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Alex was thinking my plan of only about 30kms a day cycling sounded like a rather easy, leisurely long weekend! I did warn him though, "the ride is a bit hilly!"

Day 1

Setting off from the small township of Amamoor with clear skies and flat country roads was indeed easy.

But it wasn't too long before we were headed UP to the first highlight of our weekend - the fire tower. We were rewarded with some fantastic views but had to work hard for it. 

At the fire tower, we were greeted by a lazy lizard enjoying the morning sun.

Our route then followed the northern border of Amamoor State Forest and took us up and down most peaks on the way. There were more great views...

...and a lot more pushing than cycling! Unfortunately, Alex actually took a fall whilst pushing his bike not cycling. Time for some lunch and a rest.

We had only cycled or should I say pushed our bikes for 16kms and it was already 1pm. Would we reach our camp before dark?

Luckily for us, although we still had a few more hills, the majority of the rest of the day was an awesome downhill run to Amamoor Creek campsite. We filled our water bladders here and headed back into the forest to find a quiet spot to camp.  More pushing up into the hills.

Just after 4pm we found a spot to pitch our tent. We collapsed to the ground with our wine (yes I know a bit of luxury, but hey I think we deserved it). 

It was then time to think about dinner. We were both stuffed and it didn't take much discussion to decide we were too tired to be bothered cooking and a snack would do. 

Just as we were going to bed, at 6pm, we were treated to a fantastic light show as fireflies fluttered around our camp. It was magical laying in our tent (without the outer fly) watching the fireflies flutter above us.

Day 2

Ok, so a good night's sleep was had and it was decision time. Continue on our planned route which would involve more of yesterday's push-a-bike or take a detour around part of the forest through some flatter farming country. A no brainer - we both like backcountry roads through farming country!

A bit of a push to get out of the forest...

... and onto an easy road taking in the beautiful morning.

After about 10kms of easy cycling, we entered Imbil State Forest 2 and crossed our fingers the roads and hills would be easier than Amamoor State Forest.

This did turn out the case and we thoroughly enjoyed our cycling.

Exiting at the southern end of the forest we rode a short distance on the busy road to Borumba Dam. The ice-cream and cold drink at the camping area were worth it.

After filling up with water and fixing a flat tyre we entered Imbil State Forest 1. It was a bit of a push-a-bike initially...

... but once again turned into a pleasant place to cycle.

We enjoyed lunch beside a creek and were enjoying our afternoon when we suddenly heard thunder and looked behind us to see a storm brewing.

Time to find a campsite as gusty storms were forecast. 15 mins later as we were putting up our tent the rain started. We were nicely sheltered and with our tent groundsheet used as a tarp we enjoyed a relaxing afternoon/evening.

Until bedtime when we realised we were camped on an old road and the ground was quite rocky. But nevermind we were tired and slept well.

Day 3

Waking up to another blue sky day we pushed our bikes back through the lantana...

... out onto the forestry road...

.... where we cycled out of the state forest to meet up with the Mary Valley Rail Trail. We followed part of this into Imbil. 

The old Imbil Station area is part of a small golf course. 

We enjoyed morning tea from the local bakery....

....before continuing on our way crossing the Mary River.

We cycled some backcountry roads/lanes and alongside part of the old rail line to avoid the busy roads.

Unfortunately, I ended up with a stick bending my derailer. My first thought on seeing my derailer bent into my spokes was "Well that's it for the weekend!" But my trusty bike mechanic (Alex) came to the rescue and carefully bent the derailer back and by some small miracle, I was still able to change gears and continue cycling.

An old tunnel along the line still stands and it's great to walk through and imagine the trains passing through full of school children who were probably delighted by such places years ago.

Now we were back onto country roads again headed towards our car at Amamoor. But as in most adventures, there are always a few more unexpected things to see...

... and hills to climb or push-a-bike in this case!

We finally reached our car back at Amamoor with Alex commenting to me "Now I know why you only planned such short distances this weekend. That was the hilliest off/dirt-road cycle touring we've done!"

Check out our short video:

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Length of Ride
    95 km circuit approx.
    4-7 hours each day, including breaks, for 3 days
Best Time to do
    Cooler months, or anytime if you are fitter.

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