BBQ for dinner, and a turkey. ‘Nuff said.
We felt a bit flat yesterday and didn’t want to do much at all. Steve did the final fix of the dividers into the drawer system in the back of Mitzy, and just tidied stuff up and did some washing. BBQ for dinner.
Last night I was peacefully sleeping away when Steve wakes me: “I’ve got a tick. Take it off!”
Me: “It’s 3am. Can’t it wait till morning?”
Steve: “No. It could be huge and I’ll have no blood left by then.”
I removed the tick! Sorry, no photos.
Today we were feeling more energetic and decided to do the kayak trip again – we loved it so much last time. Went upstream in the morning, spent a couple of hours at the rapids and had lunch there and returned midafternoon. At times (all the time, actually) it felt like we were the only people in the world and we were exploring the wild Orinoko! We’re definitely planning more kayaking trips, they are so enjoyable.
For a few more photos of Waterpark Creek (not many!) click here.
Despite booking in to Eurimbula for 3 nights we decided to move on this morning – back north again to Waterpark Creek campsite in Byfield Forestry Reserve. We have to be near to Rockhampton anyway for Friday night’s Opera.
Fun 4-wheel drive track.
It was mostly a day of driving. In yesterday’s post I described the road to Eurimbula, but what I didn’t add is that it is really interesting. The ‘road’ is really only two wheel tracks for most of the way, weaving in and out around the trees. The bush is ferns and palms and paperbarks with some quite tall gums. A really pretty drive.
Stopped for lunch at Kershaw Gardens, botanical gardens on the northern side of the Fitzroy River in Rockhampton. Great place for a break and a walk around – which I had to do just to try to find the toilets! Prepared tonight’s tea and put it in the Dreampot.
We enjoyed Waterpark Creek so much last week we were happy to come back. Unfortunately National Parks won’t transfer bookings from one campsite to another, which is very annoying! Looks like we’ll be paying double for tonight and tomorrow night – luckily it’s only $11.20 a night for us both!
Arrived mid afternoon, setup and spent the afternoon checking mail, writing this blog, and going for a walk down to the creek.
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.
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.
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.
Started the day slowly. Thoroughly enjoyed the lovely green grass and quiet (no morning trains!) of Flaggy Rock. It’s only an overnighter, but a very good one. Onto Highway 1 and off we headed south.
How beautiful is that?
When I was a child I stopped once with my parents at caves outside Rockhampton. My memory was of it being hot and dirty and I didn’t like it. The turnoff to Byfield Park that we were planning on taking was at Capricorn Caves, so we decided to stop and see them again. On the walls they have lots of framed certificates for winning tourism awards, and I must say they are well deserved. The information area before you go into the caves is very interesting and well-presented, ie engaging. The tour we did was excellent – very informative, enjoyable and only 4 of us in the tour. The caves are ‘dry’ caves, not being influenced by water from a river. It’s only when it rains that water goes into the caves and through the limestone. The limestone itself is incredibly old, having formed when the area was under the ocean from an ancient coral reef. The only two owners have both had the best interests of the cave and the ecology in mind, though the original owner allowed mining for guano! Anyway that didn’t go on for too long.
Anyhoo … The Cathedral Cave has near-perfect acoustics and is often used for weddings – I’d love to attend one there one day, I can imagine how beautiful it would be with the candle light and beautiful music. As it just so happens, in one weeks time there is an Opera in the Caves being held. Steve and I now posess tickets for it. Our trip will be extended a few days so we can attend. Woo hoo!
Moving on, as I mentioned we were coming in the back way to Byfield. The black-top soon ran out, replaced by dirt roads through private properties. We followed a beautiful creek for some distance and decided to stop and have our lunch on the banks. Idyllic! Mind you there were signs up all over the place that it was private property and entry not permitted, but we really were only about two metres off the road, so don’t think we would have upset anyone. A little further on we passed a large, shallow lake, Lake Mary, which was covered in all sorts of bird life. Big flocks of geese and pelicans, swans, cormorants, brolgas, spoonbills, herons, egrets – you name it, it was there. I really, really wished I had Deb with me with her photographic ability – as I have many times this trip!
Arrived at Water Park Creek campsite – very impressed, but will write more about it tomorrow as we’re just about to go and BBQ some steak to have with a salad for tea.
Click here to be taken to the Photo Gallery for this post.