On the road by 0800 and the day is perfect. Cool, clear, and sunshine as far as the eye can see. Our trip this weekend is going to take us about 3 hours (road works permitting). This is the limit of our “area” as we won’t go any further for just a weekend. In fact, 3 hours is a bit of a stretch on occasion, but one we are willing to make if the destination is worthy.
This weekend we are heading north through road works to Gympie, then heading west to Kilkivan to stay at Kilkivan Bush Camping. The trip was uneventful with nothing of any exciting nature occurring. We did however, overshoot our turn by a smidge, and had to do a U-turn. It was unescapable though as we were both eyeing off an A-Van in an overnight highway stop, and the sign post was on the wrong side of the road … probably lucky we were eyeing off the A-Van … because we actually saw the sign.
Once we’d down a U-y, we returned and took our turn. The dirt road is probably 2 k’s in length and well maintained. It leads us to another turn, which is nice bitumen and takes us a further 2k’s to our destination. We enter and park.
Finding the office isn’t easy if you’ve never been there before. No office sign to be seen, so I headed over to a lady leaning on a verandah railing. I’d found the office. She greeted me and we make our transaction. The website says it’s $18 for an unpowered site, but she takes my $20 and gives me some setup options. It seems we can’t camp where we like. I take note of the options and we decide to check them on foot before deciding.
As Glenn & I walk through the park, we note she’s trying to keep everyone away from each other, so decide that maybe she knows what she’s doing. We head over a small tributary of Fat Hen Creek to the opposite side and locate the first option … we note kids on one side and kids on the other side. We then head down to Fat Hen Creek “level 1” for the second option, and the choice is made … we don’t even consider the other option.
We drive the car to a site right on Fat Hen Creek, as it’s greener, grassier, and has the water of the creek to listen to … which the other site didn’t. The billabong is large enough for Telashi to have a good swim and it gives us something to look at, as the country side is rather flat here.
Glenn picks the location and we adjust it for overhanging branches and getting away from Gum Trees. It puts us at the far end which is fine. It takes us about 20 minutes to settle in and we are happy.
Whilst settling up, we notice a Shetland pony on the bank above us (level 2). She’s snorted a few times to gain our attention I’m sure. Seems she’s eaten herself out of grass and has knocked over her water supply. I assist with a handful of grass and get some water from the creek for her, which she promptly knocks over once more. Some kids appear from nowhere and tell us that she’s been there since they arrived Friday and they’ve been refilling her water bowl every few hours. The young girl has asked if the pony could be moved, after explaining her plight, but seems no rescue has resulted.
I return to camp and suggest a thorough wandering around the entire campsite on foot with the dogs. It will stretch their legs and I’ll be able to get some photos. Glenn wants lunch first, so we eat.
After lunch, we take a tour with the dogs. When I phoned, I was told the place was 10 acres, but it feels more like 5. They must have stashed some of it somewhere else, or there must be another section that we aren’t aware of. We’ve wondered over a tributary to the southern corner, then past a playground to another corner, then back to where we started. So there must be more north of where we are, but it’s all under tall grass or the creek. We must be missing something.
Back at camp, we sit and relax for awhile in the sunshine. Telashi is hesitant about going in the creek due to the tallish steep banks, but we manage to find somewhere for her to make her way in easily and she’s off to chase down the water spray she’s creating … leaving a muddy trail in her wake for a short distance.
We watch traffic traverse the country road, most turning in, the rest passing by. Unfortunately, the road and the creek are right beside each other here, but since there isn’t too much traffic, it’s still rather peaceful.
Then it’s time to think about dinner. We’ve got our ½ chook out defrosting, so we need to start a fire to have some good coals for the camp oven. It’s tme to get the OzPig out and start on vegie prep.
Lots of people venture towards us, but veer away when they see the dogs … not sure if it’s the Cattle Dog X, the Rottweiler, or Glenn that does the trick but it’s nice for some alone time. I know it’s not the Collie as he’s fast asleep and snoring. I approach a group of nomads, who are camping on level 2, but have come down to the creek. Apparently they know where the Platypus lives and when it will venture out. They are quite interesting to chat to and I get the info on the resident egg laying mammal. We don’t see it that night, but we do see a spritely Water Rat romping about.
Later on, the kids from up at the cabins come down to get more water for the pony and bring their mum with them. She’s interested in our camper trailer as they don’t even have a tent and are really enjoying this “whole camping thing”. I guess they have the bare essentials, but are dreaming of more. She tells me that the cabins are beds and a cupboard, with a front door and nothing else, so was very happy to see the well set out camp kitchen. I make a mental note to check them out tomorrow. She also tells me that the pancakes with strawberry jam and cream that the management provided for breakfast this morning were a treat that they never expected to enjoy whilst camping.
Dinner is on and we sit back enjoying the last of the sunshine with a few drinks. Hoping to have our showers before the sun goes down as the prediction is for 4°C overnight. Glenn has bought his thermometer along. It has an indicator of the lowest and highest temps for the day, but has to be checked daily as they change. He resets it and positions it for the overnight reading.
Once that sun dips below the horizon, so does the temperature. Coldest we’ve had for a little while, so we rug up. Pups don their jackets and all is good. The moon is just past full and very bright.
Saturday night camp oven dinner is in full swing at the main house, as we can hear people laughing and loudly chatting away. I’m sure they will quiet down before we go to bed, but it’s good to hear them enjoying themselves. I believe the menu is roast beef & pork with aluminium wrapped potatoes and pumpkin, with 4 vegies including honey carrots. I’m told it’s a big meal, followed by dessert for $20 a head.
As I drift off to sleep that night, the place quietens down enough for me to hear the creek babbling away.
Glenn wakes me through the night and tells me that the creek looks great for a photo with the mist coming off the water and the moonlight on it. I’m sure he’s right, but bed is so very comfortable. It would mean getting up, rugging up, setting up the camera and stand, finding the remote, patiently waiting till I’ve snapped away and gotten a good shot. However … Bed is very warm ... Bed is very comfortable … Pillow is soft.12.6AH
Next morning is cold. It’s been down to 1.5°C overnight. Feels a bit like that now actually, but it’s slightly warmer. Generally, we are slow to start anything this morning but coffee, which we follow with yet another coffee.
The kids tending to the Shetland come back down for more water and tell us that they are leaving and would we please keep an eye on her for them. No worries. A few hours later, Glenn returns to refill the water bucket, which she’s knocked over once more. The last time I see her she’s laying on the ground and soaking up some rays. Lucky her! I wish she had a big paddock to roam in though.
After coffee, feeding the pups and breakfast, we head up to the cabins and camp kitchen to give them a look. The family have gone and their cabin door is wide open, so we venture in. The mother was right, they are a bit Spartan, but quite serviceable. There would be 10 or so in varying stages of readiness. Outside is a bird feeding stand and some fire rings (stones to mark the fire place). One contains a goodly amount of party ice, so they must have emptied the esky there. Good way to put out a fire though.
The camp kitchen, although primitive in most respects, houses 3 gas BBQ’s, a fridge with freezer, microwave and all the makings for coffee ... including the coffee. There is also plastic crockery and cutlery which you don’t see in other camp kitchens. I’m sure there were also other things available to use, but we didn’t investigate any of the cupboards there. The stainless steel dual bowl sink also had a large food prep area and it was nice to see that the dishes had been done and were left out to dry. I think it's one of the best camp kitchens I've seen.
We ventured further out back of the cabins to find a old house that had been restumped and was obviously being worked on. Perhaps it’s the new residence of the owner, perhaps it will be fully self contained and available for hire. Who knows? There is also what appears to be a chook pen, but it contains two of the largest dogs I’ve seen for awhile. That will explain the barking and baying we heard on occasion through the night.
We wander back past the camp kitchen and back to our campsite. It’s time to think about packing a few things up and getting ourselves organised before lunch. We can’t stay much longer than 1300 or we’ll have a lot of traffic coming home from the
to deal with as well. Of course, there will be some resting and relaxing time in there as well. Sunshine Coast
Make the bed, stow the clothes & pillows, do the dishes, pack up the pig, organise the dog box, put away the ensuite, dry out the buckets, admire the view, swim the dog, check on the pony, pack up the table and chairs, and before you know it the time is 1200. This gives us enough time for some lunch and our camper pack up, ensuring we’ll leave on time.
Glenn will have to reverse out of this campsite, as it’s long and narrow. We are quite happy that no-one else has camped here as you’d need to drive past them all the time to get in and out with the vehicle. If they decided to sprawl a bit, then it might be rather difficult to back out the camper. But since no one turned up, it’s no issue.
We are on the road just before 1300. Another weekend almost to an end alas. As we make our way back from whence we came, I notice that the other side of the creek appears to have fire rings and creek side spots, but we weren’t even given a look in here. It would have been a bit better for us, as I could have given the dogs a good run! Oh well. I guess that side was “closed for regeneration” although it looked peachy to us. There were two huge boats parked up, which we noticed on the way in, so I’m guessing that’s why we didn’t see all the fire rings and creek side camping … those darn boats!
As we drive through Gympie, I notice some dark smoke off to the drivers side. I snap off a few photo’s and make a mental note to check the Gympie Times on Monday to see what it might have been that was on fire. Turns out it’s the south side Wooloworths and they suspect arsonists lit some timber pallets below the building, which then engulfed all the refrigerated units in the store.
Nothing more exciting happens on our journey home, but we do get down to a crawl in the homebound lanes for about 5 minutes. Seems someone has pulled over and everyone slowed down to gork at them.
We are home just before 1600. Unpack the car, secure the camper, and there is nothing left to do but the weekly washing and think about dinner again.5.8AH
Trip Kilometres: 496
Trip Duration: 48 hours