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Thread: [QLD] - My Defender's First Solo Day Trip - A shakedown Trip

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    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    [QLD] - My Defender's First Solo Day Trip - A shakedown Trip

    Well, after working on the Defender in what seems like forever in getting it to a stage where I feel confident when driving it, it was time to take it on its first solo bush trip, so I decided to explore the western parts of Bellthorpe SF and also Kandanga Forest Reserve areas. From a quick look at Google Earth, I decided to try and get to where the Powerlines come across the valley up to the top of the mountain & head to Jimna Township. I thought this would give some excellent views out across the valley, especially with everything looking nice and green for a change. From Kilcoy, I headed north and turned off onto 10 Mile Road which to my surprise has now been bitumen right to the top, stopping at the SF's entry point. 10 Mile Road eventually meets up with the Jimna-Bellthorpe Rd. From here, I turned off on a couple of side tracks on the left that I hoped would lead me to the edge of the mountain. I eventually found the right tracks with the 1st one being Yielo Lookout. This spot gives you some beautiful out across the valley below but wasn't the one that I was looking for. So, after a few photos, it was off again trying to find the access point to the powerlines.

    I came to a little side track that from my GPS, could be the only one that would lead me to where I was trying to get to so I turned off and headed down this track which did eventually take me to the destination I had been wanting to get to.... Upon arrival, it was time to take the usual photos and take some time to just soak in the beautiful scenery. From here it was off to my next destination - a track marked on my GPS that I didn't think it would exist due to the steepness of the terrain and where the track went. On my way there I decided to take a few side tracks, one being to Peachtrees but coming in from the back way off Yielo & Tungi Rds. This little camp area is a beautiful little spot to stop at and it's been done up a bit now too. Plenty of Kangaroos just lazing around as well.

    I continued north along the Kilcoy-Murgon rd, eventually turning right onto Kandanga Creek Rd and then taking the 2nd Right track. This eventually lead me to where I wanted to get to - a track named "Bluebell Break" track. The track wasn't overgrown like I thought it might be, so I continued along eventually reaching the steep section. With the track still looking in pretty good condition, I pressed on and continued to head down, stopping at the next steep section where it dropped into the creek. Here, I got out and went on foot to check out the track further on and to see what it was like and whether it was possible(safe) to drive. The track dropped into a beautiful rocky little creek with a couple of nice swimming holes. The track crossed over the creek and up the other side. I walked up the steep exit to try and gauge whether the track kept going or suddenly stopped. From the amount I walked I assumed it kept going, so I turned around and made my way back to the Landy and headed on down to the creek, crossing the rocky section and up the other side and before I knew it I was up and out the other side and back onto the main road. I had been along this main road quite a few times before & had always missed this side track, which is easy to do when u see where it comes out.

    With me achieving my goals I decided to head back home via Manumbar Rd & also calling into check out an old Fire Tower that I had come across at Gallangown in a previous trip. After nearly getting myself lost in the local Pine Plantation Forests, I eventually found my way out and made my way to the location of the old Fire Tower. On arrival, I was sadly disappointed to find that they had knocked the tower down. Now, this tower was identical in size and height to the one at Jimna. I decided to stop for a bite to eat and give the Landy the quick once over to ensure all was ok and also to see what sort of scratches I added to the paintwork when trying to navigate my way out of the plantation forest. From this point, it was time to start making my way back home in a roundabout sort of way, calling into check out the local Gallangown Forestry Office. This is where I found what is left of the old Fire Tower - the Top Observatory section. I headed north out onto Manumbar Rd and then west and then south along Western Branch Rd that chris-crosses the Brisbane River all the way down to Linville. From here it was back out onto the H'way at Moore and home via Kilcoy, reaching home a little after 5.30pm.

    The days stats:
    Distance travelled: 456kms
    Driving Time: 8hrs37mins
    Stopped Time: 2hrs50mins

    Link to Photos First Solo Day Trip in the Defender

    Triplog of where I went: Defender Solo Triplog

    Map of where I went:
    Map of Day Trip
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

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    Thanks Rob for sharing this trip, looks like a good trip was had. I will have to get up that way and check out the area.
    My wheels of choice 150 GX Prado towing a Jayco 12.37 Outback Expanda

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    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    I eventually found where the powerlines come up from the valley basin below:




    A few Defender "At Home in the bush" pics:




    An old Cattle Yard I came across:




    Peachtrees Campgrounds looking nice and green



    The nice little remote track I eventually found with a great little waterhole in the middle:



    The Track Down:

    The Track out & Up:


    The old manumbar Mill Ruins:




    What's left of the Old Fire Tower:



    The old Forestry Office @ Gallangown




    What's left of the "Old Fire Tower":

    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  4. #4
    Leading Hand AJ's Avatar
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    Coming from the Prado what do you think of the Defender? I have always liked them but never been brave enough to think seriously about owning one.

    Cheers Andrew
    Why would I buy something for $10 when I can make it for $20

    2009 120 Prado http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showth...AJ-s-120-Prado
    HZJ79 Cruiser http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showth...ies-Cruser-Ute

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    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AJ View Post
    Coming from the Prado what do you think of the Defender? I have always liked them but never been brave enough to think seriously about owning one.

    Cheers Andrew
    Hey Andrew....

    We still have the Prado, but with the "potential" risks that I keep reading about with the 3ltr D4d's and our Prado getting up in kms, I started looking at options. The Prado will probably continue w/o any issues but another reason for looking at changing is our family. The 3 kids are growing quickly and room in the Prado is limited if we didn't want to tow a trailer.
    I've have a '96 Disco Tdi300 (2.5ltr 4cyl TDI) Auto as my main run-around and weekend bush explorer. These Tdi300 engines are very basic and incredibly economical too. With that, I started thinking about an old Landrover Defender Tdi300. The cargo room in them is incredible and with their box shape u can pack things better. So, one day I went to look at an old one. It was very rough looking in appearance, but mechanically it was in fairly good condition. I ended up buying it but it stayed in my back paddock for a year or 2 before I made up my mind to get it Road Worthy and then look at selling it.... On the AULRO forum, I had one of the local LR fellas take me under his wing and help me with getting the Defender on the road. He's been a real blessing and I don't think I would still own it if it wasn't for him.... Anyway, after getting it back on the road and driving it around a fair bit, I fell in love with it and the other funny thing is whenever u pass another Defender Driver, they always give u a wave.... So, I decided to keep it and do it up as a temporary family touring vehicle.

    The Defenders are not for everyone and if you're a large person, then the driving position is probably not suitable for u, but I've come to love them and they are an iconic vehicle. Spare Parts aren't that dear if u source them from overseas but u also need to source good quality parts too as there can be quite a selection in parts & quality. Once u go through the vehicle and make sure everything has been serviced/replaced they are a very reliable vehicle and the engines can go forever if maintenance is kept up to them.

    Since the Defenders have ceased to be made, the 2nd hand market price has gone through the roof..... If things go well with the Defender, I'd like to upgrade to the later model ones which are called Defender "Pumas". They have a bit more of a car-like interior, they also have the Ford Transit "Puma" Tdci engines (2.4ltr and 2.2ltr) in them and once u remap them, they go incredibly well along with the 6speed Manual G'box..... but like most vehicles they do have some weaknesses but they are solvable and once those little issues are rectified, they to appear to be a very reliable vehicle.... all be it that they also have electronics in them but not as much as others.

    Things about the Defender that I like:
    # Excellent offroad, even w/o any mods
    # Solid Front Diffs and ALL Coil Suspension
    # More car-like interior with better A/C (the later PUMA Defenders only)
    # Great gearing in the Defender PUMA's which even better than the older models (6spd vs 5spd)
    # More tunable with either Chips or Re-mapping. Once this is done, they can tow really well
    # They seem to be increasing in value instead of decreasing
    # The Defender Platform is such a great platform for building a Touring vehicle

    With My Defender being an old school one, it doesn't have A/C and its very basic inside and out, so if I'm happy with how it goes, then I'll keep it as my weekender, then look at selling the Prado and replacing it with a later Defender Puma version which is more car-like inside.

    With my kids getting to the licence age in the next couple of years, my Girl wants my little Suzuki Vitara as her 1st car and my boy has claimed the Disco for himself..... Not sure what will happen in that space though.....
    Last edited by robmacca; 16-11-17 at 09:02 PM.
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

  6. #6
    Leading Hand AJ's Avatar
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    Thanks for that Rob. That seems to sum up pretty much what I already knew about them. I probably won't jump off the Toyota bandwagon anytime soon but will continue to admire them from a distance

    Cheers Andrew
    Why would I buy something for $10 when I can make it for $20

    2009 120 Prado http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showth...AJ-s-120-Prado
    HZJ79 Cruiser http://www.4wdadventurers.com/showth...ies-Cruser-Ute

  7. #7
    Forum Enthusiast stew70's Avatar
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    Good one Rob, another great trip report and photos to go with it. I also have a soft spot for the defender after driving alot of the perentie's whilst in the army, and growing up watching Les hiddons ( bush Tucker man) travel around in one. Your reports remind me all the time I need to make more time to get out and explore.
    Why fish for bream ,when i can camp and chase cod!!:

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    Thats a nice run for one day, good write up.

  9. #9
    Forum Enthusiast robmacca's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Littleandy View Post
    Thats a nice run for one day, good write up.
    Quote Originally Posted by stew70 View Post
    Good one Rob, another great trip report and photos to go with it. I also have a soft spot for the defender after driving alot of the perentie's whilst in the army, and growing up watching Les hiddons ( bush Tucker man) travel around in one. Your reports remind me all the time I need to make more time to get out and explore.
    Cheers....

    I grew up with my Uncle & Cousin's driving the old Series Landies.... We ended up going up the Cape York when I was a kid with them. We were in a friends old Rangie though. I remember a bit about the old Landies but mostly how easily they broken front Axles and how "HOT" the floor got in them..... I swore I'd never own a Landy & I didn't for some 30yrs and I went the way of a sensible person and bought Toyotas to do most of my remote travelling around this country..... Then something happened and my little Zook broke an Axle and I had to get a lift home in a mates Disco Tdi300 and I found myself loving it. The ride was soooo comfy. I found myself looking & buying an old '96 Disco Tdi300 Auto 4 year ago and using that as my main daily runner and bush explorer & retired the little Zook.

    Not long after owning the Disco, I found myself looking at the Defenders and went to mainly check one out as I've never really had anything to do with them...... Well, within a couple of weeks I ended up with one sitting in my backyard..... Not sure what I was thinking at the time and as time went on, I started thinking I'd made a big mistake...... Anyhow, about 2yrs after buying it I decided to get it registered and then sell it. I looked on AULRO forum for advice and help and a bloke on there took me under his wing (God Bless him) and help me get it on the road & registered..... Well, after driving it a bit and having fellow Defender Drivers waving at u as u pass them, I kinda started to fall in love with driving it and decided to keep it and try and make it into our temporary Touring Vehicle....
    That's where I'm currently at.... so with our upcoming trips next year I'll see how things go as to whether I make it our permanent tourer or possibly look at a later model one (that has A/C) as I reckon the Defender is a fantastic plateform as a touring vehicle & for a 4cyl, u get great fuel economy as well. The Troopcarrier is another vehicle that I reckon would make a great touring plateform as well, unfortunately it still has rear leaf springs
    ==================
    Cheers.....
    RobM


    Family Touring - 150's GXL D4D Prado....
    Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover Discovery TDi (A).....Work & Play.... maybe
    Un-expected Recent Purchase : '96 Landrover DEFENDER 110 TDi....Future Tourer???
    See My Exploring Trips here: My Exploring/Touring Trips
    Playing : The "Toy" Suzuki Vitara - Now retired

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