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Published: October 22nd 2013
It was decided that a visit to Eungella National Park was a must do activity, so a day trip was planned. The girls got the front seats of the 4WD for the drive there and the boys would get their turn on the way home.
Initially we had to return to the Pioneer Valley and then work our way West through the cane fields to the head of the valley and the mountains. The Pioneer Valley with its checkerboard fields of sugar cane at various stages of growth and small towns is beautiful. As we drove past the Pinnacle Hotel, apparently famous for its pies, it was doing a thriving Sunday morning trade. However we had a picnic lunch planned so on we went.
As we got closer the mountains seemed to loom up out of the valley and it was no surprise to see lots of warning signs about the very steep climb ahead. A 12% grade with hairpin corners made Greg very happy that we did not have the caravan behind! But the view when we got to the lookout at Eungella was definitely worth it.
We stopped for morning
tea at the lookout, a very good excuse to sit and gaze out for a while longer. The mountain air and breeze made this a very comfortable spot.
Back into the 4WD we passed through rain forest, which then changed to dryer type forest as we moved over the ridge and into the start of the rain shadow. The road changed to gravel and the drive took on a different character.
Eungella Dam is a big man-made lake nestled between steep wooded hills high in the mountain range. What a fantastic spot! There were plenty of people with fishing boats or camping along the banks. Although this is somewhat challenging to get to it is a stunning place to camp. We set up our picnic site next to the water and made the most of this opportunity.
All too soon it was time to begin the return drive and this time it was the boys who got the front seats. Tristan obviously knew about the road conditions for this leg has lots of sharp dips and cattle grids and had the girls squealing in the back seat as we alternatively bounced
or soared over obstacles. The call of “Brace!” had everybody holding tight. This country was much drier and definitely covered with cattle stations.
Back home we settled down for cocktails and home-made tacos – what a perfect day.
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