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Drive A

Hampton to Gatton-Esk Road 
via Lockyer National Park
Download a PDF brochure.

Travel time ONE WAY – 1½ - 2 hours.

The drive can not be completed if the National Park gate is closed at 27 km.

Distance to Gatton-Esk Rd – 47 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 these drives 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. Previously a dairying and hardwood timber getting region, 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!) 

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 Logans Rd, just after passing an organic farm on your left. This road is signed NO THRU RD, but is a through road if the National Park gate is open. DRY WEATHER ROAD ONLY from this point.) 

From this turnoff the woodland changes to open grazing land. Green roofed homestead in the distance.. 

26.3 Road forks and narrows. Take left fork along fence line. Deeply rutted (Sep 2015).

Road goes along a dark soil ridge top.  Numerous “whoa-boys”. Great views north and south. Open woodland.

27.9 Ignore road on the right. Go though National Park gate.

30.5 Start of steep, rough descent. 

No notes here, all eyes on the road, and the drop-off!! 
Engage lowest gear and 4-wheel drive.  Proceed cautiously. 

31.7 Sharp hairpin bend. Well-signposted.

You are nearly down! 

32.1Creek crossing, usually dry with a firm base. Continue for approx. 10 km, ignoring tracks to the right.

If water is running, check depth and speed before proceeding. Spectacular bird sounds; you may see Kingfishers, Wattlebirds, Noisy Miners, Cuckoos, Pied Currawongs, Kookaburras, and Fairy-wrens. 

42.8 Narrow cattle grid. Gate which may be locked as it is the other end of the National Park. 

Occasional rocky surface.

43.1 Entrance to prison. Turn right. Sealed road. 

46.7 Junction with Gatton-Esk Rd.  Turn left to Esk (33km), right to Gatton (15 km).

On your left is the “Lucerne Factory” where lucerne is pelletised for export. There are large turf farms and irrigated pastures along the road to the right, while the left hand side is rural prison property. 

End

 

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