An easy walk down an old forest trail to bit of history
The Winder Track at Goomburra is an easy 12 km return walk along a wide old logging trail with views down the range for part of the walk. The name comes from the fact that the walk ends at The Winder, an old bit of logging equipment used to lower logs down the mountain. Now it sits rusting at the end of this walk.
The Winder from Goomburra's logging days sits at the end of the Winder Track
The Goomburra Section of the Main Range National Park is less often visited than other areas as it lies over the range. Getting there from Brisbane involves driving over the range via Cunninghams Gap, going further, and then turning around and driving back to the range. When getting there, make sure you put Kurrajong Picnic Area or Manna Gum Camping Area into your GPS. If you put in Goomburra it takes you to the township of the same name. If you put The Winder in, it gives you directions to the end of the walk, rather than the beginning. But you will get there anyway.
The Winder Track starts at the end of Lookout Road in the Goomburra Section of the Main Range National Park
The Goomburra section has several hiking locations, with a number along the Lookout Road. This is described as a 2 wheel drive accessible road. It is not recommended though that you drive a 2 wheel drive on the road when it is raining. Plus, when we went there, there were plenty of large potholes in the road, and the creek crossing at the start of the road could be a challenge for a 2 wheel drive car. Luckily we had 4 wheel drives. You might be okay with a higher clearance SUV or All Wheel Drive car, but it is better if you have a 4 wheel drive.
The Winder Track starts at the very end of the Lookout Road. There is a reasonable amount of parking there, with most visitors heading to the Mount Castle Lookout Track, which starts at the same point.
Views of Mt Castle can be glimpsed between the trees along the early part of the Winder Track
The walk is along a wide forest trail. On the early part of the walk, you will glimpse the view down the range to Mount Castle. It is not far into the walk that you come across the Castle View Scenic Rim Walkers Camp with a toilet overlooking the trail. You will notice how small the camp is because this Great Walk was built by Spicer's Retreat, and they would rather have paying customers than people hiking independently.
The tiny Castle View Scenic Rim Trail Walkers Camp lies along the Winder Track
As you progress down the track, it transitions into the rainforest on both sides. The track rises and falls, though not steeply. But it is a bit of effort walking your way up those long gentle rises, but nothing anyone with even basic fitness couldn't do.
The official end of the track is The Winder. This old bit of logging equipment sits in the middle of the track slowly rusting while the grass grows around it. There is a sign with some information about it. Because The Winder's job was to lower logs down the mountain, so this part of the trail is near the edge of the range. However, the area is fairly overgrown, so you don't get much of a view, just glimpses through the trees and over the undergrowth.
The track continues past the Winder, but the official walk ends here
Beyond the winder, the track continues. There are a few off-trail options but most people just stop at the winder.
Goomburra is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The closest place is the Maryvale Hotel at Maryvale near where the road from Goomburra meets the Cunningham Highway. The alternatives are Warwick to the west or Aratula to the east.
It is probably better to bring some food and have a picnic or barbecue at the Kurrajong Picnic Area before driving home. Unless, of course, you choose to stay and camp as many people do.