Saturday 7 April: Biking around Landsborough

Author: Mr A

Location: Landsborough, Sunshine Coast Hinterland Distance cycled: 17km

Rain again last night was pattering on the roof, but checking the weather forecast this morning it looked good for a bike ride. I cooked us a sausage, egg and bacon heart starter, loaded the bikes on the car and we were off.

We drove down into Landsborough and parked just outside of town on the edge of the Dularcha National Park, then headed off into the eucalypt forest. It was a great trail, with a 100 metre old rail tunnel to ride through, then a big push up a hill to find a quagmire of a trail churned up by horses.We retreated and headed back and headed off through town on the bikes to the next ride. This thankfully was a lot drier and we had a great ride round part of the reservoir.The bikes have been so well used on this trip already, I couldn’t imagine doing a trip without them. We love walking, but cycling the bush is just a very different experience. You can cover so much more distance, and there’s the thrill of the ride when its a bit bumpy :). The downside is that we don’t see as much wildlife, especially when I am in front, the big old Surly crashing through. When we are walking I’m not allowed in front as I block the view! We did see a large lace monitor today though – can you spot it up the paperbark gum? Not the best disguise…!

Back at the car and bikes reloaded, we headed back to camp on a different road. Little did we know what an amazing road it would be. Single track in places, very steep, but with these incredible views.This hinterland is really stunning. I can see the attraction in living up here, a little cooler in the evening, plenty of big blocks.

Back at camp it was bike and rider clean up time, then a lovely glass of an old Woodcutters Shiraz (2008) with a Goan chicken curry courtesy of the Anderson Fine Dining Zone (that would be Mrs A).

Friday 6 April: With the sunshine comes hiking

Author: Mrs A

Location: Maleny and Landsborough, Queensland. Distance hiked: 10km

Finally we opened the blinds this morning and saw blue sky and sunshine beaming through fluffy white clouds, such a relief after several days of grey gloom and rain. We excitedly pulled on our hiking shoes and drove a short way to Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve.

This is a significant part of the just 1% remaining rainforest between here and Gladstone, donated in the 1960s by the Cairncross family in memory of their mother. It’s run by Sunshine Coast Council and funded largely by donations. There is an excellent information centre, lecture theatres, a café and viewing platform looking across the Glass House Mountains.After checking out the views, we followed a walking trail through the rainforest. Many of the trees are centuries old, with ancient creepers climbing up to the canopy. The birdlife is prolific but very hard to see – mostly up high consuming the rainforest’s riches in fruits and seeds. The scenery is so rich in new sights, with rare trees on every corner, and twisting undergrowth. This rainforest is home to many furry creatures too – we saw flying foxes (fruit bats), and hidden away there are also pademelons (little wallabies), sugar gliders (flying possums), snakes, lizards and more.Finally our walk came to an end, so we returned to the Maleny Showgrounds, hitched up the caravan and moved just 17 minutes drive down the road to Landsborough. We’d booked this site a while ago, when we noticed it would be Easter holidays when we were in the area. We pulled in realising the campsite is actually nowhere near the actual village of Landsborough, and at the top of a very steep and busy road. Ah – so no cycling from camp down to the local pub from here then. Ah well. In its favour, we are fairly centrally located, and it was just a 20 minute drive from another walk we were keen to do, down in the Glass House Mountains themselves.This was the circuit walk around Mount Tibrogargan, one of the hikes recommended by our friend Karel, who’s house we stayed at last weekend. It’s not a challenging walk, with some great views around the way and only some short climbing. We tacked on another trail, the Trachyte Circuit onto our walk at the end to extend the distance and experience.The walk took us through casuarina groves, past giant eucalypts and through melaleuca forest. Dwarf and yellow candle banksia flowers accompanied our journey, along with the odd frog brought out by the wet weather.

We mostly stayed dry, but a heavy shower hit us just as we reached our final lookout, making for a dramatic viewpoint and a nice cool down before we hiked our final kilometres back to the car.Back at the mobile apartment, showers were definitely welcomed, before cooking up a fasting-day Friday dinner of vegetarian red curry followed by fruit, with some more Netflix to entertain us – a couple of episodes of Jack Taylor this evening (thanks Mr Ward for the recommendation!).

Monday 2 & Tuesday 3 April – Getting our Zone in tip top condition

Author: Mrs A

Location: Pullenvale, north Brisbane, Stanmore, Queensland

Easter Monday fasting day dawned mostly bright and sunny, although the rain decided to pour as soon as I had hung out the freshly washed sheets to dry. Funny how that happens.

Mid morning, ZoneRV employee extraordinare Rhys drove up after his night out in Brisbane to take a look at our water system. What service to come out on a public holiday!

We have been experiencing an unreliable water supply, with the water pressure being very weak. Rhys thinks it all links back to the dust our water tanks appeared to inhale while we were travelling through the Pilbara. We had orange water coming out of the taps for quite a while after that, and have even recently (despite the water tanks being clean) had blasts occasionally.

Rhys installed a brand new filter (our third in 15 months, second in a month!), a new pump and will install a new mains water regulator next week when we are in Coolum Beach for a caravan service. Water pressure from our tanks is great now.

Tuesday we were up and about early and on the road shortly after 7am, heading for north Brisbane and a company called Vehicle Components (which installed our caravan chassis, towbar, brakes and airbag suspension) for our 10,000km service. We were sorry to farewell our beautiful Pullenvale location, but excited to see new areas.We unhitched the mobile apartment and headed off, camping cat and all, to kill time while we waited for the mechanics to do their magic.

We had a few tasks to do, so drove first to a huge shopping centre in the suburb of Chermside. We found a quiet parking spot in the shade so Tassie would be safe in the car, and went on in. Fortunately it was a cool (just 21 degrees!) and rainy morning, so we didn’t need to worry too much.

Fellow Zoners, Libby and Phil who don’t live too far away, came over with their cute granddaughters to join us for a coffee and a chat.

Three hours later, tasks complete, we headed off and tried to find somewhere for lunch. We found a deli with 4.5 stars and fabulous reviews on Google and Trip Advisor and thought we would be sorted. Sadly for us we were wrong. The food was pretty ordinary for both of us, and we struggled to provide them with a single star.

From there we decided to escape the oppressive city and head to the coast…and breathe…yes, much nicer. First of all to Shorncliffe Pier where Tassie was dive bombed by noisy miner birds and magpies….

And then on to a spot overlooking the Boondall Wetlands where we shared a small portion of chips to take away the taste of our nasty lunches!Shortly after 4pm we got the call from Kieran at Vehicle Components to say that the Zone was ready for collection. There had been a lot of work done, thankfully mostly under the 2 year warranty. They had done an extremely thorough job and replaced all our shock absorbers, our brakes and the piping and panel for our troublesome airbag suspension. They also gave us advice on the right towing height for the car rear suspension airbags and the distance we needed to measure from the bump stops on the caravan.

We took notes which will hopefully continue to make sense tomorrow, and pulled on out with Kieran’s thumbs up and went on our way. We feel confident we did the right thing by bringing it back here to the source, they clearly know their products inside out and were able to do a really thorough job.We drove west out of the city, heading towards the Glasshouse mountains, the setting sun together with April showers providing us with a spectacular evening sky show as we travelled.We pulled up in a muddy field in pitch darkness at around 6.30pm, hoping we were in the right place, but not really caring. Once settled safely into our mobile apartment it didn’t really matter where we were, a glass of wine and a Netflix movie with an exhausted warm cat on the lap, all was good in our Zone.