Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

BigMitch87
Getting to know the place
Posts: 12
Joined: December 17th, 2010, 8:15 pm
Location: Townsville, QLD

Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by BigMitch87 » January 28th, 2013, 9:22 pm

Eungella National Park
26th to 28th January 2013
Day 1 - 26/01/2013
We start the day at the BP Truckstop opposite the Cluden Racecourse in Townsville. Brimmed tanks and maps out making final checks as to which tracks were to be covered and where to turn off the Bruce Highway. Now let's make something clear because this trip nearly didn't happen and the reason for that was massive downpours of rain the preceeding couple of nights. Not only for Townsville, but for most of the area we were planning on travelling, due to Ex Tropical Cyclone Oswald.

We leave the BP at precisely 8:23am and head south along the Bruce Highway making for the little town/village/camp of Gumlu, about 25 minutes south of Home Hill. The convoy turns right off the highway (except for Simon and his family in the Rodeo) at the Tondara Road turn off. This is an interesting little track that winds it's way inland alng mostly flat surfaces. There were a few little gullies and we even saw an Emu and it's 3 little chicks. A few happy snaps out of the way and we continued on.

We get to the Bogie River and need to get out to check the depth and strength of the current. The river was only knee deep and the current wasn't too strong so the decision was made to cross. Christine was first to go and she made it through no worries in her Triton. She stops on the other end to catch a few pictures of us crossing and then we are on our way again. This road comes out onto the Bowen Development Road which is the main highway between Bowen and Collinsville. There is a short stint on the bitumen before we reach Collinsville, where the ones without extra fuel on board stop to refill and we all stop for a lunch break. The local takeaway/video shop had some pies and what-not, the operative word being HAD.

Time to leave Collinsville and another short drive on the blacktop until we reach the Bowen River, after which we turn left onto a road which I cannot seem to find a name for. We travel along this road and it gets boggy in some sections so Damen in his single cab Bravo says we may need to swap it into 4wd as we were finding it hard to keep the vehicles straight, all except Tomas in his AWD Prado. Along we go, seeing cattle and kangaroos as we traverse the twists and turns. There are quite a number of gullies and streams and at some points the road follows the Bowen River. the entries and exits to all of these gullies are moderate climbs but it's the surface that makes it hard. Wet, soft and greasy mud with an almost wet clay like bottom that makes it difficult to climb. Everyone is running All-Terrain Tyres except Damen who has some worn Mud Terrains.

There are a few memorable sections of this road. One where I was coming down the entrance to a gully and there was too much compression for the deceleration and the rear end just slid into the gutter on the side about 2 metres before the water. I slowly crept my way out of there and up the other side. Another is a section a few kilometres long where the road was all mud and clay and we had a very difficult time staying in the centre of the road. It was especially funny on the last corner watching a Triton and a Prado in synchronised all wheel drift. Lastly, was on the way back up this road (I will get to why soon) where I stopped all forward momentum coming back up from a gully about 5 metres from the top. I had thought that Low 2nd was nearly the be all and end all of gears, until Chrisitne pipes up over the 2-way and says to try it in 1st High. Little bit of a run up and out I was.

Anyway, we were driving along and we reach the Little Bowen River bridge. What a doozy. The water was only mid thigh in depth but the flow was so strong I was surprised there was a bridge left! Majority ruled on the decision to not give this one the pleasure of claiming a life or two. It was slippery concrete, very narrow with no indication of where the edges were and too strong of a current. The rest of the trip down to Eungella was along sealed roads through Glenden, Nebo and Mirani. The drive up the short range to Eungella itself is very narrow, winding and bumpy so I would advise anyone attempting it to take your time and take it slow. It was pouring down rain by the time we reached Eungella and Simon had made the legendary decision to not set up camp, but instead rent the main cabin at Explorers Haven at not much more of a cost than camping. This was able to accomodate all of us (8 adults and 3 children) in comfort.

Day 2 - 27/01/2013
Everyone rises with the sun feeling refreshed after the preceeding day and goes about getting their breakfast out of the way. About 8:00am everyone is ready to go to Finch Hatton Gorge to see the waterfalls and maybe go for a swim. It is only a short drive until you reach the carpark which was desserted apart from maybe 2 cars.

Everyone has packed water for the walk as to visit both waterfalls and swimming holes it is approximately a 4km round trip. We see on the sign before we walk that the second swimming hole/waterfall is unreachable after moderate to heavy rain so we decide to go to the first one instead. Arulean Cascade is a nice swimming hole and a beautiful waterfall and according to the locals, is the most popular because it is only a short walk to get to. We decide that we will try to get to the other end and see what the "creek crossing" is like. It turns out to not be so bad after all and we get to the other swimming hole where everyone gets in and has a nice dip, afterwards finding a big fat eel in the water that has a taste for bread.

After everyone is back at the camp and has had lunch the decision is made to go and look at the other tracks around the place as there are some camp sites that are 4wd only. We get to Diggins Road and turn off and immediately get into the wet muddy stuff. This leads to a decent camp site/park area where there is a track heading straight through a running creek. The creek is about three and a half to four feet deep and has a strong current but has the added advantage of having a but of a wall to stop any slipping pretty quickly, not that we actually encountered any slip at all. We get to the gate that tells us from here on in is 4wd only and that description could not be more accurate. Twenty to thirty kilometres of mud hills, gullies and fallen trees that takes us the better part of one and a half hours to get through but the view from this camp site is amazing. There is a massive ravine lined with gum trees, eucalypt and black-boy plants.

Day 3 - 28/01/2013
Day 3 is a short one mainly due to the fact that it is all sealed roads back to Townsville, so the cars are loaded, checked for damage and fluids and then we hit the road back down the range and off to the Bruce Highway. This was an absolute corker of a way to spend the Australia Day long weekend and definitely will be high on my list of weekend escapes for some time to come.

Thanks to everyone involved with this trip, there are a lot of memories I have gained from this experience.
2006 Mazda Bravo 2.5TD - Airtec Snorkel - Dual Battery - 55w HID Ebay Specials - Mickey T ATZ's - TJM Alloy Bar - GME TX3220 UHF w/6dB whip aerial... To Come - Lift - Sliders/Steps - Remove the canopy and replace with custom unit with rooftop camper.

Cape Trip in August 2013

Tappet
Here and there
Posts: 70
Joined: February 20th, 2012, 8:02 pm

Re: Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by Tappet » January 28th, 2013, 9:50 pm

Great write up mate. All in all sounds like an nice little 3 dayer.

Thanks.

james2801
Been here a while
Posts: 217
Joined: April 14th, 2013, 10:10 pm

Re: Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by james2801 » July 15th, 2013, 1:36 pm

Wow that sounds like an awesome trip! I live in Townsville and it sounds like the perfect trip! Not too far, not too close and a range of different terrains and activities for everyone!!

Gonnago
Here and there
Posts: 76
Joined: July 19th, 2013, 6:39 pm
Location: Townsville, QLD

Re: Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by Gonnago » July 22nd, 2013, 5:52 pm

Wow I look forward to joining you local guys for a cruise like this
Mods to do - diesel pre filter, ironman snorkel, dual battery's
Mods done - Scangauge II, Oil-air separator setup, K&N filter, 3in SS Manta Pro turbo back exhaust, ECU crispmods tune, EGT gauge, eBay intercooler,

BigMitch87
Getting to know the place
Posts: 12
Joined: December 17th, 2010, 8:15 pm
Location: Townsville, QLD

Re: Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by BigMitch87 » January 25th, 2015, 8:55 am

Wow didn't even know anyone posted on this. Was an excellent trip. Had lots of fun. Will be more than happy to meet up with people to go adventuring in the near future.
2006 Mazda Bravo 2.5TD - Airtec Snorkel - Dual Battery - 55w HID Ebay Specials - Mickey T ATZ's - TJM Alloy Bar - GME TX3220 UHF w/6dB whip aerial... To Come - Lift - Sliders/Steps - Remove the canopy and replace with custom unit with rooftop camper.

Cape Trip in August 2013

bigfut
Here and there
Posts: 28
Joined: December 23rd, 2011, 5:03 pm

Re: Townsville to Eungella - The Back Way

Unread post by bigfut » April 6th, 2015, 8:23 am

Thanks for the write up mate. Went this way to Eungella for easter for something different.
It was dry when we went, but still a good drive. Looks like it would be fun in the wet but.

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