Words and pictures interfered with by a "real" job
Published October 9th 2017
Discover a little known pocket of Queensland's history
View from the Governor's Chair Lookout at Spicer's Gap
In 1847 stockman Henry Alphin Discovered a route through the Great Dividing Range seven kilometres south of Cunningham's Gap (although it seems that the pass was used by Aboriginal people before this).
During the 1850's and 60's the pass was developed with the help of convict labour into a road which can still be seen today providing an interesting and surprisingly well preserved example of 19th century engineering.
The old Spicer's Gap pioneer road
Pioneers used the road to transport goods between the Darling Downs and the Moreton Bay settlement until the railway was built to service the Darling Downs via Toowoomba. For many years the area was a timber reserve until preservation as part of the Main Range National Park.
Today the area provides a pleasant picnic area with several walking tracks of various levels of challenge and historic interest, along with views from the Governor's Chair lookout and the high ridge along the 8.5km Mount Mathieson walking track.
Views along the Mt Mathieson Track
Other walks include the Pioneer Graves track (250 metres), the Moss' Well Track (120m), Governor's Chair Lookout (300m) and the Heritage Trail (3.2km) which follows the old pioneer road.
A toilet and some BBQ facilities are provided in the Spicer's Gap picnic area.
After the drive out from Brisbane along the Cunningham Highway and the narrower Lake Moogerah and Spicer's Gap road the Spicer's Gap Picnic area with its tranquil bush setting and flitting Bellbird colonies provides a welcome contrast to the bustle and noise of city life.
Timber Jinker on the Mt Mathieson Track
An early breakfast at one of the cafes like Oliver's Real Food cafe on the main street of Aratula on the way helps set the body up for a day of exploring the attractions.
To round out the day a return drive through Mount Alford, Boonah and Beaudesert takes in some nice country and a chance for a cool beverage at one of the country pubs or cafés along the way.
To get to Spicer's gap head out to Aratula on the Cunningham Highway, then South-West on National Highway 15 (Cunningham Highway) for 5.3 km. Take the left at Lake Moogerah Rd for 5.8 km then turn right into Spicers Gap Rd and follow it for 6.6km.
Spicer's Gap Road is gravel and steep in places and has a few rough sections but is OK for normal cars in dry weather with careful and prudent driving.
Interpretive signs help reveal the history
The walks are best enjoyed on cooler days as there are a few strenuous sections on the longer tracks that would not be pleasant on a very hot day. Plenty of water is a big help.