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20170819 Sundown National Park - Printable Version

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20170819 Sundown National Park - White Bush Pig - 10-06-2017

Sundown National Park - Camping plus nominated track maintenance.
Weekend of 19th/20th August, however an extra day or 2 would be great if you can get it off work. (Ekka public holiday is on Wed 16th, so possibility to take 17th & 18th off)? 
Meeting: 8am Shell servo at Aratula for an 8.30 leave time.
UFH channel 28.
As there could be some track maintenance involved, be sure to bring a pair of gloves, eye protection, hatchet, machete or chainsaw etc.
It WILL be cold so be sure to dress and prepare appropriately for the conditions. Sitting around a roaring campfire is always something to look forward to though!

Sundown can be quite rocky with possibility of sharp shaly stones in some areas, so a good set of at least all terrain tyres is recommended for this trip.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 11-06-2017

I am very keen to head down on Exhibition Wednesday and stay for 5 days.  There are a couple of tracks that this amount of time in the park would allow for doing.  I will explore the time off option on Monday, can't see a problem.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 31-07-2017

Sundown is a goer from Ekka Wednesday to Sunday.  At this stage it's Victor, me and a visitor.  Kris at last conversation was deciding what day he was coming down.  We will make a decision where we camp at the AGM so that anybody coming later will know where to find us.

For anybody that hasn't been to Sundown, this is a true 4WD park without the cost, only National Park camp fees.  There is plenty to see and plenty to do.

Put your name down here so that we know who's coming.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - troopiepete - 07-08-2017


Just letting you know I will not be attending because it's too Darn COLD!!

I wish that was the issue but it seems that a combination of things including Post has me working both Saturday and Sunday, with Saturday being both overtime and CPR training it's too hard for me to get out of  Sad

Better luck next time I guess..

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 11-08-2017

Confirmed starters for Sundown are Victor, Johnny, Kris and myself.

Victor, Johnny and me are meeting at BP Aratula on Ekka Wednesday and leaving at around 9am.

If you are coming, please reply here, and advise what day and time you would expect to be at Sundown, about 4 hours from Brisbane.  There is limited mobile reception at the park.  Only on the high plains.  The park is expansive and if you don't know where to look for us, you will never find us.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 14-08-2017

Spoke with Ranger Ian today. We are good to go. He said there is very little to do on the track, maybe just some brush on the edge. Track apparently is getting a lot of use.

Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 14-08-2017

The plan for the week will be:

Leave BP Aratula around 9am Wednesday;

On entry to the park, run our track and do maintenance as required;

Head for Burrows Campground and camp for the night;


Look for the grave of Fred Burrows and the old stockyards near the Waterhole;

Depart Burrows and head for the Hell Hole and camp here until Saturday;


Depending on the weather, we may move to Winter Camp and stay here overnight.

If you are coming down other than Wednesday, you need to either reply here, on messenger or speak with me so we can guide you to where we are.

Hell Hole for those that know is on the Rats Castle run and is the last turn on the loop when you hit the river.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - johnnyn - 21-08-2017

Hello gents

Just a few words about Sundown

Great Place-Great Time-Great Food-Great Company-Great Driving


RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 22-08-2017

As usual our meeting point was BP Aratula, Johnny arriving first, me, then Victor.  After a quick coffee we were on our way, with a couple of stops between Aratula and the park.   We arrived at the park gate around midday.  Of note, there is no longer self registration and pay at the gate. Onto the unmaintained track, the weather hasn't been the kindest to the track and it's getting to be a real 4WD track.  All up we did about 30 minutes of clearing some light scrub from the side of the track.  

From here it was the usual slow go heading for Burrows Waterhole.  On the top of the ridge above Burrows we saw a rack off to the side and decided to investigate, only to find that it ended before it started.  This was where our Victor tore the side out of the side wall on one of his tyres.  Quick tyre change and off to Burrows.

On arrival we were the only ones there and had the pick of the place.  So the best campsite was chosen.  They have some great steel fire pits, so it was all about getting a good fire going as this week we were camp fire cooking. 


Just on night fall we were joined by Mr and Mrs Possum and baby.  Mum and baby hung around in a tree above us while Dad hung around on the ground with us.  It was like this for the next night as well.

Thursday morning Victor decided that he would head into Stanthorpe and sort out the tyre issue.  He now highly recommends Stanthorpe & District Tyre Service.  This place is run by a four wheel driver and is open weekends as apparently there is a lot of tyre damage coming out of Sundown.  Victor was back a camp, with new tyres, just after lunch.

That morning I went for a walk to the top of the waterhole in search of Fred Burrows grave and some old stockyards.  Crossing the creek I was wondering how difficult it was going to be to find both.  All it took was to look up and I saw the yards and to the left was the grave. 

[attachment=2336]  [attachment=2337] [attachment=2338] [attachment=2339]

The waterhole is named after Fred who most likely took his own life and was buried about 40 yards from his cabin.  After a good look around I was back within 30 minutes.

Tonight we were waiting for Kris to arrive and best timing in the world he arrived just before dinner came out of the oven.  He arrived with news that there was a strange noise coming from the left front wheel area.  He wasn't able to find the source of the problem.  Leave it for tomorrow.
Friday morning dawns and the plan is for another easy day.  Kris has another look and can't see or replicate the noise.  After lunch we decide to go for a drive over to Red Rock Gorge taking Johnny and Kris car.  No problems for either.

[attachment=2340]  [attachment=2341]

Saturday.  The plan is head down to Rats Castle and maybe head up Sundown Creek.  There is now a chicken track up the hill in the middle of the track and this is where we saw some wheels lifted off the ground by the Cruiser.

[attachment=2342]  [attachment=2343]

Around 11 o'clock we started on the Sundown Creek track and managed as far as we had on a previous trip.  It was decided that this place needed some track building and we needed lunch.  After about a half hour we were on our way again picking our way up the creek until we reached the rear side of Rat's Castle.  A short walk to the top and we had that fantastic view of the Severn River.  From here it was that magical drive back up the hill and out of the creek.  This entire track is maybe 5 kilometres long and took us about 4 hours.  It was a thrill to conquer this track, although it is a well driven path.

[attachment=2344]  [attachment=2345] 

From here over to the Winter Camp and another great fire, tonight there was a change of weather and thermometer dropped a little.  Sunday morning and after breakfast we walked down the creek to the top of the fall and looked back across to the viewing platform at Red Rock Gorge.


From here we started our journey for home with a quick stop off to check out Aloomba Lavender Farm.

Week over, back to work.  What a great time we had in Sundown, the weather was perfect and quite warm for winter.

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - troopiepete - 23-08-2017

Good Report.

You left me hanging...
What was the item you were trying to find when Victor did his tyre in?

And no self Registration - WOOHOO so it's Free :-)

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - daggy - 24-08-2017

(23-08-2017, 10:12 PM)troopiepete Wrote: Good Report.

You left me hanging...
What was the item you were trying to find when Victor did his tyre in?

And no self Registration - WOOHOO so it's Free :-)
Just wanting to see where the track went to.

Sent from my SM-N920I using Tapatalk

RE: 20170819 Sundown National Park - White Bush Pig - 12-09-2017

Well, what can I say?
Every time I've been out to Sundown National Park, I've had a blast and this time was no exception!
I left a day later on the Thursday to catch up with my fellow campers and arrived at the entrance to the park at around 4pm.
As I didn't want to be trying to setup camp in the dark, I made haste along the main track and was making good time when I heard a noise coming from the front passenger side of the cruiser. I stopped to check it but couldn't identify the source and just decided to keep going albeit a lot slower.
Victor finally managed to hail me on the UHF and I explained the situation to him and told him I was now traveling very slowly (I suspected that I had broken a cv). Confused
Approx 1.5km from the campsite..the noise disappeared, which had me even a little more concerned! However, I arrived at camp at about 5.50pm. I estimate that if hadn't had to check my speed then I would have been there a good 1/2hr earlier.
I quickly setup camp as Daryl had the campfire dinner going and there was drinks to be had sitting around a campfire. Big Grin
The next morning I decided to see if I could replicate the noise from the day before and took the cruiser onto a flat area and slowly did some figure 8's picking up some speed with each pass but still no sound. Took it over some rougher terrain and up a rutted out track not far from camp...but still nothing. Oh well, if it was a cv I was certain it would have started making a racket!
Suffice to say that as the weekend progressed my confidence grew that hopefully whatever had made the noise was not a major issue.
Finally managed to get to see and drive some tracks I hadn't been on before... Rats Castle, Sundown Creek and the steep track exit out of the Sundown Creek and Rats Castle run.
All done with no issues and no annoying noises.
Sunday came time to leave and 3/4 of the way out the park...the noise started again. Huh
Told my companions that I was going to stop at the exit of park, jack the passenger side up and take the wheel off to do some more checking. Did this but nothing I could find around the passenger side. Climbed further under the car and finally discovered it....a broken sway bar mount on my axle housing on the drivers side! Nothing to be done there though so I drove it home and got it booked it to be repaired the following week.
I discovered on the earlier model 80 series these brackets were only tack welded front and back but on the later versions they were seam welded all the way around. Needless to say I got the repairer to improve the welds on both brackets. As an added bonus (while they were working on the section) I got them to install (weld) a set of adjustable castor correction plates I already owned at the same time. Much improved handling and reduced wandering on the road for the cruiser!