Category: Trips

Border Ranges Trip

Posted by Greg on Tue 12-Oct-2010

Flutterbies Cottage Cafe, TyalgumOn 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.

Mt Warning (Wollumbin)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.

Country Inn, KyogleAfter 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.

Mt Warning National ParkWe 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.

Seafood Lunch

Posted by John on Tue 2-Sep-2008

On Sunday 17th August, 14 happy Members met to travel to George’s Seafood Restaurant on the Gold Coast for a seafood lunch feast. The traffic was moderate, but moving well on the M1, and we had a good drive down. On arrival, we were seated in a sunny spot out of the wind, and perused the extensive menu. Orders were taken, and some friendly chat whiled away the time until entrees appeared. Everyone seemed most interested in what the person next or across the table to them had ordered, but certainly did not neglect what was put in front of them.

Entrees dispatched, we waited (not long though, the service was very good) for the main courses to arrive. On seeing John’s dish of Barbequed Bugs, Ian commented “I wonder if there are any Bugs left in the sea after that plateful!”. It was certainly a good sized meal, and went down well. A couple of hardy souls had room for dessert afterwards (must be candidates for lap-band surgery after that meal) and tea/coffee finished off a very pleasant social lunch.

Fortunately, a shopping excursion through the adjoining centre didn’t bash the plastic too much and we all headed up the highway for home without incident.

Christmas in July

Posted by John on Tue 2-Sep-2008

7 cars made the trip to Toowoomba on Saturday 19th July for a “Christmas in July” feast at Weis’ Restaurant. We left Brisbane’s outskirts at 10am in glorious winter sunshine, en route to our first stop at Spring Bluff railway station on the Murphy’s Creek road up the range to see what was normally a gardener’s delight. However, it was the wrong season and the place was deserted. After a short stop, we continued on up the range and in to Toowoomba for lunch. Weis’ was very cosy inside, keeping Toowoomba’s chilly breezes out and delicious cooking smells wafting about promising great food. We were not disappointed! Most of the group chose to graze from the never-ending smorgasbord of fresh seafood, soups, breads, salads and hot dishes. When appetites had been sated on that lot, you had to find room for a selection of scrumptious desserts! At least some tea or coffee helped wash it down.

When everyone had had their fill, we moved outside where some had to go home and the rest of our group decided to check out the great views from Picnic Point and it was such a fine, clear day you could almost see the Glasshouse Mountains. With everyone happy, we all (with the exception of Jenny, who was staying overnight) headed home after another great day.

Boreen Point trip, 22nd June 2008

Posted by Greg on Sun 6-Jul-2008

Apollonian Hotel, Boreen PointOn a typically glorious Queensland winter’s day, five club members and their families met at the BP Roadhouse at Burpengary for the trip to Boreen Point on Lake Cootharaba. There had been a couple of late cancellations due to unforeseen circumstances, but those who attended were looking forward to the day’s activities. We were pleased to welcome new members Keith and Sandra in their brand-new Prius. We headed north in convoy about 10.30am via the Sunshine Motorway. We diverted at Coolum so that we could enjoy the ocean views along the coastal route from Coolum to Noosa, then tracked inland along the shores of the Noosa River to Tewantin. Unfortunately the markets at the Tewantin Marina were quite crowded, so we parked near the town square where we met up with Rory, another club member who is lucky enough to live in the area. It was getting close to lunchtime, and even though Ian was in need of a caffeine hit we proceeded about another 20 minutes north to the Apollonian Hotel at Boreen Point.


Stanthorpe Trip 2008

Posted by John on Mon 25-Feb-2008

The weather leading up to the weekend of 16/17 th February was anything but promising for our trip to the Stanthorpe area, but cleared up just in time for a great weekend.

7 cars met to leave from Brisbane, and we linked up with Darren and Elle at Aratula to make up our group of 8 Prii. First stop was Warwick for a quick coffee and make plans for a lunch stop before it was on to our first port of call at a winery. When we drove into the carpark, there was a tour bus there. Bugger! That meant a heap of people. On entering though, the bus mob were grazing on lunch, so we had the tasting area to ourselves. Justin and Micheala were introduced to the joys of wine while the rest of us enjoyed tasting (and buying a few bottles). Suitably satisfied, we had a quick nibble on some cheese to cleanse the palates, and it was on to lunch.

Castle Glen WineryLunch at the Big Apple was Italian-influenced, although their (large) home-made pies were excellent too, and everyone left happy. Castle Glen Winery was next on the road, where they have an amazing selection of liqueurs on offer, followed by a cheese factory just up the road. Everyone was stocking up with their preferred selections at each stop, and we moved on to another winery. Last stop of the day was to be a lavender farm, but a GPS aberration took us a very long way round via a creek crossing and some cattle-dodging. Sorry, folks! We eventually found the destination just as a shower and chilly breezes arrived. After everyone had bought their future presents etc, the rain had passed and we headed for our motel in Town, and a welcome cuppa before dinner.


Sunshine Coast trip, 2nd December 2007

Posted by John on Sun 9-Dec-2007

It is no doubt just coincidence, but both times we have planned an event to the Sunshine Coast, it rains!! Regardless, 4 cars and their owners met at the Ettamogah Pub on Sunday 2nd December for a trip north. Due to Sue’s ‘flu bug, and the decreased numbers, we decided to change the plan for lunch from Boreen Point to a closer destination…the Ginger Factory at Yandina.


Ballina weekend trip, 15/16 September 2007

Posted by John on Tue 18-Sep-2007

Our weekend trip to the Northern Rivers area on 15/16th September greeted us with beautiful, fine weather, and 7 cars with their occupants took advantage of it. 6 cars met at Coomera, meeting up with our other couple at Tweed Heads en route to our first stop….a winery at Carool in the hinterland. A very scenic, winding road led us to the winery and we settled down to coffee and morning tea for starters. Good conversation about the beautiful countryside, the upcoming weekend etc ensued as we waited for our refreshments….Ian, in particular, salivating over his choice of sticky date pudding – at 10.30am! Suitably refuelled, we attacked the tasting room and bought some tasty drops, while the owner gave us directions for an alternate scenic route to our next scheduled stop. He was right, it was very scenic, and we arrived at Tropical Fruit World with the intention of sampling (and buying) some exotic fruits and having lunch there.That plan soon changed when we saw the tourist-orientated prices for their offerings. Plan B swung into action, and we left via Murwillumbah for points south and a less-expensive meal.


Montville Day Trip, 22 July 2007

Posted by John on Wed 25-Jul-2007

Lake Baroon near Montville In spite of the weather deciding to revert to cold and wet after some beautiful fine winter days, 4 cars and 10 people met at the BP Burpengary for Greg and Des’ mystery tour up to the Maleny area. We were given a series of questions and photos which had to be answered and recognized along the road at various points as we drove. Everyone had to reset their tripmeters and fuel computers as well, so that fuel consumption comparisons could be done at the end.

It was a fun trip along first the highway, then Steve Irwin Way to Landsborough and up the hill to the first stop at a winery….all the time looking, looking, looking for various devious questions and photographs (which were in random order). It was probably helpful to have extra observers in the back seat, but fun nevertheless.


Mt. Tamborine Day Trip, 20 May 2007

Posted by John on Wed 23-May-2007

Our trip to Mt Tamborine on May 20th was held in beautiful sunny weather. 5 cars (2 leaving from Brisbane) met at Oxenford to head up the mountain. Greg and Des probably thought the day had got off to a bad start when a highway patrol car with lights and sirens blazing sped up behind them just before the exit from the M1. Relief was swift when a speeding van was pulled over as their victim, though. An easy run up the mountain followed, then we searched for a parking area in the congested and popular Gallery Walk to park 5 Prii. We found success at the far end and left the cars in safety to search of a coffee fix! After settling in to a suitable teahouse, we all relaxed over morning tea and enjoyed each other’s company for a period, before deciding to do our own thing along the main street and meet back at the carpark to decide on a lunch venue.


Lismore Day Trip, 28 April 2007

Posted by John on Mon 30-Apr-2007

We had 6 cars on the trip to Lismore recently, coinciding with the first rainy weekend for a long time. Although the locals offered some of the wet stuff to take home with us, no-one had an empty tank with us so we reluctantly had to decline their generous offer.

Nimbin main street The trip was interesting, although it didn’t go entirely to plan. We decided to stop at Bangalow (just off the highway) to get some ham and other smoked smallgoods at a local butcher there who advertised in a tourist guide. Not having a knowledge of Bangalow, we decided to ask a local when we got there for directions. Armed with these from the local Video Store, we went in search of the treasure….with no luck! After wasting about half an hour looking in the area given to us, it was obvious there was no butcher shop, so we headed for Lismore through the rain and rolling green countryside. It was confirmed later that the butcher no longer has a shop in Bangalow…only in Lismore.