Enjoying South East Queensland through a camera lens!
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Published November 22nd 2016
Do you own an SUV and enjoy family day trips? Wanting something a little different on a road less travelled? Get the kids out of the house, away from their phones and show them the beauty of our wonderful scenic rim region.
This day trip travels through some amazingly beautiful country only a couple of hours South-West of Brisbane. Just head to Boonah which is a mere hour West of Brisbane and top up your caffeine levels, before heading South on the Boonah-Rathdowney Road for 14Kms, until you see the sign directing you to Queen Mary Falls on Carney's Creek Road. Travel another 14Kms whilst taking in the beautiful scenery then turn right into Head Road, which after 6Kms becomes Spring Creek Road. A little way along this road you will begin the climb into the mountains, with glorious vistas opening up at almost every turn whilst skirting the NSW border.
At approximately 12Kms along Spring Creek Road, the Condamine River Road begins. This corner can be easily missed (especially if you are more focused on the scenery than the road!) as it goes straight ahead onto gravel where Spring Creek Road turns hard left and up the hill. Now the real fun starts. (Of course it is possible, and faster to take the bitumen road all the way to the falls, but where is the adventure in that?)
Take it easy on the gravel unless you have previous experience, or like me are a country boy who learnt to drive on dirt and gravel roads… Believe me, you will not want to rush as the scenery here just begs to be taken in and is a feast for sore city eyes. A few kilometres in and you will come to the first river crossing. The deepest of these crossings the weekend just past (the 20th November) was a mere 300mm, which not a few RAV4s, Klugers and Mitsubishi Outlanders were taking on without any trouble. In our group there were a few Mercedes out having a go!
After that it is crossing followed by crossing, with plenty of lush green forest to either side in between. You will find other happy day-trippers enjoying the waterholes, so give them a wave if you are going past, or stop for a chat.
Cooling off beside the track
I recommend getting together with a couple of friends and their families and making a convoy – that way you are not on your own. Don't worry about being on this road all by your lonesome however, as there were plenty of like-minded folk at most of the shady waterholes enjoying a swim with the kids when we drove through.
Our day trip with some friends and family in SUVs with drivers ranging from the truly expert through to novice first-timers – and every single one fo them want to go again! If of course you can drag yourselves away from the cool, shady waterholes and picnic spots and make it to Queen Mary Falls, you are in for a treat. The waterfalls themselves are spectacular at this time of year (rainfall dependent of course) and the picnic area at the top has plenty of electric BBQs for that lunchtime cook up, or the general store has a good variety of food & munchies on offer for those who would rather let someone else do the cooking!
So get out on a sunny Spring day over the weekend or school holidays, and see some of the most picturesque areas in South East Queensland – all a couple of leisurely hours from the big smoke of Brisbane.
If you have had lunch at Queen Mary Falls, and have had your fill of bushwalking (or the kids have) then drive back to Brisbane by re-tracing your path - the views are all different when coming from the opposite direction. If however you want a faster return to the city, although I would have loved to spend more time in this amazingly scenic location, you can of course follow the blacktop back to Boonah and then Brisbane.