Kooralbyn Valley worth the detour

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The Scenic Rim and Gold Coast hinterland have a bounty of great motorcycling roads and right in the middle of it all is the pretty Kooralbyn Valley.

The picturesque valley is located about 70km south of Brisbane between Beaudesert and Rathdowney. It’s the gateway to glorious riding in the Border Ranges, Lions Rd, Mt Tamborine and more.

Kooralbyn Valley was developed in the early 1980s as one of the world’s first eco tourist resorts. It featured a golf course and even an international school attended by Cathy Freeman and Adam Scott.

But it went bust in 2008 and fell into decay.

It’s now being gradually refurbished and partially reopened as Ramada Resort Kooralbyn in June 2016.Kooralbyn Valley kanagaroos Triumph T100 Bonneville

I’ve ridden past the Kooralbyn turnoff on many occasions and never thought to ride up into the valley. However, it is well worth the visit, even if it’s just to break up the boring stretch between Rathdowney and Beaudesert.

But when we were looking for a nice, quiet weekend getaway to explore some motorcycling roads, Mrs MBW found the resort online.

Prices are dirt cheap at the moment because they are in a “soft opening” stage. However, it’s a bit tired in places and some of the facilities, such as the pool, are not yet open.

We spoilt ourselves and paid just $200 for the plush penthouse suite with sweeping views across the golf course into the Teviot Range.

Several other motorcyclists have also discovered the resort as there were a few bikes in the carpark. Even more riders visited on the Sunday morning for breakfast.Kooralbyn Valley kanagaroos Triumph T100 Bonneville

The 10km winding road in is 80km/h and runs along a creek with contended cows lying under the trees in lush, green pastures.

It’s not a challenging ride, but the roads and streets around the rural-urban area surrounding the resort are steep and winding. They offer gob-smacking views of the Kooralbyn Valley and Teviot Ranges.

Beware the fauna

Just be very careful of the big and bountiful kangaroos in the morning and late afternoon. Don’t be fooled by the suburban landscape. They are everywhere! Kooralbyn Valley kanagaroos Triumph T100 Bonneville

If you stay overnight, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied once you’ve parked the bike for the day. They include a pistol club, clay pigeon shooting, Aussie barbecue, horse riding, skydiving, mountain biking and 4WDing circuit. While no one was watching, I had a short ride on the 4WD track with my Bonneville. I wished I’d taken the Scrambler! It would be great if they opened it up to trail or adventure bikes.Kooralbyn Valley kanagaroos Triumph T100 Bonneville

There is a choice of cafe and restaurant at the resort, plus a bar overlooking the golf course with cheap drinks. The small Kooralbyn shopping village is only 100m away with small supermarket for supplies, a couple of cafes and a service station.

When you check out, they give you a complimentary bag with two bottles of water for the trip home and a bottle of wine for when you get home.

(MBW was not paid for this review and did not receive any discounts or freebies.)

2 Comments

  1. We took your advice and used it as base camp for a couple of days riding around the scenic rim area (we came down from the Sunshine Coast so we would never otherwise ride the Lions road). I can recommend it as a base, though maybe not as an actual resort. Most of the activities they list dont actually exist (clay pigeon shooting is laser, and the pistol shooting is in Brisbane!), but the staff are friendly and the location was great. It is not crowded and the dining options are fine for a couple of nights. It was perfect to ride around the kyogle, woodenbong, rathdowney areas and be back before dark to relax with a beer and not worry about riding home.

  2. Hi Mark.

    Mrs GOB has put that one into the memory bank, for our next winter pilgrimage to FNQ, its been a few years now since, we last travelled through that area.

    cheers
    Ride free and safe

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