We couldn’t leave our series of posts exploring Brisbane’s major bikeways without including the Kedron Brook Bikeway. This post takes us on a ride from the Gateway Bridge to Brisbane Airport, then from Nundah to Ferny Hills. As a bonus, we check out the route to Samford.
But first, getting to the start… This time, to get from the Gateway Bridge Bikeway to Nundah, Belinda rode via Brisbane Airport. Unfortunately there is no off-road connection, so that required a detour via Lavarak Ave, Holt St, Kingsford Smith Drive, Sugarmill Rd, and Lomandra Drive. Those roads are busy and hostile for cycling, which is why we have campaigned so persistently for a more direct and safer connection from Kingsford Smith Drive to Lomandra Drive via Schneider Rd and Viola Place. We’re still waiting…
There is a concrete pathway that almost connects Sugarmill Rd to Viola Place, which would at least avoid cycling on Lomandra Drive. But unfortunately it’s missing sections at each end, and has been sitting unused for around 12 months. At the eastern end, there’s already a rough dirt track which was used when the Federal Government recently built a new fence around the immigration detention centre. It would be great if they came to the party and sealed it to make a bikway….
Once you reach the intersection of Lomandra Drive and Viola Place, you can finally hop onto the high quality concrete bikeway. That takes you past Qantas Dr (the cycling route to the airport terminals), and along Lakeside Drive towards the Golf Central driving range and Brisbane DFO. Just before the roundabout, you need to cross Lakeside Dr at the pedestrian crossing, and head along the footpath in apparent contradiction to the direction marking on the ground. Do not be fooled by the signs and cross the road before the overpass, or you won’t be able to get back to the bikeway!
(I’m not kidding. If you crossed the road to be on the left on the overpass, you’ll need to hop over a median island or some rocks to get back to the bikeway. Otherwise you’ll end up heading east on Airport Drive where bikes are banned).
Once you’ve navigated the narrow path on the overpass, follow the bikeway around to the right (careful, it’s a tight corner) which runs under the AirTrain line, and takes you to Nudgee Rd. Continue under Nudgee road, and loop up and over the Schultz Canal Bridge to reach the Kedron Brook Bikeway (or the Jim Soorley Bikeway if you head east again) at the Nundah Criterium Track. You’ve find water and toilet facilities at the track.
Now that you’re on the Kedron Brook Bikeway, you can ride all the way to Keperra with very little interaction with motor vehicle traffic. There are signalised crossings at Widdop St and Shaw Rd, and the bikeway is on-road along Diggers Dr, Wooloowin (which is low speed and no-through for motor vehicles). After that, you won’t need to worry about traffic at all until you reach Osborne Rd, Mitchelton – where there’s another signalised crossing.
The Kedron Brook Bikeway is separated from pedestrian traffic between Shaw Rd, Wavell Heights to Corbet Park, Grange, and there are countless bridges and underpasses. In the one spot where you used to have to ride on-road along Royal Parade, there has been millions spent in recent years to avoid that indignity!
Of course, like all Brisbane’s creek-side bikeways, much of the bikeway becomes unusable immediately after heavy rain.
Upstream from Mitchelton, the bikeway is much less visible, although it’s well signed, so not difficult to follow.
The bikeway eventually runs into the Keperra Country Golf Club in the Moreton Bay Regional Council area. However, you can follow well-marked, quiet streets from Keperra Station to Samford Rd, Ferny Grove, and from there it’s only a short ride to Ferny Grove Station.
Ferny Grove Station has a secure bike parking cage, casual bike-parking rails, and a long row of bike lockers. It also has signs insisting you’re not allowed to ride your bike in the carpark!
From Ferny Grove Station, there is a bike route through to Samford which follows the old rail alignment for much of the way. Unfortunately, plans by TMR to continue the trail along the old train route all the way into Samford were quashed a few years ago, so instead of a dedicated walking/cycling/horse-riding path, the last section of the route is on-road, and there are a few quite steep hills. For families and less confident riders, that puts the ride to Samford out of reach, which is a real shame.
For roadies, the bikeway offers no real advantage over the main road – which is shorter and smoother, with only a little more climbing. Now that Moreton Bay Regional Council have opened a new bridge at Wahminda Park it’s possible to take Samford Rd over the climb, and then cross to Lanita Rd via the new bridge to avoid the worst stretch of Samford Rd and the rail crossing.
Unlike other rides in this series, I couldn’t make a loop out of this one – although a keen and confident rider might take Settlement Rd across to The Gap and return to Brisbane via the Enoggera/Ithace Creek Bikeways. My plan was to catch the train back from Ferny Grove, but I was confounded by track maintenance work which saw buses replacing trains over the weekend; bad news for cyclists. It became a much longer ride than intended, but luckily my batteries were charged…