Janowen Hills Trip Report

By GingerPuss

Janowen Campfire

With the May Day long weekend at our disposal, a New Member Induction and Club Trip was scheduled for Janowen Hills 4x4 Park.

A large contingent turned out, with around 10 new members participating in the induction training and 26 existing members coming along for the Trip Weekend.

The weather was forecast to be generally fine with a possible shower but with it not eventuating, the whole weekend saw cool overnight temps and sunny mild days.

We completed 5 drives over the Saturday and Sunday giving everyone plenty of time behind the wheel. Morning and afternoon drives on Saturday and Sunday led by Stew and Amanda Dargan, complete with a number “long sweeping turns” (aka U-Turns) and Gareth lead the induction training and Sunday night drive to the Janowen Lookout.

The driving was fantastic. With many large groups including the Jeep Club, Motley Crew, Nissan Y62 Club and Brisbane Club camped over the park many of the tracks were well traversed over the weekend.

Due to the size of the park however, we rarely crossed paths or held each other up which was amazing.

Day 1 - Saturday

Mild overcast weather greeted us on Saturday and while the induction training commenced by the fire at camp, the rest of us left camp behind Stew and Navman Amanda.

No further than 40m outside the campground entrance (and less than 6m off the fenceline) we pointed up a rock face, dropped into 1st gear low and crawled what was going to be many wheel lifting, low range climbs across the weekend.

Wombat and Nikki have since order new seat covers for the new 76 Series Land Cruiser (Larry) after they both left breakfast behind when Wombat hit the loud pedal too hard and (Laid Back) Larry lurched up on his 2 back wheels.

Ian Larners Ranger diffed out on the large rock step and winched off Larrys loins all while the campers below watched the action unfold.

We headed out toward the Play Pen via the quarry and explored the many rocky creek beds and steep chutes along the way.

Sean (TikTok) Gluer had just taken delivery of his Prado back from the workshop after getting front and rear airlockers fitted. He wasn’t afraid to test them out (or let us know he had them) pointing the car toward the clouds at every opportunity.

His dad Ross, wouldn’t be outdone in the Dmax even spending some time on 2 rear wheels himself.

We arrived back at camp for lunch expecting to see the inductees but to our surprise they were out on the tracks still. We soon discovered new member Craig (Mud Pig) Chiffers had been having a great time wallowing in the mud in the quarry and rock climbing, only to overcorrect on a reversing decent and unseat a bead on his front tyre running just millimetres short of a possible roll over.

He, the car, (almost his wife), the engine bay, battery terminals, snorkel were covered in black soil mud and he was the happiest bloke you’ve ever seen!

Craig "Mud Pig" Chiffers 

We made our way out for an afternoon drive with Craig taking the Prado for a wash in the river to try and remove the kg’s of mud all over the vehicle.

Another great afternoon drive on Saturday culminating in a long play around the Wombat Holes and some wheel lifting, rock sliding action up the dry gully run.

Tags crawling

Day 2.

The camp woke to the sound of Rosalie Shaw on Sunday. Strange, considering she wasn’t at camp. She was outside. But she was outside her house back in Brisbane! Having locked herself outside her house, many a message was conveyed for ANZAC to rescue her so off he and new inductee “Pez” went to save the day.

We rolled out on Sunday with a full gamut of newly inducted members and unscathed vehicles from Saturday.

Stew and Amanda guided us up to the stunning lookout over the campground and the Goomburra Valley below. The sunny skies were a treat after the anticipated rain failed to arrive.

We saw views to Maryvale in the South and Goomburra Valley in the north.

From there we continued throughout the park. With everyones confidence growing, the tracks got steeper and rockier as the morning progressed. The fun culminated in many vehicles navigating a steep, loose and rocky decent rated Extreme. Many were passengers as the cars inched and slid down the track.

Newcomer and visitor for the trip (under Gareths watch) Daniel, managed the decent in his 80 Series Land Cruiser with no problem and quickly decided he wanted to try and climb it! The unlocked 80 bucked and rolled and spun all the way to the top, to the delight of everyone watching. It was an amazing drive but not something many of us would attempt. Needless to say, we think he’ll pass induction ok.

Night Drive

Gareth led a night drive on Sunday night back to the 3 lookouts in the park. The driving is completely different at night and while this wasn’t a difficult drive, it is a different experience 4wding at night. The rocks look bigger and dust makes it even harder to see the details on the road.

Night drive Janowen

The group finished at the Play Pen with Gareth even taking a turn in Larry. The devout Patrol owner exited the Land Cruiser with a ray of light shining down on him as he was awoken to the superiority of the Toyota engineering masterpiece that is, the LandCruiser.