By Lester & Nella Gerner

Our party of ourselves (Nella & Lester) and visitors Selina and David arrived at the campsite at about 11am.  All others had arrived much earlier and were already out on the tracks.  Hence due to this chronological anomaly we had imposed on ourselves, we had automatically become scribes for the trip!


Jacquie and her dad Peter, plus the canines, had stayed back at camp and gave us a warm welcome.  The camp site was a mixture of tents, caravans and one camper trailer (Ollie, son Archie, plus friend Jason).  Happily the weather was almost perfect as both us; Selina and David only had tents.QLD 4x4 ClubThe Springs 4x4 Park December 2017

After lunch we set up camp then joined the rest of the group for introductions.  It was now time for an afternoon of driving a mixture of tracks. 

The whole idea of this trip was in preparation for the Club Trip to the Victorian High Country. Andrew has called it a Shake Down, but it also could be viewed as a Shake-Up.

This was a good opportunity for us as the last time we had set up camp was two years ago.   During the rest of our time at the Springs we added to our list (both mental and paper) of things we have to set right.

The afternoon trip began by heading east along Brisbane Way, then around to Highway Hill and Bushman’s Way.  Unfortunately Lester stuffed up a little here.  Firstly there was a loss of transmission over our radio.  There is always a technical reason, when things like this happen. It turned out the frequency had changed due the set priority button function not being pushed in for long enough. One has to wait patiently until a beep is heard.  It is amazing how much modern technology these days require a ‘unique’ way to turn things either on or off.

Lester also was requested not to be too close to the car in front.  Wife had often said same, but he always thought this was due to female caution!  Craig set him straight.

Once this was all sorted we arrived at the ‘play area’ in the east of the park.  This consists of wombat holes, mud pools and obstacles.  Instructions from both Andrew and Craig were to find out what technics and vehicle extras work best.

The Springs provide a map of the park with colour coded grading of difficulty.  However due to use (especially competition trucks) the condition of these tracks sometimes do not match the map description.  This would become apparent the more we travelled the park.

It was found that both Andrew and Craig used the term ‘could be interesting’ to describe tracks we were about to travel if they thought conditions had changed for the worse! 

Next we travelled to Tank Hill, then Quarry Hill.  Track difficulty was now ramping up (please excuse the pun).  Andrew had us walk the track first to explain which lines to drive or which alternate side tracks (chicken tracks) were available.

Geology in this part of the park is predominantly decaying Granite.  This sort of gravel always produces little rolly stones.  The best way to walk up and down is generally on the grass to the side (if possible).  Bryan gave an unintentional demonstration as to how slippy things can get.  It is a pity humans have not evolved a fully functional hill decent control like some makes of cars. 

QLD 4x4 ClubThe Springs 4x4 Park December 2017 weatherWhile watching some of the cars climb I got a weather warning from my Weather Zone App.  I had concerns about summer storms at the Springs.  Craig explained we were out of the danger zone.  Later, when we were at Bald Knob we would clearly see the storms in the distance and also the rain radar on my Phone.  We were clearly on the safe side of the weather system.

Our route back to camp was predominately back tracking.

Later we decided to go it alone and visit the two main look outs that we missed Saturday morning.  Thanks to Craig lending us his Ozi‑Explorer GPS we set out knowing we would find our way.

The tracks to both locations were relatively easy.  The views were excellent and well worth visiting.  It is amazing how strong the wind can be in these locations, so we did not stay very long.

Back at camp the fire had been stoked for the evening.  We learned about Chocolate covered Clinkers with many different coloured fillings.  The park was pitch-dark at night, any lights stood out.  Especially prominent were the Christmas lights on Bryan and Jill’s tent.

We called it an early night which was probably just as well, because nature has her own alarm clock, which we had forgotten about.  There was no need to set one, because way too much early sunrise tends to leak into a tent.  This makes an alarm clock in Queensland Summer unnecessary.

In the morning Ollie’s son Archie discovered gems in the now cold fire place.  They were actually coloured pieces of glass.  Archie wanted Craig to have them, which Craig gratefully accepted.

After a very leisurely Sunday start we gathered for our morning briefing.  This time it was an area just to the south of our camp. 

Again the term ‘interesting track’ was used.  It all started out fairly easily until we got to Rum Run.  Andrew descended first then called Bryan to follow.  Near the bottom of this decent, Bryan found himself in a hard place with a rock.  As we all know rocks always win and are never nice enough to obligingly get out of the way.  This was very unfortunate for both Bryan and Jill.

Management then thought it best to skip this track for the rest of the convoy.   In regrouping, things got a little muddled and some of us went the wrong way.  This was soon sorted and our trip back to the camp was easy.

Over our time at the Springs Andrew has demonstrated an amazing skill.  He is a cattle whisperer who can quickly give them instructions to move them out of our way.

He is also very clear with instructions; however we were once unsure when he said ‘keep left and you will be right!’

After packing and airing up, we said our good byes.  We were very glad to have been on this weekend.

Thanks to Andrew and everyone else for organising a successful club trip.