Riding participants in this year’s event will be able to choose from five trails, with two new options leaving Kilkivan on Saturday, September 30th. 

The convenience of starting and finishing at the Kilkivan Showgrounds regularly attracts big numbers to those trails, and organizers expect the new, full day Kurandah Trail to be popular.  Great views over varied scenery bordered by Kurandah Creek will reward riders – who will need to be on fit, and perhaps shod, horses to ensure completion. The short, post-lunch Cave Hill Trail (also starting at the Showgrounds) allows young riders/older horses (plus others) to get a Grand-Parade-of-Horses experience without having to spend all day on a trail.

For the second consecutive year, a two-day ride is being offered.   The Bongmuller – Hanging Rock Trail starts at Woolooga Saleyards and overnights at Widgee Showgrounds, then incorporates the single-day option of the Thornside-to-Kilkivan route so popular over the last 3 decades of the event.  The Oakview Carriage Trail will start from Kilkivan and drop in on Wide Bay Creek a few times as it covers areas to the east of Kilkivan.

 

Kurandah Trail

Approx. 35kms – Leaving the Kilkivan Showgrounds 7am

Leaving the Kilkivan Showgrounds at 7am, this trail follows running creek road until the smoko stop at the timber cattle yards on Atthow’s property.  Enjoy billy tea and damper or some other home cooking provided by local community groups.  After you have filled your tummy, water your horse and then take a peak to your left and check out Kunjuli Mountain its one of the tallest peaks in our district! Then you will meander through Atthow’s undulating paddock you will pass by a hopefully full dam where you can also water your horse (or take a paddle if it’s hot!!) After you leave you will enter more private property where you will wind up a step rocky climb (be sure to have appropriate footwear on your horse if they are not used to rocky country) to magnificent view of the valley before your decent to your lunch spot – here you can see both Fat Hen Creek & Wide Bay Creek as well as some of the most fertile agriculture land in the district (it looks like a patchwork quilt with varying crops growing!).

After lunch you will wind down to Kurandah Creek (don’t be alarmed its runs in floods!!) begin your trek back towards Kilkivan.  You will meet up with the short 10km trail participants before crossing into Rossmore Road.  Here you will also meet up with the Hanging Rock participants before you all traverse a short section of the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) heading for the Grand Parade of Horses at 4pm along the magnificent main street.

 

Cave Hill Trail

Approx. 10kms – Leaving Kilkivan Showgrounds 1pm

Setting off at 1pm (after you have had your lunch – no meals available on this trail and we urge you to carry water for drinking), this trail leaves the Kilkivan Showgrounds and follows a short section of the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) before a short trek up “Cave Hill” – Cave Hill is historic to the township due to the presence of a cave used by aboriginal to shelter and cook – the only piece of accessible forest basically in town! After a short trek along the new fire break, head down Ash Street before taking Clancy Lane onto the railway line.  After a short trip along the old railway corridor it’s time to peel off onto Cullen Road before joining up with the Kurandah Trail participants.  From here you will cross into Rossmore Road and meet up with the Hanging Rock participants before you all traverse a short section of the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) heading for the Grand Parade of Horses at 4pm along the magnificent main street.

 

2 Day Bongmuller Trail

Approx. 60kms over 2 days – Pre-booked option for ride and camping only – NO MEALS INCLUDED THIS YEAR so please bring along some cash for the caterers to purchase food and drinks.

Day 1 Leaving Woolooga Sale Yards Friday 31st March 7.30am   /   Day 2 Leaving Widgee Showgrounds Saturday 1st April 6am

 

Day 1

Leaving the Woolooga Sale Yards at 7.30am (be sure to stay out of the way of any arriving cattle truck that will be collecting cattle from Thursdays sale) this trail heads south with the destination set for Widgee.  You will soon pass under the Wide Bay Highway heading for Dray Road.  Once on Dray Road keep your eyes peeled for the wild deer that inhabit the area!  Smoko will be at an old set of yards where a community group will be waiting to serve you smoko – don’t forget your cash! After setting off from the smoko yards you will continue to follow Bongmuller Creek to its head waters.  After you have climbed to the pass, you will descend along Thornside Road heading for lunch at the yards in Tanda Webb’s homestead paddock.  This is the home of the late Fabian Webb, who instigated the Kilkivan Great Horse Ride more than 30 years ago.  It is also the site of the original Gympie Music Muster and, more recently, the Widgee Country Music Muster. After lunch set your destination for Widgee Showgrounds where spacious camping and a hot shower await.  Relax and head over to the Widgee Bushman’s Bar for a cold beverage and a hot meal for dinner.   (Check out the Widgee bushman’s bar Facebook page for dinner options and pricing) Be sure to get a good night’s sleep as day 2 starts early as we ride out at 6am!!

 

 Day 2    – both a continuation of the 2 day trail and the (one day) Hanging Rock Trail

 

Jump out of bed and pack up your camp before heading over for a nice hot breakfast and cuppa before your journey for the day begins.  Head out the showgrounds gate (with the hanging rock trail participants) and travel along Upper Thornside Road to the smoko spot at the end of Upper Thornside Road.  Be sure to fill your belly as the climb ahead is a big one! (We do advise your put shoes or boots on your horses as the hill has some quite rocky and shale covered sections as you ascend and descend these hills). As the climb levels out, look to your left and check out the land slips on the almost vertical slopes – don’t go too close to the edge!!  As you and your horse catch your breath you will be rewarded beautiful views to the east once you see them you’re pretty close to your next stop. Water your horse (and yourself) at “Des Simpson’s Memorial” gate and remember the fallen horsemen who have contributed to the ride and the district over the years.  As we move on, you will pass “Hanging Rock” and continue to wind along the ridge towards Mt Sinai before descending from the hills and onto Rossmore Caravan Park for lunch.  From lunch the trail heads along Rossmore Road past the site of the first Kilkivan Township which was established during the gold rush.  Soon after you will meet up with both the Kurandah Trail & the Cave Hill Trail participants before you all traverse a short section of the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) heading for the Grand Parade of Horses at 4pm along the magnificent main street.

 

 

Hanging Rock Trail – Leaves Widgee Showgrounds 6am

 

Hanging Rock Trail will be leaving the Widgee Showgrounds NOT THORNSIDE as it has done in the past.  Camping Friday night and breakfast Saturday morning (early) will be available at the Widgee Showgrounds.

 

Be ready to ride out at 6am!! Leaving the Widgee Showgrounds (along with the 2 day trail participants) you will travel along Upper Thornside Road to the smoko spot at the end of Upper Thornside Road.  Be sure to fill your belly as the climb ahead is a big one! (We do advise your put shoes or boots on your horses as the hill has some quite rocky and shale covered sections as you ascend and descend these hills). As the climb levels out, look to your left and check out the land slips on the almost vertical slopes – don’t go too close to the edge!!  As you and your horse catch your breath you will be rewarded beautiful views to the east once you see them you’re pretty close to your next stop. Water your horse (and yourself) at “Des Simpson’s Memorial” gate and remember the fallen horsemen who have contributed to the ride and the district over the years.  As we move on, you will pass “Hanging Rock” and continue to wind along the ridge towards Mt Sinai before descending from the hills and onto Rossmore Caravan Park for lunch.  From lunch the trail heads along Rossmore Road past the site of the first Kilkivan Township which was established during the gold rush.  Soon after you will meet up with both the Kurandah Trail & the Cave Hill Trail participants before you all traverse a short section of the BNT (Bicentennial National Trail) heading for the Grand Parade of Horses at 4pm along the magnificent main street.

 

Oakview Carriage Trail

 

Leaving the sports oval (Weier Oval) the carriage trail will travel out along gatehouse road and then will follow the old rail corridor as far as Casey Road, after getting onto Casey road it’s a short trip up to Bular Road.  Once on Bular road you will head to Oakview and the Fitzgerald property for smoko by the creek. Those who wish to continue will then follow Cogzell Road down to Homers Gate waterhole for lunch.  Those who wish to wait at Fitzgerald can do so and can await the return of the other participants after lunch.  Leaving Fitzgerald’s this trail will head back to town ready for Grade Parade of Horse at 4pm.

 

For further information please send an enquiry or call Olivia 0409 279 529 or Vern 0427 066 529

 

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