2022 (Jun) - Central Nth Qld Solo Trip (Barakula SF & Expedition NP)


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Distance: 2243kms
Fuel Usage:229.87ltrs
Economy: 12.8ltrs/100kms (this incl's a leaking main fuel tank)
Fuel Cost: $497.26
Avg Fuel Cost: $2.163/ltr

Link to ALL Photos: Central Nth Qld Solo Trip (Barakula SF & Expedition NP)Photos
Link to where I went: Trip Tracklogs

Headed off after finishing work at 10pm and headed towards the town of Murgon. Found a nice little secluded roadside quarry near the end of Murgon-Kilcoy Road at about 1am and climbed into the rear of the Defender for a warm and toasty night’s sleep...


Left my roadside camp around 7am and headed twds Joe Bjelke Petersen Dam for a quick look before making my way to Murgon to refuel and then off to my next destination - Boondooma Dam. These spots are nice if u like fishing and have a boat and nice camping spots if you want some lesser-known spots...
From here it was off into the start of my exploring of Barakula SF. The area was still showing signs of the earlier rains in the year with water lying around along with the dreaded & BIG Mozzies!! Came to my 1st POI - Round Mountain, a high point in the area so upon reaching it, turned off on to the side track and headed twds the start of the hill climb. Came to a nice little hill climb before u reach the top... so with still road tyre pressures I attempted the rocky ledge climb. 1st attempt I chose the wrong path, backed down and chose a better path & made it up to the top with 360 views of the area round. Off again to my next point - Turkey Mountain where an old fire tower used to be but know a comms tower instead. Stopped for a quick bite to eat before heading west twds Stockyard Creek. Upon trying to reach Stockyard creek I was stopped by one of the local leasers that run cattle through the SF. He asked me what I was doing and after he was convinced that I was not out there to cause trouble we ended up having a good chat before parting ways. He informed me that I wouldn't get to where I wanted due to wet conditions still, so I bypassed and headed back towards the old Simon's Sawmill. There's a little bit of machinery & equipment around which was good to see. The next POI was not so - Concordia Lutheran College Ballon OEC Campus. This old site had been stripped bare with just the concrete pads left.
Next major POI was the fully restored Waaje Firetower and I passed through the old Barakula Township which is now mainly used for teh National Parks HQ for the area. Reached the Fire Tower and was great to see it fully restored. Quick look around and with daylight starting to run out I headed to what I hoped to be my camp for the night - old Coondarra Fire Tower site. This part of the track twds my camp turned out to take a bit longer than planned as there was a lot of fallen trees that required either removal, driving around or bush bashing a new track to get around. Luckily, I was driving an old Defender, so pin-stipes wasn't an issue. Reached my destination for the night as the sun was setting.



















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After seeing all that I could find it was time to head off to Taroom to Refuel and get a slow leaking tyre fixed before heading off into the bush again. Refuelled and had the tyre fixed (nail) at the local Tyrepower before heading out to a lesser-known place - Nathan Gorge (off the road to Cracow). Turned off onto the track and was surprised at the limited traffic that used this track. Stopped at the 1st creek crossing and was pleasantly surprised to find a nice scenery and waterholes. Had a bit of a look around before pushing onto Nathan Gorge. This is a remote spot that I assume only the locals visit. Great spot to stay for a few days though but the water is still brown from the recent rains...
Pushed on through Cracow and onto Theodore and then to the old Flagstaff Rd Cobble stone Path @ Glenmoral Lookout.
With time getting away it was a quick drive down to refuel before heading back up to camp @ Lake Murphy Reserve. This is a nice and well-kept campground and is the 1st time I've been when the Lake has been full of water.










This day wasn't to turn out the way I had planned... From camp I headed into Expedition NP to explore, finding an old semi abandoned Stockman's Hut/Camp (looking @ the condition of the camp it could still be used if req'd). The track into this Hut was a little bit of a challenge, especially running solo. I came across quite a interesting washed out decline and being solo I was a bit hesitant to attempt it (no lockers in the old Defender). I did a bit of track building, checked out where I could winch from on my return trip out if I needed to, then jumped in the car and continued downwards. The track down was easy as I thought but heading back was a bit concerning. Reached the old Hut and was surprised to see the condition it was in. It made me think that it still may be used from time to time. Not sure I'd like to stay there in the middle of summer though. After a good look around, it was back out to the main track but not before having to get up the sketchy section. To my surprise the old Landy just ate it up and it wasn't long before I was back on the main track.
From this point I headed through Starkvale camp north along the northern 4WD access track. Looking at the ruts, this track is not one to do in the wet. Exited the northern end and went to explore Spotted Gum campsite and the old abandon Oil/Gas Well site. Upon reaching the site the only good thing about the site was its remoteness. The campsite was nothing to talk about and there was nothing of the oil/gas site except for the normal post and name plate.
After lunch it was out and onto my next section to explore. I found a side track to the north that from my research would take me to some interesting spots. The track was labelled a No Through Road, but I thought I'd give it a go. The surrounding country was beautiful, but the track was starting to deteriorate a bit. I came to a point where I thought it was wise to turn around, especially looking at the time and since I was by myself so I turned around and make my way out but took a slight detour along a track that would take me back out to the main track. This was a great track, but it wasn't until I realised that I had lost my rear Spare Wheel Carry Bag containing my firewood. All that was left was the straps...
Once out on the main track it was north to Bauhinia and then eastwards along the Dawson Hwy twds Biloela. The plan was to camp along the Razorback Track heading up to Kroombit Tops NP. This is where things went pear shape - upon reaching Biloela late in the arvo to refuel, I noticed after paying for my fuel that I had a major fuel leak out of my main tank. There was no chance of having this issue fixed quickly in Biloela, so I made a decision to drive homewards but not before attempting to complete my Kroombit Tops section. This probably wasn't the wisest decision but off I went. By the time I reached the start of Razorback Track it was nighttime. I forgot about the creek crossings as these all had water in them, and some were reasonably deep but nothing too bad. I started the climb up in pitch dark and the track was a little rocky at places, but I eventually made it to the top where I then had to would out my exit point. The quickest was south along another 4WD section and down along a dirt track that crisscrossed the creek numerous times. Finally reached Monto at around 9pm and refuelled. I used 39ltrs for 167kms - this gave me some hope that I should be right to be able to get home without having to refuel up again as I would be travelling at 100kms/hr, and I also had my Aux Fuel tank that I could pump into the tank if req'd. So, at 9pm I headed off on the long drive back home, reaching there about 2am in the morning without having to stop for fuel again. Upon looking at the leak it appears that the crack must be around the halfway seam as the leak slowed as the tank emptied... anyhow it was great to get home safely but also sad that I had to cut my trip short...