Woodford to Jimna … the back way.
Owning a 4WD is not simply owning a vehicle, it is owning a way of life!
When you get sick of mixing it with the rest of the traffic you can simply and safely take that “short cut” from A to B and enjoy the drive for a change.
While this drive only takes half a day to complete it can easily be combined with an overnight camp at Peach Trees near the tiny village of Jimna.
The drive itself is suitable for soft roaders but should be avoided in wet conditions as some of the track climbs hills comprised of red clay and the gullies are shrouded in dense green foliage holding the moisture, fallen trees are also a common occurrence.
While on my way up to Mud Bulls and Music at Landcruiser Mountain Park I decided to grab a taste of fresh mountain air and a little bit of serenity by taking the right turn into Stoney Creek Road 6.9Km Kilometres west of the water tower at Woodford in the hills north west of Brisbane and following the track through Bellthorpe State Forest to the Jimna Fire Tower just past the Jimna Township.
About 3 Km in I Turned into Fletchers road and drove up to Stoney Creek day use area for a look, the BBQ’s and table sit beside a small boulder strewn creek and is a pleasant spot for a lunch stop surrounded but lush green palms and towering gums.
Those who want to cool off can take the wide flat track past the Toilet Block [disabled access] to a grassy patch beside a large Rockhole suitable for swimming.
The Water is not one of those freezing cold mountain creeks but refreshing none the less, the kids will love the rope swing on the other side but check for submerged logs first before taking the plunge.
Back tracking to Stoney Creek road I turned right and it was long before I hit the dirt, by following the main track it wasn’t long before I arrived at the remains of an old sawmilling operation at Bellthorpe near the Research centre.
The overhead gantry has been cut down but the winching shed is still there to view.
The remains of a large pivot on top of a concrete block is also still there but the sawmilling buildings have collapsed on top of the old Bedford “Grant Timber” timber truck and is slowly but surely being covered up by dense bushes.
The petrol bowser at a small disintegrating shed is calibrated for Gallons indicating it has been there for a very long time.
Back on the track and just past this clearing is the Left turn towards Jimna where the track narrows and deteriorates as it climbs allowing some great views from the ridges.
Make sure to veer right at the unmarked Y intersection 0.8 Kms later.
One of the views showed me some dark forbidding clouds heading my way so I didn’t stop for too long at any of the interesting bits along the way.
A confusing sign at a Y intersection only points to the left so make sure you Veer left for Jimna, the track descending into some lush green rainforest is a red clay base so getting caught in here in the wet is not a good idea, there is two bridges to cross as you traverse this area with the second one allowing some room to park if you want to stop for a break.
A small overgrown track on the left takes you to Yednia Lookout but is hard to find as the sign was damaged in a bushfire a while back and now lays on the ground, the view from the lookout over the valley was quite spectacular for me as I watched the Lightning show from the approaching storm and the bushfire glow on the small mountain range behind the remains of another long gone Sawmill in the valley below.
I backtracked to Bellthorpe road and turned left for Jimna passing an old set of yards but the dark clouds had meant an early nightfall so I kept going until I hit the bitumen and turned right for Jimna.
Driving past the Jimna and Peach Trees turn offs it wasn’t long before I came to the end of my trip at the Jimna Fire Tower, This 47 metre tall wooden Fire Tower was opened for business in 1977 but has recently been condemned, there has been a concerted effort to get the tower restored to all its former glory.
The tower deck sits on top of 3 locally sourced Ironbark legs comprising three logs spliced to form the 44 metre legs and is recognised as the tallest man made wooden fire tower in the Southern Hemisphere.
You can register your support and read more about it at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to make a weekend of it you can camp at the nearby Peach Trees national park or continue on for another 16 Kms to Landcruiser Mountain Park to try out some of their much tougher tracks and camp the night there.
Straight across the road from the Landcruiser Mountain Park turn off is the road through Mt Buggery to Imbil if you decide to take another scenic route back to Brisbane.
The Jimna area has a plethora of tracks and roads to explore so you will get plenty of opportunities to be glad you own that 4WD!
. Shane Gerrish
0.00 Start at Caboolture Matilda Service Station.
25.6 Woodford water tower
32.5 Turn right into Stoney Creek road
35.5 Turn Right into Fletchers road
38.9 Stoney Creek day use area
Return to Stoney Creek road
42.3 Turn right back onto Stoney Creek road
44.3 road turns to dirt
56.9 Research Station and old timber mill relics
57.1 Turn left towards Jimna
57.9 Veer right
68.8 Veer left for Jimna
79.5 Veer right for Jimna
79.7 Turn right
89.2 Veer right
91.1 Veer left for Yednia Lookout [sign on ground]
93.5 Yednia Lookout
Return to Bellthorpe road
95.5 Veer left
95.6 Turn left back on to Bellthorpe road
98.9 Old Yards on left
101.8 Veer right for Jimna [or veer left to go to Kilcoy and Brisbane]
102.2 Turn right on to bitumen road for Jimna
108.3 Right turn leads to Jimna but proceed straight ahead
109.7 Right turn leads to Peach Trees camping area but proceed straight ahead
109.9 Jimna Fire Tower and end of trip.