Glass House Mountains, the perfect union of South East Queensland, sun, trails, trucks, the outdoors and mates.
This time we were joined by Barney’s old friend, Jason and his Navara, as we headed to the Sunshine Coast’s Glass House Mountains, just north of Brisbane. While only a day trip, this was the first official partnership with Barney as ‘Built4Offroad’, so it's one of the happier drives down memory lane.
The breakfast of champions
Barney dragged Chris out of bed early for another weekend of wheeling in the great state of Queensland. It should come as no surprise that our resident caffeine addict — Chris — was already hankering for his third coffee of the morning before we had even arrived at our destination.
It was therefore essential we stopped in for coffee somewhere before Chris went postal. Luckily, Beerburrum is directly on the way to the Glass House Mountains and is a great spot to refill both you and your tank’s engine.
And that’s exactly what we did, pulling up at Burrum Coffee Shack to get Chris his fix. 4 shots later (genuinely rocket fuel), we jumped back on the road headed towards the Glass House Mountains.
Before long, we arrived in the Glass House Mountains and made our way to the famous Hennessey’s Track, just round the back of the range.
This popular track is usually straightforward to handle, especially if you have been exploring for a while. It is, however, subject to changing weather conditions and may become VERY dusty and full of shale after drier periods.
If you’re a serious explorer looking for something more challenging than Hennessey’s Track, you have to check out the infamous ‘Red’ tracks: ‘Big Red’ and ‘Little Red’. A word of warning though — these tracks should only be attempted by experienced drivers with the right recovery gear and vehicle setup.
Jason gets hooked
Hennessey’s Track proved to be every bit the dust-churning, engine-revving fun we were looking for. The dry weather and repeated use, however, had created a dry, dusty and deeply rutted surface with plenty of wombat holes to contend with.
The first challenge of the day was thrown up when Jason and his patrol got hooked up at the top of a particularly deep rut. Balancing almost like a seesaw, neither Jason’s back nor front wheels managed to get any purchase.
Thankfully, we never adventure anywhere without a trusty set of TRED recovery boards. Chris, armed with two boards, was quickly to the rescue and Jason was out before we knew it.
This was a minor hiccup and was far from the last issue we’d encounter in the Glass House Mountains.
Camera Car’s Close Shave
As Barney so eloquently put it, “you know you’re in the Glass House Mountains when things get a little hairy.”
So, we soon found ourselves on the side of a mountain and with the camera car stuck where no camera car should ever be. Barney was behind with his winch, and Chris in front with his other winch.
Long story short, the dust and shale had left the ground with about as much purchase as a frozen lake. This can be a small issue for multi-tonne vehicles trying to scale up a mountain.
Luckily, Chris and Barney had been in a few tight situations before and knew the ropes when it came to winch recoveries (pun intended). With the camera car at such a weird angle, the crew needed to pull out all their expertise and attempt one of the more complicated winch recoveries – the slingshot.
The slingshot, in a nutshell, is for situations where your vehicle is stuck behind the vehicle you are trying to recover and cannot get past. This means you have to use the winch on your vehicle, looped round another tree ahead, to pull the stuck vehicle forward and free.
If you’re confused, don’t stress – it's an advanced recovery and should only be attempted by experienced 4 wheelers.
The moment eventually came where we pulled the camera car free and the rest of the crew could make their way up the track.
Next came Barney who, despite the already difficult terrain made more difficult, soared up the hill; Chris followed and then finally Jason.
All together and safe at the top of the ridge, we celebrated with the age-old ritual of swapping the day’s war stories.
While we’d had an amazing day out, the highlight was the camera car and its close call. That’s the thing about 4 wheeling: it’s not about constantly nailing every line you hit and coming out scratch-free. It’s more about the experiences you share with those other people on the trail.
More to come
That was a wrap for our day at the Glass House Mountains, but far from a wrap for our adventures. Subscribe to Built4Offroad on YouTube and you can keep up to date with all the upcoming trips.
Wherever the road (or lack thereof) takes us, we want you to tag along!