POVERTY POINT, COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK. QLD

POVERTY POINT, COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK. QLD

One of our secret campsites is Poverty Point in the Cooloola National Park. The Cooloola National Park is an incredible diversity of landscapes, stretching from the North Shore of the Noosa River, through open wallum heathland, to mangroves along Tin Can Bay.  There are tropical rainforests, crystal clear lakes and mammoth coloured sand dunes, including the Carlo Sandblow.   There are stunning beaches framed by high dunes, wildflowers, woodlands, Blackbutt forest, tranquil lakes, waterways and rainforest.



You’ll require vehicle permits when travelling within the Cooloola National Park.   Those permits extend travelling north of the Noosa River to Middle Rocks, south-east of Rainbow Beach. Also travelling along the Freshwater track between Bymien and the beach, the Pettigrew Road, eastern and western firebreaks (Kings Bore Circuit) and the Leisha track


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A  Saturday morning, no so long ago Kim and I packed the Nissan Navara and headed north. First stop was the Eumundi Markets, which were interesting; Kim picked up a dress, a long dress as in down to her toes. She has always thought that long “maxi” dresses look weird and never tried one on. This one didn’t look too bad at all. It also means, I think that she has more dresses than I do jeans or shorts. Once we were done with the markets we headed north again to Gympie and onto Tin Can Bay rd, which lead us to our first destination of Seary’s Creek for lunch and a paddle.




 Seary’s Creek is a most wonderful place with a decent creek which flows out of a swamp. They have put in a lot of board walks and the two swimming holes where you can float and swim from one hole to the other. On a body board, you just float down, which is very pleasant. Both pools have tame yabbies. The yabbies come and nibble and tickle toes if you stand still.  Then we drove into Poverty Point, which is a campsite at the southern end of Tin Can Bay. The road in is loose to packed sand, and a 4wd is required to reach the campsites. There were a few long stretches of deep sand, but the Blue Smurf handled it with ease without airing the tyres down. We camped about 10m from the sand and our fire was just on the bank above the sand.




Poverty Point is a lovely little sandy beach and when the tide goes out it is sand flats rather than the expected mud flats. This little-known spot on the southern shores of Tin Can Bay was developed by the logging industry around 1873 as a despatch point for the timber trade.

Logs were brought to Poverty Point via light rail and, later, trucks to be rafted up and floated to the Dundathu timber mill in Maryborough. We unpacked and setup camp and started a fire and tried our hand at a little fishing at sunset.

The next day we headed to the town of Tin Can Bay. Where is Tin Can Bay you might be asking? And you might be forgiven for not knowing prior to reading this blog. However you absolutely have no idea what you are missing out on by never being there! The funny part is that you have probably driven right past Tin Can Bay on many occasions, yet not known it was nestled just off the Bruce Highway in Queensland just north of Noosa.

It is a very sleepy little coastal village and home to some of the most stunning scenery and fantastic ocean passage. If you are coming by boat then this is a fantastic spot to anchor down for a few days, as it is very sheltered. The beautiful harbour area is dotted with an array of yachts, fishing boats and houseboats all parked up and relaxing. Tin Can Bay offers sensational fishing, great watersports and an awesome doorway to explore the ocean.


But it is something quite out of the ordinary, which makes Tin Can Bay a stand out destination. It is the wild dolphin feeding which happens every single day of the year. Now this is no normal dolphin feeding attraction, these are wild Indo Pacific Humpback dolphins.We headed down to the Barnacles Dolphin Centre, located right next door to Barnacles Café, at the Norman Point boat ramp and ordered some breakfast and waited to see the dolphins come in. We then took a scenic 4wd trek down the Freshwater Track onto North Shore Beach to Double Island to walk up to the Lighthouse and thru the  Leisha track to the Carlo Sandblow. We watched some hang gliders and parasailer’s as they launched off the world renowned sandblow to ride the wind and witnessed a stunning sunset. Back to the camp for some drinks and yarns, we headed back to Brisbane early to avoid the carpark traffic on the Bruce.



COOLOOLA NATIONAL PARK AND FIVE ACTIVITIES NOT TO MISS!
1. CANOEING
As featured on Queensland Holidays, canoeing along the undisturbed Noosa River is one of the finest ways to experience nature at its most tranquil. Boats or canoes can be hired at Tin Can Bay, Boreen Point or at the Harrys Hut camping area. Make sure not to miss the peaceful everglades and the breathtaking reflections of the surroundings on the river’s clear, pristine waters.
2. FISHING
For keen anglers, Cooloola also offers a great spot for fishing. Cooloola and Teewah Beach includes catches of whiting, bream and Flathead, while inland river fishing is also popular. You need not worry about obtaining a fishing licence since none is required; however, there is established size and bag limits for fishing in the tidal waters that visitors need to comply with. Popular fishing sites include the Kin Kin Creek and Noosa River.
3. BUSHWALKING
Bushwalking or hiking is one of the most popular activities on Cooloola because of the numerous excellent walks in the area. Prepare your walking shoes because you’ll surely be in for a treat. Several walks start from the Elanda Point, and four at the Harrys Hut camping ground. Boronia walking track (1.8 km, 1 hour) along Kin Kin Creek reveals the life of cedar cutters who worked in this area from the 1860s to the 1890s. Poona Lake Walk (4.2 km return) leaves from Bymien picnic area and leads through melaleuca woodlands, scribbly gum forests and pockets of rainforest. Long distance walkers are also sure to enjoy the Cooloola Great Walk that’s up to 102 kilometres, complete with walkers’ camps. And if you’d like to try out more adventure, pack a tent for the two to four day Cooloola Wilderness Trail.
4. FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE
Like Fraser Island, access to Cooloola National Park also requires a reliable 4WD vehicle with high clearance. There are plenty of established tourist drives you can enjoy at Cooloola. You can take the Cooloola Way, a 32 km dirt road that connects the Rainbow Beach Road Kin Kin-Wolvi road, or drive through the banksia and taller forests with views over Cooloola sandmass. Other tracks include the Freshwater Road and Kings Bore Track. Before departing, though, it’s essential to be aware of the road conditions and directions by speaking with the area rangers.
5. CAMPING
Should you wish to experience and explore the Cooloola National Park for a longer period of time, then you can do so by setting up camp at one of its 15 camping sites. There are a number of formal and informal camping grounds, complete with facilities, as well as wilderness camps you can choose from. Take note, though, that the only camping area which provides safe fresh water is the Freshwater Camping Area adjacent to Teewah.
Whilst Fraser Island might be the more well-known section of the Great Sandy National Park, there’s definitely no denying that Cooloola National Park also have spectacular sights and activities you can never miss.


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NUMINBAH VALLEY, QLD

 Numinbah Valley                                                                                           


Started out at 0745, which is a smidge later than we normally do.  Probably because we were so excited to be going to a campsite just a little over an hour and a half from home and knowing that the day onsite would be longer and hot than normal.
This weekend our trip was straight down the highway at 110kph, then a right hand turn through suburbia and into the countryside.  We followed the Hinze Dam’s zig-zagging western coastline down to the Nerang River and then through the valley to Numinbah Valley, which is a quaint little country town.




We arrived at Numinbah Adventure Trails around 9.30am and were told to head straight for the campground.  Then it was a matter of unhitching and start setting up. Tent goes up right beside the creek.

Kim’s down to the creek and checking it out by 10.30am.  Of course our dog Shari was straight in the water.  By now we are joined by others.  And pretty much the afternoon continues,  sitting in creek , camp for a refill, sitting in creek, lunch and back to drinking in the creek.



 By 3.30pm we headed to Beachfront Markets. During late afternoon and early evening, The Esplanade along the beach of the Gold Coast becomes a hive of activity when a hundred or so colourful stalls set up for the Beachfront Markets. We finally got to take a stroll along the foreshore to check out the microcosm of life on the strip with a spot of crowd watching, to watch street performers.
While we were there, we wandered the stalls investigating new gizmos and gadgets, unique products and paraphernalia, with Kim giving in and buying a bracelet. The wares on sale are fairly touristy, carrying goods such as jewellery, home wares, fashion, beauty products and Gold Coast oriented tourist wares. While some of the goods are made elsewhere, the emphasis is on locally made or produced. Kim especially loved the seashore-inspired jewellery and the beautiful metal-mounted photographs of Surfers Paradise by Geoff Edwards. 




Back to camp for a quick chat around the fire before a small storm with a shower rolled in, so we retreated to our campsite a made an early night of it.




Next day dawns noisily.  Birds of all shapes, sizes, colours and call have descended on our campsite and are doing their best to get us out of bed. 





We then jumped in the car and headed to a sizable sandy patch of dog paradise which starts at the edge of Palm Beach Parklands and follows Currumbin Creek all the way around to the surf. So whether your dog is the wave catching type or just enjoys a good old-fashioned dog paddle, both will be in heaven here. And for owners it doesn’t come much more scenic than this, with gorgeous vistas across Currumbin Creek on the still water side and views to Surfers paradise from the wide surf stretch on the other. On the parklands before the beach is a cafe that is dog friendly which we had a nice lunch.



 We arrived back to camp late afternoon just before some storms rolled in. We decided to fire up the Ozpig and eat dinner early. Back to the fire for some drinks and yarns before more storms rolled in and we all split back to shelter.

The next morning we were up and early to pack up and head to Burleigh Markets. Featuring over 75 fashion, art and craft stalls, the Village Markets in Burleigh Heads is Kim’s most loved boutique market on the Gold Coast.

Now five years old, the market provides a valuable springboard for talented emerging designers, photographers and artists from the local area, as well as providing a regular community meeting hub and cultural event for all ages to enjoy. We picked up a freshly brewed boutique coffee and enjoyed a laid back Sunday morning browsing the fantastic mix of men and women’s fashion, vintage clothing from all over the world, hand crafted jewellery, homewares, gifts and much more. Then home to dry the camping gear. Was a fantastic and short weekend away.

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THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

THE SPRINGS 4X4 PARK

The Springs Camping and Adventure Park is situated just south of Warwick on the New England Highway in the Granite Belt region of South East Queensland.   The Granite Belt is a premium food and wine destination surrounded by stunning national parks and prehistoric granite formations.
The tracks wind over 700 acres of beautiful and varying terrain, ranging from Easy to the Extreme to cater for all vehicle types and class of driver.  There is also the Ironman Test Track for you to have some fun and test your skills!

Delivering a choice of campsites, the Main campsite is found some 1.4kms into the property and is accessible by 2WD’s and 4WD’s.
It is situated in a beautiful gulley with your own rock escarpment and creek. All sites are secluded and have shade. The main campsite has a purpose built modern shower and toilet block with hot showers.  They are just what you need after a long day in the Park. 

Drinking water is provided for all campers and wood for campfires is available.  All tracks are signposted, named and graded for difficulty and a detailed map of the Park will be provided on entry.
The road from the office to the camp ground is well maintained and easy with the exception of a hill climb just past the office which could prove to be a bit of a challenge in the wet or if you where towing a trailer like we were.

We were there for Doing it in the Dirt, in conjunction with a Social 4wd Group and The Springs 4×4 Park for the first ever #DrivingTheBluesIntoTheDirt in aid of raising funds for Beyond Blue. We had to arrive Saturday morning and eventually found the area the group were camping. After finding the only flat spot around, we were told that it was reserved for a parking spot. No one around, we decided to pack  the camp gear back in the trailer and started heading back home. Upon leaving we found a flat gully opposite a group on a buck’s weekend.

We unpacked and setup and we had plenty of room for our dog to run around. The night was spent with drinks with the boys on the bucks.



Overall would I recommend The Springs to campers? DEFINITELY NO.  Sixty Five Bucks for one night. Their dreaming if they think I’m heading back there again. The Springs is more for 4wder’s who are more than happy to smash up there 4wd’s and whine later how expensive it is to fix.


We attempted to head to one of the lookouts, and then halfway we turned back because of the state of the track and the little to no signage. We really enjoyed the camping and the only socializing was with Matt’s buck’s party. 


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MT MEE, QLD

MT MEE

A day trip in a serene natural setting is for you, D’Aguilar National Park is a truly stunning region just north of Brisbane, with beautiful subtropical rainforests, eucalypt woodlands, and scrubby gum forests. Lookouts dot the landscape, providing amazing views of Moreton Bay, the Glasshouse Mountains, and crystal clear rainforest pools.



Mt. Mee is so close to Brisbane that it is an easy 4wd day trip idea.  Mt Mee is part of the D’Aguilar National Park and only about 15 minutes from Dayboro.  D’Aguilar National Park is divided into two sections, north and south.  The majority of the northern part is 4wd access only. Mt. Mee is a beautiful mountain located in the northern section of the National Park and the northern section of D’Aguilar is often just called Mt. Mee



We Started our Day in Dayboro and entered the state forest at the very south end via Laceys Creek Rd.  We almost turned around before getting to the dirt roads as Laceys Creek Rd is signed as a no through road just before the gravel road starts.

Wasn’t too happy getting stuck a little at A Break, but reversed back and took a different line we cleared it okay. I knew from the two previous trips that there were some big holes at the start of the climb and also near the top.

A bit further on we had another hill with big holes and then a steep climb. The track fell away to the left so it was important to keep right while negotiating the hill. All fine and we made it to the top with no hassle.



We continued through the forest crossing little streams, up and down small hills and driving on loose surfaces. The tracks were dry with little mud. It looked like the rain didn’t make it up there. As we ascended higher up the mountain the view was amazing.

 



We then left the group and visited the Gantry day use area, where there are toilets and plenty of room to stretch your legs. The Piccabeen walk was a short 1km boardwalk circuit taking us through a grove of piccabeen palms.

The Gantry itself is a somewhat bizarre looking structure. A shed like building, it was used to house a massive crane used to hoist timber up from the forest floor. Apparently it operated until 1981 and the saw mill produced timber which was used in structures around Brisbane including Saint Stephens Cathedral in Brisbane CBD and bridge connecting Redcliffe to Brisbane. The sheer size and height of the structure makes it definitely photo worthy and something you definitely don’t see every day.



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