Noosa Trail Network – Day 1

Waiting for the train

Waiting for the train

It’s 5am and Brisbane’s Valley Entertainment Precinct is full of drunk people. I feel out of place wheeling my loaded MTB between them. The only other sober people seem to be bouncers and dancers who are finishing their shifts. It’s little wonder my only options for breakfast are Pie Face and the Golden Arches. I settle on a mince meat pie from the former and a chocolate thickshake from the latter. It’s very average but I need to eat.

I catch a train to Central Station to get away from the chaos, repack my gear to squeeze in the food and last-minute grabs before boarding the 6:34am train to Nambour. The 2 hour train ride passes quickly because a fellow passenger strikes up a conversation. We chat until he alights three stations before me.

On the road to Cooroy

On the road to Cooroy

Views from Eumundi Range Road

Views from Eumundi Range Road

From Nambour I have to ride 30km along the road to the trail network. It would be easy to see this as an annoyance. But I have decided to enjoy the experience as part of the whole adventure. Besides, the scenery is delightful. I stop to take photos and enjoy the views from a lookout I’ve never been to before. Some of the climbs are nasty though, and the sun is beating down on me. Summer is very suddenly here.

The start of trail #8 in Cooroy

The start of trail #8 in Cooroy

After almost 2 hours I reach Cooroy. This little town is the start point of the Cooroy Wanderer, which is trail #8 on the Noosa Trail Network. The trail, like all the trails in the network (with the exception of trail #4), is clearly signed. All you need to do is follow the numbered posts. Trail #4 is abysmally signed but more on that in the next post.

Bouncy fire trail

Bouncy fire trail

Through the trees

Through the trees

Train #8 traveled along won fire trails under tall forests. It’s 11km long and a fairly easy section, though it does have some short sharp climbs. I was still very much warming up to riding on the trail during this section so didn’t yet feel confident. I was also feeling the change of season so suffered a bit from the heat. Being indoors for the past three weekends didn’t help. It probably also cost me some fitness. But I’ll get used to it.

Leaf littered park in Pomona

Leaf littered park in Pomona

I arrived in Pomona at about 11:30am. The tiny town’s cafe, bakery and pub were all bursting at the seams. I bought a cold Powerade and the most delicious crispy crusted bread roll before retiring to the park for lunch. After enjoying some salami with the bread roll and downing the electrolyte drink, I lay in the shade and slept for about an hour. It was so good.

The start of trail #5 to Cooran

The start of trail #5 to Cooran

Single track joy

Single track joy

Picnic area along the trail

Picnic area along the trail

Through the grass

Through the grass

Scenery along the trail

Scenery along the trail

From Pomona I followed trail #5 around the base of majestic Mt Cooroora out to Cooran. This 9km trail included some fun fast flowing single track. Partway along the track I met a walker who seemed keen for a yarn. He was a local who couldn’t believe I had camping gear fit into my bike pack kit. We chatted for a bit before going our own ways again. I thoroughly enjoyed trail #5, the Cooroora Trail. It had some fun single track and traveled through lovely tall forests while also providing glimpses of Mt Cooroora (but not good enough for a photo). I had to walk up some of the hills but that just means I need to do some more training.

Cooran

Cooran

I stopped in Cooran for a frosty fruit ice block and chocolate brownie. There’s nothing to Cooran, just a small row of shops, pony club and houses. If you blinked you’d miss it. But the cafe does wonderful brownies and had a groovy array of teas (I love teas). I didn’t sample any of the teas though because I wasn’t in the mood.

Start of trail 2/3 from Cooran

Start of trail 2/3 from Cooran

Bamboo plantation

Bamboo plantation

The start of the hill

The start of the hill

Views from the climb

Views from the climb

And the climb keeps going on

And the climb keeps going on

But the views were amazing!

But the views were amazing!

And the trail just kept climbing

And the trail just kept climbing

Trail #3, Cooran to Kin Kin, was unforgiving. It started pleasantly enough with a ride along quiet country roads between hobby farms. but I could see the mountains ahead so could anticipate what was coming. The map also had a section marked ‘steep climb’ with an arrow pointing in my direction of travel. I did a lot of hike-a-bike this afternoon. I even resorted to taking my cycling shoes off and walking barefoot so I would be more comfortable. I really must work on my MTB climbing. But the views! They made the long hike-a-bike worth it. And, besides, there’s going to be a lot of long climbs on the Tasmanian Trail later this year. I better do some more training.

Views from Tablelands Lookout

Views from Tablelands Lookout

Camp at Tablelands Lookout

Camp at Tablelands Lookout

Coconut fish curry noodles

Coconut fish curry noodles

It was 4:15pm by the time I reached Tablelands Lookout. The nearest official campsite was still 8km away with more climbing. That would have taken me another hour, leaving a risk of getting caught out after dark. Besides, after getting up at 3:30am, a 2 hour train ride and about 60km of cycling I was beat. So I pitched my tent, cooked up a feed, wrote my journal and was in bed by 7am.

It was a fantastic challenging day and I fell asleep a happy camper.

Total: 61.5km cycling

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6 responses to “Noosa Trail Network – Day 1

  1. I enjoyed reading this. It reminded me of my cycling day in southern Tasmania earlier this year. We cycled mostly on dirt roads and mountain tracks. I don’t do much cycling and would like to do more, especially days like that one. One thing I discovered on that day in Tasmania is that I really don’t like cycling down hills. I am scared I’ll skid. So I cycled up the mountains and walked part of the way back down, to my husband’s amazement.

    Doing a camping trip like you have done sounds great. I’d have to work up some fitness though! I do lots of swimming but that doesn’t build up your legs.

    • Ooh nice. I am going cycling in Tasmania for 3 weeks from Christmas. I bet it’s beautiful down there on a treadly. LOL about downhills – I am much the same. My sister races downhill while I ride the brakes.

      Swimming gives good aerobic fitness so you’d do well on a walking camping trip – it takes a little bit less leg strength than cycling :)

  2. Pingback: Warm riding: Noosa trails | Trails and Tours

  3. Nice job with traveling LIGHT. Super pretty bikepacking kit you’ve got there! Who makes it?

    • Hey Ginger, I got my bikepacking kit from the Bike Bag Dude here in Australia (www.bikebagdude.com). The seat post and half frame bags are imported from Ovja Negra (I think it’s a Canadian brand). The chaff bag and handlebar bag are made by Bike Bag Dude himself.

  4. Pingback: Rest day reflections | Transventure

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