Lions Road isn’t the longest or most famous road trip in Australia or New South Wales, however, this doesn’t mean it should be overlooked. This 50 kilometre stretch of sealed road linking the Queensland town of Beaudesert to the New South Wales town of Kyogle, is one of the most scenic, unusual, and intriguing stretches of road in Australia.
Here are just some of the reasons the Lions Road trip should be on your travel Australia bucket list.
The building of the road is unique to this area. Government funding for a road following the railway line through the McPherson ranges, fell through in the 1960s. So the local Lions clubs joined together to build a gravel road themselves.
Since its opening in 1973, the surrounding communities continue to raise money for the maintenance and improvements via a donation box at the borders of Queensland and New South Wales. The overall goal is for visitors to the area to have the option of a shorter, scenic, and more direct route south.
Starting at the Border Loop Lookout, walkers explore the easy 1.2 kilometre trail through the wet eucalypt forest. Part way through the walk, participants enter the dense rainforest of the Border Ranges. This walk also exhibits just how hard it is to construct railroads through thick, tick-infested scrub over the rugged and mountainous terrain.
The Viaduct towers sit above Gradys Creek at the junction of the High and Low roads — a few kilometres north of ‘The Risk’. From the Viaduct, the Low road follows the rail line more closely before rejoining the High Road a few kilometres north. Be sure to have your camera ready as the towers can look remarkable when shot at the right angle and light.
Stopping at the border of Queensland and New South Wales gives you an opportunity to grab the classic ‘in two places at once’ photo. It is at this spot on the road you have the opportunity to make a donation. All funds going to the Kyogle and Beaudesert Councils for the maintenance and improvements of the road.
The border is also a great spot to photograph and admire the surrounding scenery, looking back down New South Wales through the range at the incredibly steep road into Queensland. Don’t forget to check your rig for any runaway rabbits, bringing these furry creatures into Queensland can attract a fine of up to $44,000.
Just across the border of Queensland is the Andrew Drynan Park, home to a scenic picnic area and a campground for you stop and refresh yourself along this journey. If you are feeling active, you might even bring yourself to have a splash around the Running Creek.
If you enjoy this road trip check out these iconic Queensland trips to celebrate the beautiful sunshine state.