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Unread 11th December 2017, 04:33 AM
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Default Billabong/Bump Track to Black Mountain Road

Another afternoon out, Heading back from my mate's on the Tablelands I thought I'd have peak at the Billabong Track which meets (or is a continuation of) the famous Bump Track down to Port Douglas.
The Bump Track is now strictly a walking/cycling, but on the other side of Black Mountain road (which is no more than a decent track anyway) it's driveable. Just.
As it was just a "looksee" I only snapped a video at the very start.
Next time I do it , I think I'll take someone else and get some footage because it was awesome! I ended up going the whole track to Black Mountain road.
The Billabong track can easily be termed rough. Certainly the most challenging terrain I've been on for years, and the sort of track where there's no turning around to go back except in a very few spots along the way. You certainly wouldn't want to meet someone coming the other way.
Not the sort of track I would really want to attempt when wet unless I absolutely had to, too many opportunities to slide off the side and as seems usuall for the area, a lot of driving along the ridges of the hills.

It was a little foolhardy of me to attempt it, but having started it was impossible to turn around once it got steep.

I also should have stopped to take pictures, but was a bit short on time as it was only meant to be a looksee and I was due back down the hill at a reasonable hour.

I was extremely impressed with the way the car handled the terrain, there were a number of very large ruts, and the steep sections were very rough.

https://youtu.be/4rHPR74oncg

Awful quality sorry, it was a spur of the moment thing. Next time, I'll set up for video..
The funny clacking noise is my keys too. I must take off my old Coopers bottle opener.
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Unread 11th December 2017, 07:11 PM
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Sounds like a very interesting track indeed! It does look very narrow.
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Unread 12th December 2017, 06:11 AM
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The widest section was just after that, opened out, but lots of small (less than a car length) but deep heavily rutted boggy holes that fortunately I managed to drive around for the most part.

It looked like quad bikes had been along it at some stage since it had dried from the last rains, but I doubt a car/4wd had been up it for some time, although the ruts show that some big 4wds have been through at some stage, they weren't by any means fresh though, so I doubt anything really since the last wet season.

I really need to find some trip buddies. It's not the sort of thing I should be doing on my own, despite it beaing extremely enjoyable. The joys of not being a young man any more, I don't relish the thought of having to walk through bush for 15-20k's to get assistance if I get stuck.

Still, ya gotta live!
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Unread 12th December 2017, 06:42 AM
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If anyone's interested, there's a trail here that goes along the billabong track: https://mytrails.com.au/trails.php?tid=1015048 mapped out by some crazy cyclist by the looks of it
If you go 'left' (east) from the "Start" that's the billabong track going down the range (it's apparently the Great Dividing Range even) until the sharp left which looks like it's the lemon track.
Gives a nice side view of the elevation and grades(?) too, which you can mouse along and it shows your route on the map. I did it in the reverse of what they did, which by the looks of it was the right way to do it, I never noticed it being that steep, but by the looks of it I must have gone down some bts ithat I'm not sure I'd be able to go up.
The back third of that trail is along Black Mountain road - the interesting bits.

I guess I'll have to try doing the Billabong track the other way now, see how steep some of those sections are. I can remember going down one bit in particular that I'm sure would be really hard to get up, big ridges in the road to go over, possibly rock - it was a bit hard to tell wasn't sharp stuff though.

the Lemon Track is also definitely on my list of 'close by spots' to try. That and some of the trails through to Mona-Mona. It's absolutely incredible driving up here. I should have started doing these trails years ago!
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Unread 13th December 2017, 05:30 AM
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Just to add to the story, if looking at that trail in my post above, the billabong track (that short bit from the start) took I think an hour. The whole of the black mountain road section of that trail took about 40 minutes.

On that page, it shows the entire loop and the distance of it.
I think I did under half of it, so about 20k in almost 2 hours

As a shortcut from my mates place to Black Mountain Road, I reckon I probably shaved about 10k off the journey and took me 40 minutes longer
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Unread 13th December 2017, 07:32 AM
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^ great "shortcut"
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Unread 13th December 2017, 01:14 PM
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maybe longer one was more enjoyable. saw couple videos to that mountain, its hard there.
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Unread 13th December 2017, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scalman View Post
maybe longer one was more enjoyable. saw couple videos to that mountain, its hard there.
It's pretty easy when dry, mainly need to keep the speed down because of the 'drains' and resulting puddles on Black Mountain road.
Billabong track was/is a completely different beast No drains to run the water off the road, so going up any slopes the track was heavily washed away.

Easy to tell it's not often travelled, most commonly used tracks have worn down quite a abit over the years so the track level is notivceably below the surrounding ground level. This one wasn't.

I wouldn't attempt the Billabong track after rain (unless I was in Rally's car with MTs on it - I wonder how long it would take him to notice I'd swapped the cars, they are the same model & colour after all!), Black Mountain road I would (if it was open)
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Unread 13th December 2017, 06:16 PM
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This might actually be part of the billabong track! Although the bush does seem to open out a lot down the bottom, so maybe not, I don't remember any spots quite so cleared.
https://youtu.be/-Nr4Bf9I_yQ

If it is, I'm pretty sure I was going the other way.
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Unread 14th December 2017, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
^ great "shortcut"
I calculated the routes on PC Navigator last night (Great software for a free product).
Looks like I shaved off just under 3kms, not 10!. the best kind of shortcut, considering I didn't get close to being stuck!
As the crow flies, which the track 'sort of' does it's considerably shorter.
I'm definitely going to have to track it live.
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