Lace up your walking boots, pump up your tyres, pack a bag and head west to try one of our top five hinterland adventures this weekend.
Just south of D’Aguilar National Park you'll find Mount Mee Forest Reserve. It’s perfect for hinterland biking, hiking along horse trails and dirt roads, searching for hidden rock pools and listening to the calls of the bellbirds.
If you're keen on a hike but don't own a 4WD, you can park your car in front of the junction of Chambers and Mount Brisbane Roads. From here you can walk steadily uphill, where Range Rd meets the 1.4 km horse trail. These walks are not for beginners because the area lacks signposts and has many non-official offshoot tracks. Bring water, snacks, first-aid kit, map, compass and good sense of direction.
Samford Conservation Park is a pleasant and easily accessible spot for picnics, horse riding, bush walking and mountain bike riding. The Crebra Circuit is a 20-minute walk from the Ironbark Gully picnic area, which starts and ends at the park's back corner. As it loops around Ironbark Gully, this short 900 m walking track crosses several wooden bridges and flights of steps. It's rated as a class 3 walking track. It can be easily extended to include Bergin Creek, or the Three Sisters fire trails.
The Lomandra day-use area is closer to Samford and has its own car park and offers five mountain biking tracks for riders of all abilities — even beginners.
Samford Valley Rail Trail is 8.3km shared recreational cycling and walking trail which begins at Ferny Grove Railway Station and continues towards Samford Valley along Lanita Rd. The sealed, mostly flat trail is well-maintained and signposted. The Samford Conservation Park Lomandra day-use area carpark is another great starting point for exploring the Samford Valley Rail Trail.
Bunyaville State Forest is a family-favourite spot for picnics, bush walking, bird watching, or cycling. The Bunyaville Track (1.6km return) is a 20-minute walk, which passes through a rare forest community of large-leafed spotted gum trees. The track begins at the northern end of the day-use area and finishes at the southern end of the day-use area. The Discovery Circuit (650m return) is a side track that splits-off from the Bunyaville Track. It’s a gentle walkers-only track which takes about 20 minutes. Those looking for something a bit more energetic, Bunyaville State Forest is also open for cycling. Mountain bike riding is heaps of fun here, with 10 trails to choose from. If you’d rather enjoy the forest on horseback, you can do that too.
2. GO BUSH CAMPING
Neurum Creek Bush Retreat is a family-owned camping ground, which borders the Mt Mee State Forest. It's just 10 minutes from Lake Somerset and the Stanley River, and a few minutes more from Woodford. Bring your tent, caravan, motorhome, camper trailer or swag. There are great waterholes for canoeing, or swimming in the warmer months, and the kids will love the bike track. Visit ncbr.com.au
Archer campgrounds is one of the two designated camping areas in D’Aguilar National Park, and the easiest to access via Lovedays Rd. It’s an open camping area, with toilets, fire pits and is accessible by 4WD only. Archer Campgrounds is a tent and ute slider camping area only. Bring along firewood, as it is not supplied and taking wood from the national park is prohibited. Visit parks.des.qld.gov.au to book.
Mount Glorious North Kobble Bush Camp has no defined campsites or amenities. Bring your swag and hit the trail on foot into the north of Mount Glorious’ open eucalypt forest. It’s suitable for experienced, fit hikers who can make their way along unmarked trails and steep terrain. A topographic map is necessary, as are good navigational skills. To access, head along the Lepidozamia Track entrance via Mount Glorious Rd.
3. EXPLORE BY 4WD
Bellthorpe National Park is perfect for adventurers with the skill to cover difficult terrain. It’s at the southern end of the Conondale Range of Woodford, west of the Glass House Mountains. Enter the national park from the southern end to explore the Stony Creek waterhole and stop for a picnic at the day use area on Fletcher Rd before continuing deeper into the dense forestry. Test your limits by tackling washouts, ditches, boulders and other challenging obstacles that only Bellthorpe National Park can offer.
Mt Mee Forest Reserve offers the easiest 4WD tracks in the D’Aguilar National Park. They have a steady incline with less rugged and rocky terrain compared to others in the region. The quickest way in is via Peggs Rd through to Sellin Rd, D’Aguilar National Park’s access road.
4. TAKE IN THE ARTS
Dayboro Arts Gallery is home to more than 30 artists from across the region. The gallery is at the corner of William St and Mt Mee Rd. It is open seven days a week from 10am-3pm and there’s a chance you may even see artists at work. Visit dayboroartgallery.com.au
The Slab Hut at Samford showcases the work of more than 60 members and is run by the Samford Art and Craft Association. One of the founding members Marie-Ann Coyle says visitors will find an array of paintings, crafts, quilts and other handicrafts, woodwork, handmade soaps, children’s toys and clothing, sculptures and more. It’s at Main St, Samford, and open daily from 10am-4pm. Visit thehutsamfordartandcraft.com
Hay Cottage at Dayboro is also popular with visitors and locals looking for handmade goods to add personality to their home or as a gift to please loved ones. It’s run by the Hay Cottage Arts and Crafts Association and features a wide variety of art and craft, children’s clothing, jewellery, floral art, novelty items and even pickles. It’s at William St, Dayboro, and open seven days a week from 10am-3pm. Visit haycottage-dayboro.com.au
5. GO ON A TREASURE HUNT
Samford Valley Antique and Vintage shop promises something different every time you visit, with a wide variety of antique, vintage and shabby chic furniture, English china, bric a brac, and gifts. Positioned at Main St, Samford, it's open Wednesday to Monday from 9.30am.
Allow plenty of time when you visit The Dayboro Shed antiques shop, with a huge variety of antique, mid-century, vintage and retro furniture, glassware, china, pottery, ‘blokey gear’ and more. If it’s a little overwhelming, owners Tom and Mary-Anne Williams will show you around. The shed’s at 358 Mt Samson Rd, Armstrong Creek, and is open Wednesday to Sunday, 10am-4pm.
If you are more of a collector, head to The Collector Shop at Woodford. They buy and sell records, comics, china, books, coins, military paraphernalia and more. The shop is at 22 Chambers Rd, Woodford, and is open seven days 8am-4.30pm.
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