And once again I must thank Brad McCarthy, the author of this amazingly detailed book that will take you through 8 beach trips and 13 amazing 4 x 4 bush trips in southeast Queensland. Unfortunately, the 6th edition is sold out but keep checking the website for information on how you can obtain a copy.
Trip #20 is the Border Ranges and will take you all day. Be prepared, go early and you will thoroughly enjoy the day. You may even decide to camp along the way, make it a long weekend or just camp overnight and carry on. Either way, this drive does not disappoint.
We started in Brisbane and drove to Beaudesert where your trip will begin at the Mt. Lindsay Highway. Make sure you have some snacks, a picnic lunch, lots of water, and of course, your camera.
The scenery is spectacular as you drive through farm lands with those lovely rolling hills, trees on the mountainsides and scattered cows here and there.
About 48 kilometres into the drive you will come to Lions Road, where there is a box to make a donation to use the next 7.7 kilometres of road. It took a painstaking 2 years of traversing the area on foot by members of the Lions Club of Kyogle to find the most feasible way across. Enjoy this portion of the drive as the reward is breathtaking.
The Lions Border Loop Lookout affords views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, as well as a piece of the area's history. From the lookout you can see the train tracks that loop around and go through the hillside, not once but twice, which allowed the folks in 1925 to gain elevation of 20 metres, shortening up the tunnel they were constructing.
There is also a short hike through the forest where you are treated to the song of the Bellbirds, as well as the largest Strangler Fig I have ever seen.
From here you continue on, driving through forests, over causeways, under a train trestle and around blind corners, making your way to Border Ranges National Park. This is the home of Mt. Warning, in NSW and a good portion of the trip is spent circling it, in all its splendour.
Your first glimpse of it comes when you hike the short 200m distance to Pinnacle Lookout. Stay here for a while if you can and take in the Tweed Valley. The splendour of the caldera opens to you. It is one of the largest in the southern hemisphere.
Your next amazing view come from the Blackbutts Lookout. You can see the Sisters that accompany Mt. Warning from this vantage point and another opportunity for photos.
You will continue on making your way around the valley and Mt. Warning, eventually ending up at the Natural Bridge, back in Queensland in Springbrook National Park. Having already been here we didn't stop, but you could spend lots of time here at this beautiful sight.
We took about 5 hours just to do the drive around, which did not include getting to Beaudesert or driving back to Brisbane at the end of the day, so it was long, but probably one of the most scenic we have done to date. I would recommend camping and taking your time, as is suggested in the book.