Debra, a stay-at-home mum of three, loves experiencing and sharing all that Brisbane has to offer; especially southside secrets.
Published January 7th 2013
From the bush to the rainforest
We decided a daytrip was in order. The weather was perfect, petrol prices were down (slightly), and it was Sunday. With the ute full of fuel and a picnic packed, we headed off; our destination - O'Reilly's Rainforest Retreat in Lamington National Park.
While most might take the bitumen road through Canungra, we chose to take the road less traveled - Duck Creek Road, a dirt track only accessible by four-wheel drive. Located approximately twenty kilometres south of Beaudesert, the road is sealed at first and passes through farm land, with the odd cow crossing the road and a camel or two. The road turns into a dirt track just before the gate
At the gate, there's a sign explaining the history of Duck Creek Road. The track, a project of the Beaudesert Chamber of Commerce, was constructed by public donation and commenced in April 1978. It was officially opened in 1988. Next to the sign, you'll find a donation box. All money donated is used to upgrade the road.
The road had been recently graded on our trip (much to my husband's disappointment), but there are trails here and there that leave the main road, head through the bush, and rejoin it further on. We left the road once for some four-wheeling fun and managed to find a few puddles. The condition of the track depends on the day. Friends of ours have done this trip when the road was really rutted. When it's too wet, the road is closed.
Once passed the gate, 'Roxy', our trusty ute, twisted and turned along the track through the eucalypt forest; the sound of cicadas as our soundtrack. Along the way there are lovely lookouts and pretty picnic spots, marked with signs such as Franklin Bros Lookout and Tompkins' Family Tree. Apparently, these prime positions were auctioned off to the highest bidders.
Keep your eyes open wide for wildlife. You might spot a kangaroo or koala. We were lucky enough to sight a Red-necked Wallaby. Continuing on, the eucalypt forest is replaced by rainforest; a dense canopy covering the track. The road winds its way up the mountain until you finally come to a T-intersection. You can turn left for Canungra or right to O'Reilly's, where you can enjoy a picnic, feed the native birds, and take a Tree Top Walk.
To get to Duck Creek Road from Brisbane, follow the Mount Lindesay Highway to Beaudesert. Then continue along Kerry Road until you reach the Duck Creek Road turn-off. It's a forty-five minute drive to Beaudesert and another forty-five minutes to an hour to reach O'Reilly's. Make sure to leave enough time to stop, unwind, and enjoy the views along the way.