HMAS Moreton’s Brisbane Rail Trail adventure

Published on LS Hayden Eyles (author and photographer)

Location(s): Linville, Qld

Topic(s): HMAS Moreton, Health, Fitness and Wellbeing, Adventure Training

Team Moreton celebrates after completing their nearly 20km trek through the Brisbane Rail Trail. (photo: LS Hayden Eyles)
Team Moreton celebrates after completing their nearly 20km trek through the Brisbane Rail Trail.

Qualities of teamwork and resilience were tested for personnel from HMAS Moreton as they departed the quaint village of Linville, several hours north west of Brisbane. Their destination was Benarkin Station, some 17km of rough, gradually rising and compacted gravel known as the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail.

This was the start of Moreton’s resilience training led by the base’s resident Physical Training Instructor, Chief Petty Officer June Cunningham.

According to participants in this bush trek, anyone thinking the adventure would be a simple stroll through the bush have never walked the Brisbane Rail Trail, and certainly never done a resilience training trek organised by CPO Cunningham.

The walk itself is guaranteed to bring sweat to even the fittest personnel but it was the addition of ‘Blue Barry’ that added to the resilience element of the walk.

Four Moreton personnel were required to be holding each corner of a stretcher bearing our ‘injured’ comrade ‘Barry’. By the 15km mark the Navy values of courage and honesty were put into action as team members’ arms and fatigue levels made a 41kg Barry feel considerably heavier.

Adding to the resilience element of the adventure, personnel were issued a ration pack to fill their growling bellies.

“It was like being in school again, I traded my chocolate ration for a whole steak bar and a bread ration,” Leading Seaman Hayden Eyles said of the experience.

After completing the trail, the Moreton team arrived at the Blackbutt Showgrounds expecting to find their tents set up and a warm campfire going.

“They have issued us the wrong tarps,” CPO Peter Jory informed Team Moreton, forcing us to adapt and overcome the difficult sleeping situation.

With one side of the sleeping quarters exposed to the elements, Team Moreton proved they are made of tough stuff and returned to Brisbane the next day alive and ready for warm showers.