Big Riders climb Binna Burra

We are our memories – Uncle Bob Anderson

The name, Binna Burra, is a Munangali word meaning “where the beech tree grows,” referring to a stand of Antarctic Beech in the Lamington National Park.

In early September 2019, bushfires damaged vegetation and caused instability and scouring to the steep slopes along Binna Burra Road in the Gold Coast hinterland. A big team of construction workers, men and women, are doing a great job repairing the damaged infrastructure and preventing further rock slides after the trees were burnt out.

One of the worlds most famous riders, Lance Armstrong, has recently completed a Bike for Beirut to help people in Lebanon after the horrific blast in August. I have made the following post on his popular podcast site The Move:

“The Big Ride for Palestine (TBR20) is back from ‘Beirut or Bust‘ with over $35K raised for Palestinian refugees affected by that terrible blast you describe in your podcast. Sorry Lance Armstrong, long before you came up with the plan for ‘Bike for Beirut‘, the Big Riders (over 92 people and 15 teams) had ridden or walked the equivalent distance from Jerusalem to Beirut and back many times over (= 8,577kms).

They could even have gone via Damascus through all the Israeli checkpoints. It is good that the former ‘Tour de France‘ riders have chipped in to help the people of Beirut after the terrible blast. Lance Armstrong, you need to be more transparent as to how much you raise and where it goes because government corruption can only arise through lack of transparency. Full disclosure please. TBR20 monies go direct to the Palestinian Women’s Humanitarian Organisation in Bourj el Barajneh refugee camp in South Beirut. The money raised will help provide essential services, food and water during the pandemic and after the blast.”

Back to the Binna Burra climb. There were some white-knuckle moments along the razorback beyond Rosin’s lookout with steep drops on both sides. Along the way we could see the lazy Coomera River wind down to Hinze Dam. After the revolution that dam will be renamed, hopefully choosing a name to show respect to the Munangali people who looked after country for thousands of years.

We arrived at Beech mountain to see ‘Glidy – Chick‘ take off on her para-glider opposite the Flying Bean Cafe. After a few nervous moments with tangled ropes she soared like an eagle with Mt Warning, the Ships Stern and Binna Burra in the background.

We saw and heard many birds along the way. Crimson Rosellas, Kookaburras, and an amazing satin Bower bird (pictured) just near the burnt out beech tree.

What a day! The Scenic Rim certainly lived up to expectations.

At the top we spoke with an Argentinian from Mendoza and his partner from Colombia who together run the Seaviche mobile cafe in front of the previously burnt out cafe. The Argentine cook had always wanted to come to Australia and, when he finally got here, fell in love with Lamington National Park near Binna Burra. He told us how crazy was the Australian idea of the barbie, to him at least. He explained how a BBQ in Argentina is a much bigger affair where they cook a whole cow and eat every part.

We also met a comrade (pictured) from Frontline Action on Coal up there. It is a beautiful place, it would be a shame to lose it through climate change! At day’s end we had ridden 44 kilometres (the longest climb in this years Giro d’Italia Stage 5 was 22 kms) and climbed 1,000 metres. Lachlan summed it up:

“It was a spectacular climb to the World Heritage-listed Gondwana Rainforests, with great views to (sic) across to the Pacific Ocean and the Gold Coast hinterland; a bit of a tough climb at times, (compounded by a broken rear derailleur) but well worth it.”

Ian Curr
7 Oct 2020

Thanks to Lachlan Hurse for many of the photos below.

Para-glider preparation Photo: LH
Rosin’s Lookout Image: Google
Satin Bower Bird at Binna Burra – internet photo
Barb and friend lock on railway line to stop coal train
Seaviche mobile cafe at Binna Burra
Mt Warning from Beechmont Photo: Lachlan