2k’s out of town.
We are on the road by 0805 and it’s a little nippy but otherwise the sky is cloudless. We head up the Gateway Motorway then along theWe are onsite by 1005 and heading to the office to sign in. The young girl behind the counter is efficient taking our details and dollars and we are heading off to pick our site 5 minutes later. We’ve never been here before, so don’t know what facilities are available, where to hang the tag she’s given me, or where we can camp, but we are keen to have a good look and find a suitable place. I’ve googled a map of the location, but it’s not in date and doesn’t show things clearly, but we do have an idea of what the campground looks like from above (about a million google map years ago) and are hoping we are on the right track.
Bruce Highway to Nambour. Heading past the showgrounds, we head up the range to Mapleton, then over it, heading down the unpaved, narrow winding track called Obi Obi Road. This leads us to our final turn with no issues or hold ups the entire way.
We love that it’s greener than green and mowed nicely. Signs say don’t drive on the grass. Fair enough, but we’ll have to when we find THE camp site. We head to the fathest camps from the office, as I had this pegged from the aerial shots. Alas, so many other campers had the same idea, so we head back and I point out another road off the main camping area. We drive down a little more, find an empty spot and start to set up after some discussion about whether this is THE spot or not.
Seems it is. We are set up and relaxing with drink in hand by 1136. We are about 150m from the waters of the
On the way back, we chat with grey nomads who seem to have relaxing down to a fine art. The tell us that the large group of kids is in fact a Scout Camp here for a few days and that they plan to do a Survival Test tonight. Not sure why they’ve mentioned it, but after awhile I’m fully aware of the reasoning behind it. More on that later.
We head back to camp and take in the limited view we have of the river and listen to the birds, the kids, the dogs, the generators, the highway, the cars, the cows, some bloke chain sawing … the sounds of suburbia really. But we are relaxed and aren’t overly worried about that right now.
After lunch, we head back down to the river so the dogs can have another paddle and this time we head downstream. The water is not overly cold, but is moving well enough for a kayak to paddle past … the rider putting in some effort … and some kids (the scouts … a mixed bag of boys and girls) are boogey boarding down the rapids. We come to a well used beach, with people swimming, paddling, diving, jumping, kayaking, and generally having a lot of fun in the sun. Each trip to the river lasts us about an hour before we head back.
As the day is so much warmer that the start, I’m glad we are set up facing east as we don’t have the sun beating down on us under the awning. It’s about 28°C and a picture perfect day. We settle into our chairs and take in the surroundings.
One camp above us has some more friends moving in later in the afternoon in a huge caravan. They have 4 dogs with them and they are not keeping them under control at all as they come into our camp and bark at us and our dogs which I think is a bit much. A lady calls them from up the bank, but as I suspected, they ignore her and she has to come down to chase them … they certainly weren’t going of their own free will … and they bark their way back to camp. Then the same camp, start up a generator and at the moment it’s a soft purr in the background, but we can hear it rather well as it’s placed behind the van so it dulls the sound for them, but puts it nearer to us.As we are settling down to prepare dinner, we hear a lot of kids going past. It seems the scout group using a vehicle track right beside us to get down to the river bank. They are hauling all manner of goods down with them. It’s now we understand what the grey nomads were on about. They plan to set up many camps along the river and do some form of scouty test. This seems to involve erecting tarps where they can for protection, starting fires however they can, and, I’m guessing, being rather noisy (as kids can) until rather late at night. Being that we are uphill from them, we can hear all that’s going on rather clearly. We also have to stop them walking directly into camp via the convenient track, and after chasing a few groups off the track, they stop using it and head for the vehicle track to our right. I’m glad we have the car parked there and this gives us some privacy. There are tarps erected over about 500m of beach. Some close to us and some much further away. They are using bent over trees to assist the tent making and have heaps of little fires going, which means they are scavenging along the banks for wood. I reckon they plan to stay down there all night, while the guardians get some peace and quiet being that they are 3 times the distance from them that we are. I sure hope they are checking on the periodically.
I guess it’s not much of the peace and quiet of a country camp that we were hoping for. Kids noisily enjoying the outdoors on the river banks in front of us … generator going on the hill behind us. Was kind of hoping it would be a bit quieter, but now we are aware of the pitfalls of such a popular camp at this time of year, we are certain that summer time would be wall to wall tents … wonder how many brave winter conditions? There are probably 30 or 40 camps here at the moment on the reported 35 acres of campsite (I’m sure he’s lost a few acres during the last floods), but that’s not including the Scouts now residing on the river bank. All camps creating noise of some sort, but most are respectfully quiet. Some are driving up to the amenities block (showers and loo’s I’m guessing) rather than walk. We didn’t realise where it was till so many started attending it, as we are self sufficient, but there are two or three compost toilets spread out on the campground.Days are starting to fade fast now autumn is disappearing quickly and this one is no exception. Before you realize it, we are thinking about dinner, showers and being warm. T-bone and vegies planned for dinner tonight. Once dinner is out of the way, I notice all the little scout campfires … some going rather well and some not so. Other campers have fires lit and are relaxing beside them as much as one can with the hum of a generator in the background. As we relax we think about where we’ll go for the upcoming long weekend to celebrate the Queens Birthday. Glenn has no hesitation in picking one of the quietest camps we’ve been to so far … where the only sounds were cows, birds, running water and snoring dogs. Mental note to book.
Around 2030 we head off to bed. Yes the generator is still going. At midnight I awaken for no particular reason and get up to let the dogs out for a pit stop. The generator is not going.
Awake and out of bed before 0700. Scouts are everywhere and are all awake trying to get fires going once more. I’d have loved a sleep in, but it’s not to be, so I add to the noise by filling the kettle from the campers water pump and we are having coffee at 0705. It’s very foggy and the grass is sodden. The tree near us is dripping onto the canvas and anything else that goes beneath it … including me whilst I light the fire to make toast and give my crumpets a toasty look.
It takes an hour or more for the fog to lift and we relax under the awning whilst that occurs. I snap off a few photos while we wait. The plan is to head back down to the river and take the dogs for another dip. While we are waiting, the scouts converge on the vehicle track, obviously heading back to their main camp for breakfast. We are on the beach by 0900 and wandering around, dogs swimming. Each time we let them off the leads to swim, people converge on exactly where we are so we are forced to move further downstream. One of those being a little girl that follows us away from her parents so she can pat the puppies … she didn’t like it one bit when her mum came to cart her away.
We sit in the river bed for awhile letting the dogs sniff, swim or rest as they require. We aren’t in the shade, but at least we’ve got a dry seat (fallen log) even if it has barbed wire around it here and there. Sometimes we walk, throw skipping rocks to the other side, sometimes sit and before we realise it’s lunch time so head back to camp. Along the way, there are a chosen few scouts packing up the tarps and it’s hilarious to watch them head back up the hill later … dropping tarps as they go.
Lunch is a quick affair of tomato or vegemite sandwiches followed by a few potato chips and a drink. We now consider that our weekend, although not over, is coming to the most difficult part … packing up. We try and put it off for as long as we can, but have to get stuck into it and head home.
I think we did it in record time actually. We’ve almost got it down pat. I notice that the grey nomads are watching with interest, but aren’t being overly obvious about it. Perhaps they were hoping for a domestic. If so, I’m sorry to disappoint.
While we finish our pack up another caravan comes in. He’s taken the spot between us and the grey nomads. They have a small dog and the lady has been on the phone since they started checking out the site beside us. Once packed and on the road heading out, we note she’s still on the phone and has left the gentleman to do the entire setup alone.
Once we make it to the main road, we head north towards Eumundi. This will be a fairly level trip home, with no large hills to climb as Glenn wasn’t keen on going back up
Obi Obi Road due to the very steep climb. We’ve done it before and the auto transmission overheats about ½ way up. This new way home is about 10 - 15k’s longer and even cuts off a few minutes compared to heading back over the range. We make it home right on the 2 hour mark with no further issues coming down the highway.
Then it’s just a quick unpack of the ute, fridge and panty and it’s back to the daily grind for another fortnight alas.
Trip Kilometres: 342.8
Trip Duration: 48 hours