There is nothing dead about the amazing ‘dead-end” ride to O’Reilly’s and back on the Lamington National Park Rd in South East Queensland.
Despite the Gold Coast hinterland being ravaged by bushfires in September 2019, the scenery along this road is as spectacular and pristine as ever. You wouldn’t even know a bushfire had been through the region!
That is not the case with the nearby Binna Burra Lodge which was sadly decimated in the bushfires and has closed the dead-end Binna Burra Rd south of Timbarra Drive.
However, Lamington National Park Rd is still open and is as challenging, varied and spectacular as any of the Alpine roads in NSW and Victoria.
In fact, massive roadworks over the past couple of years have made it even better.
However, the last few kilometres to O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat are fairly bumpy.
It’s a virtual paradise for riders, yet it is relatively unknown by riders outside SEQ and little used compared with some of the other “motorcycle routes” in the region.
Riding south out of town into the beautiful valley you will notice O’Reilly’s Canungra Valley Vineyard which is a great place to stop for lunch and wine tasting (pillions only!).
About 2km down the road, it crosses one of several metal cattle grids before ascending the mountain.
The cattle grids are often on blind corners and need to be taken at right angles to avoid slipping, especially in the wet.
They are among many other hazards such as narrow one-lane sections, blind corners, rock falls, dangling vines, foreign tourists in clapped-out vans, bumps, potholes, leaf litter, oblivious bushwalkers, occasional cyclists, and moss on the road edge and even in the centre!
Despite all those hazards, it is a great road for motorcyclists of all types, so long as you take it easy and/or do an exploratory run.