About Me

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Queensland, Australia
Two Life Motto's: 1. It's All About The Journey 2. De Camino A La Verada - Do Not Stray From The Path.

Bush Camping ...

Bush Camping ...

I've created this blog mainly to let family and friends know where we have been "Bush Camping" of late as well as a permanent record for us. Sort of an online Scrapbook I guess.

We live in the South East Queensland region of Australia, so I am trying to camp in places that are, at most, 3 hours from Brisbane. Places you can visit on a quick weekend trip, over a long weekend period, or take a week or fortnight to explore. On occassion, we may venture much further afield (here's hoping) and show some other destinations we've managed to locate.

I've tried, where possible, to add links to important things. Such as websites for the places, towns, national parks, state forests, or places of interest. Please click those to take you away from my site, to theirs ... but don't forget to come back! I've added these so that you may get up to date information about these places.

If there is something that I haven't covered or that you can't locate information on ... Contact Me has been set up for you to send me an email. It's for comments or questions you may have about anything to do with the blog itself, my photo's, our camper trailer, or the destinations. Please don't hesitate to provide information on other places we can go, as we are always happy to visit another location.

You can also learn more about me and our camper trailer by visiting the Other Pages links.

Please Enjoy.
Tracey =^..^=

28.03.13 Fordsdale Farmstay

So Easter is here again.  It means a long weekend with no packing up for 3 whole days which we both think is divine! I had made plans to head to Yandilla … even went so far as to make a booking, but David said it would be busy and we might not get our favourite spot … especially now there is water in Kilcoy Creek.

So Glenn has chosen Fordsdale for our long weekend, as we know it won’t be crowded.  We have the most ideal spot in mind as well.  I couldn’t get a hold of David by phone to cancel, so sent him an email via his website.  I hope he’s not too upset that we won’t be attending.

We leave at our usual time of 0800-ish and are on the road and heading to our destination in no time.  The weather forecast is for perfect, with a possible shower or storm.  I think we can handle that.
Once at the entrance, we bypass all the formalities and head straight to “our spot” on the hilltop beside Dead Horse Dam. 
Crossing the second creek we hit an obstruction and had to move some rocks into place so we didn’t hit the diff, but crossed it easily after that.
As it’s been raining, we find that the dam actually has water in it which will make driving along its rim too dangerous, so we find a path through the grass above the catchment section and move the odd rock here and there to get in.  Glad we didn’t have to winch ourselves in this time.
Once onsite, we setup over 5 hours as we are in relaxation heaven – with many trips to the creek and a lot of ball throwing.  We are pretty much at the same angle as our after Xmas trip.  Of course we had to clear numerous cow pats and thorny thistle bushes, but once that’s out of the way our setup of the camper is very quick, it’s the rest of our goods and chattels that take the time.
We noticed a few people up near the houses as we came in and gave them a wave, as well as Peter and Sue in their car.  They yelled out that they would come see us later and I hope they do.  I’d love to see their pups almost grown up.  Otherwise we’ll catch up with them in due course.  They know we won’t leave without seeking them out for a chat.  As we turned down the track to our site, we passed a bus parked up along side the creek and track.

Once completely settled, there is almost nothing to do but relax.   Of course we’ll have to check the creek level for swimming and are happy that this time we can hear it gurgling its way past our campsite.  It will be wonderful to hear it from our comfy bed of a night.
Also this weekend, I’m going to try out the different pieces of extra canvas we have and see what I can fit and where.  On occasion we’ll need walls and I’m determined not to purchase anything more if I don’t really have to.
Heading down to the creek, I take Telashi for a swim.  Really I’m trying to determine the depth of the water.  It’s about boob height, so say 1m deep at the deepest point.  The water is quite cold, but very welcome in the heat of the day.  Once you get used to it, it’s just beautiful really.

A few 4WDs head past camp, coming down the inland track from the campsite.  Most just come down for timber – we named one “LendLease” due to the vehicle signage and another vehicle contained Justin who we have a brief chat with, his son Hudson and Harvey the chocolate Labrador – who was literally busting to get out of the vehicle.  Once out and on his lead, he seemed a huge handful for the boy.  I wish them luck with him and we head off up the creek for a walk on foot, noting how the creek has changed since we were last here.   We gather some timber for dinner, and have to put up the end wall as it starts to spit a little.
Back at camp, we notice horse riders heading down the Bicentennial Trail entrance and then across the creek towards the homestead.  We could hear them, but couldn’t see them.  I make a decision to walk that trail in the coming days.  The horses will go past most days, and we note how many riders (usually 10 or less in the groups) and always wondering which of the two pups are with Sue at the time. 
Kiah sleeps at camp for the first time in a while, whilst it isn’t actually night which surprises us both.  She is usually super alert at all times.  I suppose at 10 years, I must admit that she is getting old.
Dinner tonight is a very good one … alfoil wrapped Thai fish and prawns done in the camp oven with fried potato slices on the grill plate, followed by Mud Cake.  Wonderful stuff indeed!

The rest of the evening is spent around the OzPig with drinks in hand and removing drowning bugs from them.

Settling into bed that night, the sound of the creek spilling over the track is absolute bliss.

The next morning is overcast but bright.  It will continue to alternate between sun and cloud for the rest of the morning ending with a perfectly sunny afternoon. 

We start the day with coffee about 0800 or so with no real plans.  Lazily we stay around camp watching the day pass.  The sun has a bit of a sting to it, so 30+ ourselves.  Collecting some timber from the creek occupies some of our time.
After lunch, Glenn has a snooze, so I leave him a note and take the handheld CB, a backpack and the dogs for a walk down to the far end of the creek being still on the property.  A walk is a fantastic thing to do here as there are so many things to investigate by horse, 4WD and with the track is pretty easy to do on foot.

Heading off up the creek, I let the dogs run loose.  I’m interested to see if our far campsite has been occupied since we were there last.  The creek itself has changed its course from one side to the other.  More debris has built up from the rains of ex tropical cyclone Oswald, especially near our camp, but it’s true all along the creek.

Passing over the creek towards our previous campsite, I note the track has changed a little and I can see that a 4WD has been this way recently.  Once the lantana opens up a bit, it’s obvious that no-one has camped here since we did.  We were the first to camp here and our second camp here was obviously the last of those willing to do so.  Seems that Peter has been down here with a tractor or dozer of some sort as I can see there has been some obvious earth movement going on. 

Heading back towards the creek again, I notice that 4WD has made it here as well.  Crossing over it’s immediate to see changes.  Large rocks that weren’t there before are now sitting right along side the track.  Seems the rain has washed away some of the track too, making it a tighter fit for a 4WD … not impassable, but certainly squeezy.  The short drop off would have me worried in a fourbie if the ground was slippery … and being black soil it usually is.

It’s then I spot the cows on the track and I’m glad I bought the dog leads with me.  I lead them up and we continue past a few cows.  The bull stops eating and stands his ground, watching us pass, but most of the cows head further up the track, meaning we’ll have to follow them.   Some of the younger ones freak out a bit and head into the bushy creek, turn and stare after us.

To my right I can see Peter has done a lot of work with the tractor / dozer.  There now appears to be a bit of a car park like cleared area.  Not flat enough to camp on though.  As I head around the next corner, its meaning becomes clear.  The track has been all but washed away, and the clearing helped to provide some fill for it.  As I walk over this portion, the ground drops away to the left, the track itself becomes very tight, and the right hand bank has a large rock coming of it.  I personally wouldn’t bring a fourbie this way, due to my lack of experience, but it seems that someone has.  I note the track against the bank is also very mushy, so walk along the drop off side.
We follow the track further and cross the creek again and I let the dogs off the leads again.  This whole time on-lead I’ve been teaching Kiah to “come behind” so that next time we pass the cows I can get her to come back to behind me by voice alone.   This way if she wanders ahead of me, I can recall her easily to me and get her to stay behind me.   I’m hoping the temptation of cows or anything else for that matter can be over come by the command.

Ahead the track goes up hill and on the right is my destination.  Here there are deep pools easily deep enough to swim.  The sandstone sides are steep on one side and the creek has meandered a track through the centre.  Once around the corner, I see what I’m looking for … a deep swimming hole.  I see things have changed since I was last here.  As I cross over to the steep side to sit (there are rock shelves on which one can perch), I hear Glenn on the CB.  He is obviously awake and now checking on me.  I answer, but he can’t hear me so I head upwards until I have a good sending signal.  Glad I don’t have to go far.  I’m probably 2k’s from camp.  Glenn knows exactly where I am and that I’ll be leaving here in about 15 minutes.
Letting the dogs have a swim, I remain perched on the rock shelves enjoying the day.  Eventually it’s time to return to camp.  I test out “come behind” on Kiah as we walk and she proves to be a very good student and we pass the bull again without incident or leads.  No cows to be seen anywhere.

Over 1 ½ hours later I’m back at camp in need of a drink and a swim, but feeling good after the exercise.

I’d also like to go for a walk towards the entrance along the creek from camp.  The plan is to check on the height of another good swimming hole near the second crossing.  We do and find it’s much deeper than last time … just over my head … against the rock wall.  We continue walking till we reach the entrance and walk to the next crossing past it.   We retrace our steps and find Justin and family utilising the swimming hole near the entrance.  It’s very deep here and they are diving off the rock wall.   It’s good to see them enjoying themselves.  

I note that Peter has some fencing to do here, as he’s putting in a new gate, but hasn’t finished it just yet.  I’ll bet most farmers are reconstructing fences due to the ex cyclone.

We head back to camp for some more relaxation and another swim.

Tonight’s dinner will be roasted lamb and potatoes with vegies.  Yum!   So we set about preparing it and getting the fire started. 

Today we drive where I walked yesterday.  Glenn parks the ute at the new car park and we walk the rest of the way to the swimming holes.  As we are about to depart, we find LendLease has followed us in.  I hope he realises he’s in for both a million point turn and some rock removal before he can head back out.  I’d love to stay and watch, but Glenn wants to head out and see how many are camped at Heifer Creek.  We stop along the way and check out a possible ending to the Bicentennial Trail and see hoof prints which confirm that they have come that way, but we can’t figure out from where as we don’t see them starting out, just passing our camp on the opposite side through the trees.

We head back to camp and then take the inner road to the camp ground to see how many are camped this weekend.  I note 2 tents, 2 camper trailers and 2 Jayco’s up here.  This will compliment the 2 campers at the entrance, 1 bus and 1 tent along the creek plus ourselves,  not to mention the numerous horse riders.

Back on Wagners Road, we spot Sue on a horse and stop to pay our rent.  She can’t chat as she has a riding group with her, but promises to catch up later if she can.  I’m not so sure she’ll be able to, as they have been pretty much non-stop with the horses and riders.
We head out onto the main road and do the 3 or so kilometres to Heifer Creek Rest Area, passing some road works along the way.  Seems Heifer Creek has been eating away at the road lately.  Once again, this free camp is fairly popular with mostly caravans, ute top campers and tents, but we have seen it busier.  We stop for a little while and check the status of the creek beneath the bridge.  It’s flowing and looks different to the last time we were here.  We can hear the gentle hum of a generator and are glad we can’t hear the same from our campsite.

We head back to camp and see that Peter has fixed the fence.

As we are heading back to camp, it starts to sprinkle and soon we find that it sets in for a bit.  We weatherproof camp and note the horses going past again, as well as some walkers along the creek, who I have a quick chat to and find they are in the tent further up from us.  Although they’ve crossed the creek they still have dry feet, but admit that’s the only bit that’s dry.

Earlier this weekend, we thought about ways of utilising the extra canvas we have.  It’s for the offside (drivers side) and I feel sure it can be used as extra weatherproofing on the existing awning, so we gave it a whirl and although it’s not perfect, it fits well enough to keep sun and rain off, as well as giving us a bit of privacy.  It’s worked out quite well for us this weekend, so we’ll be using it as such again for sure.

Glenn wants to walk the Bicentennial trail and see where it goes, because we keep seeing the horse riders coming that way.  I pointed out a possible ending spot this morning on our drive and I’m almost sure this is where we’ll end up.  We don our wet weather gear and brollies and head along the trail.  At the highest point we come across riders and one of the pups, so put leads on the dogs and get off the trail to let them pass.
Once they’ve passed us we walk the rest of the trail and confirm it comes out where we thought it did this morning and then continue back to camp along the 4WD track we drove earlier.

Although the rain isn’t heavy, so far it’s constant.  So plan to keep an eye on the creek levels in case it rises too much for us to cross safely. 
Dinner tonight is steak and vegies.  So we start the OzPig in the rain and watch the flames flicker as we sit and ponder our situation.  Getting flooded in does cross our minds, but we have food for another dinner if required, but we are fairly sure it won’t get that serious.  At least we’ll always have a nice fire to stare at, as we can cover the fire with a plate.  Alas, the Pig isn’t as pretty looking as it used to be.  After lots of wet trips it’s looking very rusty and not the oven black from it’s first days with us.  May have to sand it back and give it a coat of paint but obviously not today.

I season the steak and let it sit for awhile then prepare the vegies so they are ready for when we want to start cooking.  That done, it’s just a matter of sitting back with drink in hand and enjoying the sound of rain on the canvas … not a hard thing to do by any means.  Keeping the dogs out of the rain is a priority as the smell of wet dog is not something we wish to breathe in all night.

With dinner out of the way, we settle early to bed to listen to the rain on the canvas.

Next morning dawns and the rain has passed.  It’s still a bit 50 / 50 with cloud cover and we wait for the canvas to dry.

Getting breakfast and the dishes out of the way, we start our slow pack up process ensuring that all is clean, neat and tidy as we go.  Packing up the Pig, making the bed, stowing clothes and pillows, putting the ensuite away and lashing down the toilet … all these things take time and before we know it lunch time comes around.   Of course, we are still in relaxation mode, so nothing happens too quickly.
I make some cairns by the creek ... I wonder if anyone will notice them.

The canvas slowly dries and we pack things up just in case of a sudden downpour.  Our plan to spin the camper around like last time, using brute force, can’t be achieved, so we attempt a 700 point turn and manage to get the rig spun around in no time and with little frustration.

As the track will still be a bit on the slippery side, I chicken out of being in the vehicle through the crossings and take photos from the track while Glenn works his way down each tricky bit.  Once over tricky crossing # 1, I jump in and guide him across tricky crossing # 2.  This one is indeed tricky due to some track missing as your turn out of the creek, so I guide Glenn up the bank as far as I can, before getting him to turn in.  The camper follows him well enough if a bit to the wrong side, but he makes it through with no damage or scary moments for me.  I run further up the track until it’s safe for him to stop and collect me.  From here on the track is grassed and will be easy to follow without assistance.

We get out onto the road and Glenn realises that Peter is following us, so pulls over.  We have a bit of chat and then he pulls ahead of us on his way back home, with us following at a distance.

Once on the main road, the return trip is uneventful, but we do get to see Peter turn into this home property before we head into Gatton. 

Once on the highway the trip home goes far too quickly and before long we are unpacking our bits and bobs with a sigh and resigning ourselves to the suburban work life once more.

Either way you look at it, I can’t wait for our next trip!  I also tried out a new lens for my camera this trip due to the sudden death of my kit lens.  I’m sure I’ll get better with it as time progresses.

Trip Kilometres:  281
Trip Duration: 96 hours

1 comment:

tweeter said...

Thanks for your blog! David at Yandilla was correct, it was VERY busy. Still hope to go back soon.

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