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The Herberton-Petford Road

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by Lisa Morgan (subscribe) life as it is meant to be experienced - outside the rat race, barefooted and content in one's own skin.
Published March 19th 2013
An idyllic Sunday drive
Herberton-Petford Road
The rustic Herberton-Petford Road
A less travelled road is the Herberton – Petford Road. We accessed this road from Petford (careful, don't sneeze or you'll miss the barely noticeable turn-off).

Technically, from Petford to Irvinebank it is an ungraded dirt track with numerous creek crossings. Two crossings in particular were fairly wide and deep. There were some wide and steep cracks in the road, which were not always avoidable. To be on the safe side, only 4WDs should be journeying this road. With that said, we did drive the road with a 4WD vehicle and a low undercarriage car. The car made it.

We didn't set out to explore this road. We were on the Bourke Development Road, after a swim in Emu Creek at the McGrath Bridge. It was on a whim that we decided to take the circuitous route back through Herberton.

The journey, while lengthy, was heaps of fun. Emu Creek ran parallel with the Herberton - Petford Road for some distance, with plenty of spots for free bush camping and swimming.

Guinea Fowl Family
Guinea fowl complete with chicks
We also spotted many animals on this route. There were cows, wild horses, and the odd family of guinea fowl with chicks. We also found a guinea fowl nest crammed full of tiny eggs when we stopped to stretch our legs. An interesting feature of this area is the ease at where blue meanies can be found, growing in cow dung littered along the road.
Shrooms in Cow Dung
The ideal growing medium?
Montalbion Ghost Town Dam
Remnants of a ghost town - Montalbion
About 6km before reaching Irvinebank, we passed the ghost town of Montalbion. It used to be a busy mining town before it was abandoned in 1906. The Montalbion Town Dam still remains with its original rustic wooden sign and is a great spot to stop for a picnic.

We stopped in Irvinebank at the Tavern for a beer and hot chips, but alas, forgot to take photos of this picturesque babbling-brook-style village.

Between Irvinebank and Herberton, the road became wider and is considered safe for caravans and regular vehicles while retaining its backwater charm. Look out for interesting highlights such as the land owner with a microwave moonlighting as a letterbox.

The road ends in Herberton after passing through Watsonville and its featured windmill right in the middle of the road (I kid you not). Herberton itself is worth a day to explore as it is a town out of time, with many historical buildings still in use.
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Why? The perfect road for a Sunday drive
When: Anytime
Where: Between Herberton & Petford
Cost: Free
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