT. He seemed a decent bloke and keen rider too. He's keen for an ADV bike and is weighing his options. That's him walking back to work. (Oh, and that is pretty much all of Hebel!)


The bar maid had nearly talked me into staying the night 😆(camped out the back of course- damnit) but I felt I needed to get back a bit further north so I thanked her for the beer and chat, waved to the police at the check point (it's at the cross road in Hebel, 5km from the border) then caned the horses again. Funnily enough, big distances can be dispatched in short lengths of time if one unleashes the ponies. Who knew. And no kittens died. 🤫

Dirran was to be the camp tonight. To be exact, the Dirran Hotel. Clean rooms, cold beer and great tukka. 🤗 Oh, and last beer for a hunge klicks.




Who doesn't need a shower beer holder...?!


Tonight, I'm the Dandy, the Dandy from Dirranbandi....
(Goodonya Slim 🙃


Ok, Ok, I'll be on the next train out of town.....

Might be a while.....


Reckon I'll sleep well tonight. 😑

Day 3

Soooo, where was I? Ah, yes, sleeping soundly. Until I wasn't. The sun was streaming through the bathroom window which woke me up before my alarm. I used my tired old eyes to check the time (instead of the smart, glasses clad eyes to check the time). 2 minutes until the alarm goes off! Awesome! So I jumped up, had a shower, ate the continental breakfast that I had obtained for myself and loaded the bike up. I was rolling 30 minutes after I beat the alarm to the punch - but why did the bike clock say 0600? It should say 0700...... bloody.....what I thought was 0628 was in fact 0528. Oh, well so I get an early start today.... :p

And how awesome was it to fcuk up the start time? I would have missed this....


And this massive paddock of Wheat Bix in it's natural state!.....



Yep, the low sun and dark clouds chasing me from the west certainly made for some dramatic pics this morning. Sooo glad I was up early.

I had decided to take "Plan A" and smack it around into "Plan B". I didn't have the time to do the Cunnamulla/Charleville/Augathella leg of "Plan A" and with rain likely chasing me I decided to hightail it straight to the Bunya Mountains. This involved a lot of pinning it across some very flat and sometimes boring bits of QLD. The bit from Dirranbandi to St George was actually quite pretty as it was very green along the road.


I was in St George nice and early. A quick check on the Balonne River, topped up with some fuel and I was gone again.


Yep, that sign is correct. 302km to Dalby and there is pretty much nothing in between apart from the Moonie crossroads.


Much pinning ensued and the big twin roared for this bit. Well, until I got to the Moonie Crossroads roadhouse and took a 30 minute break to hoover some food and probably the worst coffee I have had in quite while - I was soo glad I ordered a small bucket of it too....:facepalm:


Moonie is in the Surat basin and there has been a shiteload of oil and gas extraction done here over the last 20-25 years. There is evidence of it everywhere.




I'm not sure how the "Big Yabbie" fits in, but there it was....


This road is veerry straight (check it on a map -St George to Dalby) with just a few bends on the Dalby end. Once into Dalby I grabbed some fuel, checked out Dalby Moto as I have been on their mailing list for about 15 years but never actually checked the store, then headed out the road to Kaimkillenbun. I went this way because everyone has to go through a town called Kaimkillenbun! I stopped just out of town to look at the Bunya Mountains that had appeared on the horizon. I'm gunna go there..... to the lookout near the TV towers.


After a super kwik tour of Kaimkillenbun where I took a photo of their cenotaph only, I was out the road to Bell.


Bell was another tiny whistlestop town but the countryside was getting interesting now. It was hilly, green and lush looking. I checked out the church near the park (pit stop time courtesy of that bucket of coffee)


And the RSL! It was only a small hall but the mural on the side was awesome!


Then to the top of the hill in town to see how much closer the Bunyas had moved. I could see the TV towers now!


The road toward Kingaroy was a pleasant one with a bit of traffic, then I turned right into the Bunya Mtns rd.


This was more like it! The temperature dropped about 6 degrees as I climbed into the cool rainforest like tree cover. A mate had told me that the walking track at Burton's Well campground had a huge Bunya tree "just 100m down the trail". Now, as we had camped here back in August and just got philosophised around the fire that night, I decided I had better go check out this big Bunya.


The entrance has this cool boot washing station. First you scrape, then you spray.


Cool! So, 'ol shinyboots here proceeded to walk up the trail in full moto kit. I got a few hundred metres in before I decided that Dan was a fcukin' liar and turned around in disgust! :p
I stopped in at the very aptly named "Paradise" where all the rental villas and coffee shops are. I will be back to stay here with the missus. It is amazing! (she doesn't do camping) 
The Bunya Pines in the background look prehistoric and are HUGE (as Daryl Eastlake , rest his soul, would have said)!


Up to the lookout for out.


I was waaaay out there this morning..... and you can see the clouds that were chasing me all morning.


I was planning on staying at the Maidenwell pub overnight but the prospect of packing up a wet tent and splashing home wasn't an enticing one. It was still quite early in the day so I decided to push for home to surprise the wife (and maybe her boyfriend!! :p :eek: )
The ride off the Bunyas down to Maidenwell is a cracker with a few bits of dirt road thrown in.
I buzzed past McCoy's Cafe' without stopping, then into Crows Nest and out Perserverance Dam road. This was new to me road and I will definitley be back! QLD has some hidden gems tucked into the folds of the Great Dividing Range that just never get any exposure, unlike the Range in the southern states.

I arrived home at 4pm. Dirranbandi to Brisbane, via the Bunya Mountains in cracking time! It was only 1600km all up, not the 2500 odd kilometres I was planning but I had fun and was satisfied.


This is what the route ended up looking like.


I hope you found it interesting. We sure are lucky to be able to roam free here in QLD (for now...).