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Drive C

Hampton to Gatton
via Seventeen Mile Rd
Download a PDF brochure.

Travel time ONE WAY – 1½ - 2 hours.

Distance Hampton to Gatton – 44 km.

The trail is on public roads, mostly gravel or formed earth.
Some are in poor condition.
A high clearance vehicle or 4WD is recommended.
Leave gates as you find them.
Warning: Undertake this drive at your own risk.
Conditions change unexpectedly.
Routes may be untrafficable after storms and floods.
Beware of stock on unfenced roads. 
GPS directions may be unreliable.
Mobile phones may be out of range.
Odometer readings may vary by 0.5 km between vehicles.

Zero your trip meter at the Hampton Visitor Information Centre. 

0Leave the car park and turn right (east) on to Hampton-Esk Rd. 

You are 715 m above sea level. The New England Highway forms the Main Divide watershed. Water from the west of the highway flows eventually into the Murray-Darling and from the east into the Brisbane River catchment. Once dairying and hardwood timber, e.g. Tallowwood, Blue Gum, Cedar, Black-butt. Now mixed farming including horticulture. 

13.6 Turn right at the Ravensbourne National Park turnoff. 

Forest walks. Red Cedars (colourful in Spring), Sydney Blue Gums, Blackbutt. Many varieties of rainforest birds. 

14.2 Picnic area. Toilets. 

14.4 Turn left onto Walsh Rd. Ignore Wellers Rd on the left.

Gravel begins for the remainder of the trip.
Alternative:
 Keep straight on to Gus Beutel Lookout, and then return to this turnoff. At the lookout you will find stunning views of the Lockyer Valley, Wivenhoe Dam and the Scenic Rim and an excellent rest spot. Toilets, barbeques & shelter shed. Old homestead site. Excellent 20 minute rainforest walk. Look out for wildlife e.g. Lace monitors (goannas), Spangled Drongos (birds!) 

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16.1 Keep straight on past Whipbird Drive on the left. 

Red soils of the basalt surface change to grey forest soils on sandstone base. Numerous small logging tracks and log loading clearings. Sandy surface with clay patches, single lane. Keep to the main track.

16.6 Steep descent starts. Approximately 800 m. 

25.7

Turn left into Wallers Rd (not signposted.)

Large turn off on red dirt.  (The road to the right continues to Helidon.) Open woodland gives way to grazing farmland. Red-roofed homestead in distance. 

26.3 Road forks and narrows. Take right fork along Wallers Rd.

Gradual, winding descent along black basaltic soil track. Large Monitor lizards may be seen hereabouts.  Beautiful woodland—eucalypts, casuarinas, fine brush box specimens in gully on right.  Lantana understorey.  A number of bird species may be seen here.Extensive views to south and west.

27.0Continue descent.

Travelling through kangaroo grass and grass tree understorey.

28.6  Ignore numerous logging roads to left and right.

Sandy road surface with occasional clay patches.  Single lane for most of this drive so keep it slow!

32.4  Road becomes stony.

You are following a ridge top with good forestry views either side.

32.7  Stony surface finishes.

Selective logging of forest, numerous old stumps visible.

33.3  Ignore minor road on right.

34.6  Very steep descent.  Engage lowest gear and 4 wheel drive mode.

Beautiful views over the Lockyer Valley, though not for the driver!

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35.5  Steep descent finishes.

37.5  Turn right at the T junction where Wallers Rd joins bitumen road. This becomes Forestry Rd but it’s not signed.

Open grazing.

39.8  Turn right into Smithfield Rd through double underpass. 

Warrego Highway is over the top of you.

42.0  Turn sharp left before the railway.  Do not cross the line.

You are now on the famed Lockyer Valley black soils, reputed to be one of the eight most agriculturally productive areas in the world.  Many farms have access to underground water just 20 metres below the surface.  Lately, supplies have dwindled.

43.8  Cross Davey’s Bridge with care and immediately turn right into Gatton.

Gatton is a thriving agricultural service centre, with an annual Potato Festival (October) and a Heavy Horse Event (May), as well as University of Queensland, Gatton Campus nearby.

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big fig
The big fig, Ravensbourne National Park

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