Queensland has some of the most iconic landscapes in the country, from gorgeous bush scenery in the west, to pristine beaches on the coast and islands.
The Motorama 4X4XMORE Team went out to Killarney recently to check out the nearby 14 River Crossings.
The Condamine Gorge plays host to this track with the Condamine River zigzagging back and forth across fourteen times to create an easy 4WD track for beginners, with the perfect backdrop of the Darling Downs and Scenic Rim Regions.
The 14 River Crossings officially starts just outside of Killarney, a small border town 20 minutes down the road from Warwick, nestled in the Macpherson Range – which feeds into the Great Dividing Range.
The easiest way to get to Killarney from Brisbane is via the Cunningham Hwy – which takes you directly out from Ipswich, travelling southwest into the heart of the Darling Downs. You can also take a more scenic route through Boonah, which is technically also the shortest route (especially if you’re travelling from the Gold Coast,) although may not be the fastest based on speed limits and driving conditions.
The 14 Crossings Trek is an easy 4WD track that throws in river crossings that aren’t particularly tricky to get through.
Throw in a tyre pressure gauge and a portable air compressor to deflate and reinflate your tyres, as well as a couple of towels, in case you have to wade into the river. None of the 14 Crossings get particularly deep, but if rain has been through the area recently, some of the crossings may be more swollen than usual.
Pack a picnic, because you can stop at picturesque spots perched on the Condamine River, and cool off with a swim. Killarney has a small population with just a few stores to cater for the residents, with the Killarney Hotel in the centre of the main street, so if you need any specific convenience items like specialty food or medications, you probably have to pick it up in Brisbane before you leave. Warwick is also close by, with big supermarkets and specialty stores to pick up anything you might have forgotten.
Attempting the crossings is not particularly difficult, even for those with the most basic 4WD knowledge. If you do get caught though, maybe you stall in the middle of the creek bed, keep the necessary recovery gear close by. It’s great to be prepared by packing snatch straps and towropes, but those won’t be any use if they’re in a box in the back and your 4WD is up to its sills in water.
Not that the 14 River Crossings get that hairy, but it’s good practice to keep the recovery gear you need to pull you outwithin arms reach.
You’ll need a 4WD (obviously) with low-range gearing. A high clearance ute or wagon is preferred, smaller 4WDs might not be cut out for the depths of certain crossings. When you’re driving through the 14 Crossings, or any river crossing, keep your windows wound down and drive slowly, but keeping a steady pace – enough to create a bow wave to push deep water out of the way of your car.
Remember, when you can’t see the bottom of a river, or if there is a shifting surface like rocks, you can’t speed through it or you’ll risk damaging the underside of your car or flooding the entire car if you dip below the bow wave created by the front of the car pushing through the water. Even if you have a snorkel fitted to your car, that doesn’t mean you can just charge through any river crossing.
You can travel to the 14 River Crossings as a daytrip from Brisbane or the Gold Coast, or you can camp or stay in the region for the weekend to check out the sights.
There are some spectacular waterfalls dotted around the region, including the Queen Mary Falls, as well as Carr’s Lookout, which overlooks the lush valleys of the Scenic Rim.
If you have a week of the school holidays to fill, you can complete a full bush to beach circuit, driving out to the sands of South Ballina Beach and Evans Head before returning to Brisbane.
Remember, the expert team at Motorama 4x4xMore can help you find the perfect vehicle for your next off-road adventure, and give helpful tips and tricks on how to make the most of your four-wheel drive.