Day 23: Water Park Creek, Byfield Forestry Park

A pair of bush turkeys were making their nest near where we camped. Love the pretty neck!

A pair of bush turkeys were making their nest near where we camped. Love the pretty neck!

Another magic day! The campsite is beside Water Park Creek, which is a nice wide-ish creek with a weir where the road crosses. We got in late-ish yesterday so just wandered down to the creek, relaxed with our iPads (3 bars 3G!) had delicious BBQ lamb steaks and salad for dinner and spent the dusk swatting midgies and marsh flies! This campsite is very heavily treed (read, lots of shade), and has 10 defined camp sites which are mostly quite secluded from each other. To one side is a large park with sheltered tables, modern electric BBQs and clean, flushing toilets (no showers). We get the use of these excellent facilities for the princely sum of $11.20 per night. I love Australia.

This is the prettiest kayaking we've done to date.

This is the prettiest kayaking we’ve done to date.

Today the plan was to paddle the kayak up the creek. 7K of it is navigable from the weir. We pumped it up and set off about 11am, with a picnic lunch. Within minutes we were in Nirvana. The creek was so beautiful as it meandered through natural bush on both sides, palms, fallen trees in the water, some parts shallow as we just skimmed over the creek bed, other areas so deep we couldn’t see the bottom.
When we got hungry we tied the kayak to a tree and just relaxed in the boat eating our picnic – the creek sides were fairly steep, so we didn’t want to get out. I was sure I could hear rapids ahead, so after lunch we kept going, past some tricky fallen trees and rocks, and sure enough there were the rapids and a small waterfall. To the side was a little sandy area where we pulled the kayak up and got out. We spent a lovely hour or so here swimming, sitting under the waterfall and lying in the beautiful chilling rapids – who needs a spa pool?
We turned for home and life became even easier. Going up we would have sworn there was hardly any current and didn’t think we were paddling too hard, but coming back we only had to paddle ever so gently and we just kept gliding along.

Wompoo Fruit Dove. We were indeed excited and so fortunate to see these fairly reclusive birds.

Wompoo Fruit Dove. We were indeed excited and so fortunate to see these fairly reclusive birds.

We didn’t see much bird life which surprised us, but were delighted to be treated to seeing two Wompoo Fruit Doves. We sat under the tree they were in and they seemed just as intrigued by us as we were by them. Other wildlife was just a couple of cormorants and lots of water monitor goannas from little ones to very big, and a couple of turtles.
Back to camp, feeling pretty good for our 14K paddle, and noted this as a place we’d love to return to (not on weekends or school holidays though).
Click on this sentence to open the gallery of photos we took while camping here.Kayaking on Waterpark Creek

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