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THE ‘LOOP’ SELF DRIVE TOUR

Most guests choose to drive the ‘loop’ drive during their stay. They usually do the drive on Saturday if staying over a weekend. It can fit in well with the platypus excursion as it normally takes 4-6 hours or so, depending on how long you spend at the waterfalls and lunch etc. The platypus excursion usually leaves Adjinbilly at about 4.30pm (earlier in winter).

The ‘loop’ self drive tour leaves from Adjinbilly and traverse the 10 crossings to Killarney and then ascend to Acacia Plateau to view the magnificent waterfalls including Queen Mary Falls. Don’t miss Brown’s falls if you don’t mind getting a bit wet. They are spectacular. Guests often have lunch at the kiosk at Queen Mary Falls or further on at Spring Mountain Café. (You need to book ahead for Spring Mountain Café. Just ask us and we will book it for you if you haven’t already booked it.) Enjoy feeding the birds at Queen Mary Falls and the spectacular views from Carrs Lookout and Spring Mountain Cafe.

There is information about the history of the Gorge Road and the crossings in your cabin booklet which can make the trip through the gorge more colourful and interesting.

Click Local and Regional for more information on attractions and events in the Killarney area and the region including Warwick, the Granite Belt and the Scenic Rim.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE ‘LOOP’ DRIVE

The road up the mountain first passes Browns Falls, where there used to be a trout hatchery in the park area on the left before the bridge. Brown’s falls (you join the track going under the bridge) is particularly striking because you come out at the bottom of the falls. Look out ahead as you walk towards the falls and you will see the silver water through the trees as you approach – quite spectacular! Expect to get wet on this walk as you have to cross the creek a number of times before you get to the falls. Don’t give up until you get there. It is worth it!

The Trachite rock crystal formation at the back of the waterfall is a striking feature. This waterfall is not the same creek as Queen Mary Falls and Daggs Falls but they all join into the Condamine near Killarney.

Once past Brown’s Falls, you reach Daggs Falls on the left of the road. There is only a very short walk to the viewing platform for those who don’t want to walk far (about 20 metres) and is well worth stopping for.

At Queen Mary falls you can walk to the viewing platform and back (about 15 minutes walk each way), or continue down to the bottom of the falls and up the other side back to the carpark (which is much more strenuous!).

From Queen Mary falls you travel through spectacular scenery to Carrs lookout (near Spring Mountain Café) where you can see to Mt Tamborine, the Scenic Rim and into New South Wales on a clear day. On the way, you travel through Carabeen Nature refuge where sometimes you see a lyrebird at the roadside. Look out for the magnificent forest of eucalypts carpeted with ferns along the way.

You can visit the “moss gardens” on your way, past Carrs Lookout, as the road winds down through luxuriant rainforest before you meet the gravel gorge road turning back on the left.
Heading back into the gorge you traverse four river crossings before meeting Adjinbilly Road again.

Most guests take four to six hours to enjoy the highlights along the circuit, but don’t leave it too late in the day or you will miss great photograph opportunities (such as the top crossings with their beautiful ferns and ‘Paddy’s Knob’) as you come back through the ‘top’ of the gorge.)

THE HISTORY

The ‘Gorge Road’ is full of history. The Condamine river is believed to be one of the tracks used by Aborigines to traverse the range between the Darling Downs and the Logan River Catchment.

In the 1850’s timber workers used the track to reach Red Cedar growing on the slopes the mountains such as Mt. Superbus. When timber mills were established later at “The Head’ the road was the main road out for the sawn timber going to the railway in Killarney.

The road was built by 1881 in time for the opening of the newly built railway from Warwick to Killarney in the same year. The railway was decommissioned in 1960 when the timber industry slowed down in the Gorge but the road remains.

A common experience for someone riding on horseback from Killarney to ‘The Head’ was to pass around 12 bullock teams hauling timber through the gorge, There are many stories of heroism and desperation in getting people out of the gorge in floods and in times of emergency.

As the timber was cleared, people turned to dairy farming. A local man by the name of Peterson used to take the cream to Killarney twice a week. There are many photos at the Heritage Centre in Killarney of the difficulties of life in the gorge and getting through the gorge in the early times.

The road over Spring Creek Mountain was opened in 1957.

The booklet in the cabin has more information on the history and features of the gorge and the gorge road.

Call (07) 4664 1599 to make your booking today!

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