Posted by Greg on Tue 12-Oct-2010
On a wet Saturday morning in October, 14 club members in 7 vehicles assembled at the BP Service Centre near Beenleigh for a trip to the Border Ranges surrounding Mt. Warning. The plan was to explore the volcanic caldera formed when the Wollumbin volcano erupted some 23 million years ago. The erosion caldera is easily visible around the area and forms the rim of the Tweed Valley. Mt. Warning was formed from the volcanic plug remnant at the centre of the ancient volcano. The crater itself is the biggest in the southern hemisphere.
We proceeded in formation down the Gold Coast Highway to Nerang, then travelled along the Numinbah Valley Road past the Hinze Dam to Natural Bridge where we stopped for a break. Most opted to take the 200m walk down to the rock bridge, where a flood of water was pouring over the rocks as a result of the recent rains. Crossing the border into NSW we proceeded to Chillingham then headed west to Tyalgum in the heart of the Caldera. A great lunch awaited us there at Flutterbies Cottage Cafe, with the volcanic rim looming all around the town.
After a relaxed lunch we headed east again, with Mt. Warning ahead. We passed north of the mountain, turned south and exited the main road into the Mt. Warning national park. Travelling through rain forest filled with gigantic ferns for about 7km, we noted numerous precariously-balanced rock towers in the creek running through the park, apparently something of a local tradition. It was cold and rainy when we reached the parking area with the mountain peak looming overhead. We met some brave souls who had just returned from the 8km trek to the summit, but our group limited themselves to the short 150m walk up to the Lyre Bird Lookout.
We then headed for Kyogle to freshen up at the modern Country Inn before dinner at the Commercial Hotel. A trivia quiz followed dinner, and we discovered that Rob and Lindy knew far more useless facts than the rest of us.
After an enjoyable hot breakfast on Sunday morning we departed Kyogle to the north-west in misty light rain and travelled up the Lions Road, a privately financed road that was built by Lions Clubs in the area to provide a shortcut to Beaudesert. The road is fully sealed but is quite narrow in places and features a number of single-lane wooden bridges which required cautious driving. The road winds through farmland and rainforest towards a gap in the range marking the Queensland border. Before crossing back into Qld, we stopped at a lookout to view the amazing spiral loop in the Brisbane-Sydney railway line. Regrettably it was quite windy with heavy rain so our appreciation of this engineering feat and the surrounding scenery was quite brief.
We then proceeded down the range and passed through Rathdowney on the way to Beaudesert, where we stocked up on local fruits and vegetables and stopped for a coffee break. We then went our separate ways back home to Brisbane.
Despite the weather, there were good spirits throughout the trip. We saw some spectacular scenery en route, albeit sometimes seen through a misty veil of rain and cloud.
Try our fun jigsaw based on scenery from this trip.