Avoiding the Wide Bay Highway

Ground-truthing a route from Kilkivan to Gundiah

I am hoping later this year to be able to ride from Ipswich to Hervey Bay on rail trails and minor roads. The first four days are roughly the same as the Great Queensland Rail Trail Adventure, except that day 4 would go all the way along the KKRT to Kilkivan.

The rest of the ride would be Gundiah or Tiaro, Maryborough, Hervey Bay (on the Mary to the Bay trail). So the route linked above provides a crucial section so make this possible: a low-traffic route heading east from Kilkivan.

The latest edition of Organised Grime’s guide to the BVRT and KKRT includes a map showing this link.

I rode the section from Cogzill Rd to Smith Rd on Tuesday 4 January. It was a useful link, but it certainly didn’t feel like a road reserve for most of it.  It felt like a farm track, and I think I should have found out who the landowner was to let him know I was coming.

I’ve provided feedback to Mark Roberts, who makes the wonderful maps for the Organised Grime guides.

This screen grab shows the section of the route I’m discussing. It runs from 14.2 km to 19.1km on the Strava activity link at the top of this post.

As we cross the Wide Bay Creek on Cogzell Rd, the “road” becomes a farm track and splits in two. The left hand branch is our route, the right is Cogzell Rd and I assume from looking at the aerial photos that it goes to a farm house.

As we leave the creek bed, we emerge into a valley paddock, with a well-defined double track trail.

As the valley narrows in, the trail goes past a very nice little dam.

And through the first of maybe five gates.

And then almost disappears on occasion as you follow the line on your GPS unit or phone.

The farm track emerges at the far end onto Smith Road, which takes us back towards Woolooga. Turn left on Gympie-Woolooga Rd to head towards Tiaro, or right to go to the cafe at Woolooga. Mark Roberts' route towards Gympie also goes right at this point, but from there on I haven’t ridden it.

I should point out that when I came back the next day after staying overnight at the Prince of Wales Hotel Gundiah, that I took the road, for comparison purposes. In cooler months the decisions will be less influenced by the need to get the ride over and find a cool drink and some air-conditioned spaces, so I hope to use this route later in 2022 (September perhaps) as part of an Ipswich to Hervey Bay tour.

What do you think? Have you ridden other back roads routes east from Kilkivan that work better? Let me know.

Andrew Demack @briztreadley