Travels

Friday, 26 August 2016

MT MEE, QLD



A day trip in a serene natural setting is for you, D’Aguilar National Park is a truly stunning region just north of Brisbane, with beautiful subtropical rainforests, eucalypt woodlands, and scrubby gum forests. Lookouts dot the landscape, providing amazing views of Moreton Bay, the Glasshouse Mountains, and crystal clear rainforest pools.



Mt. Mee is so close to Brisbane that it is an easy 4wd day trip idea.  Mt Mee is part of the D’Aguilar National Park and only about 15 minutes from Dayboro.  D’Aguilar National Park is divided into two sections, north and south.  The majority of the northern part is 4wd access only. Mt. Mee is a beautiful mountain located in the northern section of the National Park and the northern section of D’Aguilar is often just called Mt. Mee



We Started our Day in Dayboro and entered the state forest at the very south end via Laceys Creek Rd.  We almost turned around before getting to the dirt roads as Laceys Creek Rd is signed as a no through road just before the gravel road starts.

Wasn’t too happy getting stuck a little at A Break, but reversed back and took a different line we cleared it okay. I knew from the two previous trips that there were some big holes at the start of the climb and also near the top. The person behind just followed my line, because they always followed, but never lead because they had zero experience. 


A bit further on we had another hill with big holes and then a steep climb. The track fell away to the left so it was important to keep right while negotiating the hill. All fine and we made it to the top with no hassle.



We continued through the forest crossing little streams, up and down small hills and driving on loose surfaces. The tracks were dry with little mud. It looked like the rain didn’t make it up there. As we ascended higher up the mountain the view was amazing.

 


We then left the group and visited the Gantry day use area, where there are toilets and plenty of room to stretch your legs. The Piccabeen walk was a short 1km boardwalk circuit taking us through a grove of piccabeen palms.


The Gantry itself is a somewhat bizarre looking structure. A shed like building, it was used to house a massive crane used to hoist timber up from the forest floor. Apparently it operated until 1981 and the saw mill produced timber which was used in structures around Brisbane including Saint Stephens Cathedral in Brisbane CBD and bridge connecting Redcliffe to Brisbane. The sheer size and height of the structure makes it definitely photo worthy and something you definitely don't see every day.


This day trip to Dayboro-Mt Mee, northwest of Brisbane has it all – a quaint picturesque country town, winding roads with stunning vistas, vineyards, bushwalks with waterfalls and old sawmill remnants, and on weekends locally grown and roasted coffee and a café laden with retro memorabilia on a cliff’s edge.

From the CBD take the A3 to Bald Hills then split left onto A58 towards Petrie. First stop for the historically inclined is the Pine Rivers Museum and Old Petrie Town, a replica heritage village that on Sundays comes to life with an excellent market and the rest of the time is good for a wander and visit to the Emporium Rock’n’Roll Milk Bar.

Continue along Dayboro Road to Dayboro, a gorgeous little township that is well worth spending some time at. Enjoy coffee or brunch at one of the charming little cafes here or check out the recycled and vintage chic wares of Smith & Barton Bohemian Décor, see some local art at the Dayboro Art Gallery, have a poke around the great vintage shops, book shop café and walk the town’s heritage trail (maps available at the Visitor Info in town or the Arts & Crafts cottage).
From Dayboro take the road out and turn-off just outside of town to Mt Mee. Along the way is a llama cottage (stop and see the llamas) and Ocean View Estate Winery which does good food as well as wine. Towards the top of the Mt Mee ridge don’t miss a visit to the quirky memorabilia-covered tin shed that is Pitstop Café, with the most stunning views of all.

Continue on to Mt Mee, until Sellin Road, a left turn from the main road that heads towards and into the forest reserve with several bush walking tracks. Follow Sellin Rd to the entrance of the park and about 150m further in is the main picnic and day use area, The Gantry, which contains the relic shed from the sawmill industry that once operated up here and closed in 1981. Two bush walks start from adjacent to The Gantry: the shorter easy grade 1 km Piccabeen Trail circuit with info about the logging industry that used to occur or the medium grade 3-4 hr Somerset Trail, a 13km circuit through scribbly gum and eucalypt with views of Somerset Dam.

Note that the road is unsealed and not recommended for vehicles other than 4 wheel drives past the Gantry. The unsealed Neurum Creek Road section has 2 worthy walks along its way. About 1km along the unsealed road is a short easy grade 400m (one way) walk to Falls Lookout, a viewing platform overlooking the Neurum Valley and a further 80m to Bulls Falls, with views of rainforest pools and rocky cliffs. A further 7km or so down Neurum Creek Rd is a car park, from which a short 200m walk leads to Rocky Hole, a rock pool that is popular with swimmers in summer.

Take the road out of the forest reserve and back to the Dayboro-Woodford Rd. Turn left and pass through the tiny hamlet of Mt Mee. On the right, just out of ‘town’ is one of the area’s best lookouts, Dahmongah Lookout Park - taking in views of the Glass House Mountains to the north, east to the sea and south to Brisbane CBD. Facilities include a BBQ, picnic rotunda and toilets and on weekends a little food trailer onsite serves up an excellent cup of Mt Mee’s own coffee, with beans roasted and grown at a nearby plantation owned by locals Les and Dawn. Pies and snacks are also available, along with local jams, chutneys, soaps & snacks for sale.


Continue on the road to Woodford/Kilcoy for a short distance then turn right on Campbells Pocket Road which is the most direct route towards Caboolture and the Bruce Highway south to Brisbane.

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