Exploring South East Queensland

Our arrival in Queensland was timed perfectly for an appearance at a surprise party for my sister in law Shelley’s birthday on the Gold Coast. We just missed the surprise reveal but were happily greeted by the amassed Robbo family. In typical tradition, there were spits of meat roasting and a nice toasty fire to converge around and share stories of our adventures.

Shelley’s (surprise) birthday party – Gold Coast. Hannah, Mick, Shelley & ¬†Hamish

From “The Goldie” we headed up to my parents farm (Wemvad) on the Sunshine Coast and spent time doing general farm things like mowing and tending to the chooks, including one who was hatching babies! Unfortunately Tara managed to burn her leg on a motorbike muffler, riding while (stupidly) wearing shorts. A painful lesson learned – denim shorts look good but don’t qualify as protective gear!

Tara sun baking and resting her motorbike burn at Wemvad

While Tee was incapacitated I took the opportunity to spend some time with my brother Ash and decided to go climb a mountain. Wemvad is near the Glasshouse Mountains so we were spoilt for choice. We chose Mt Tibrogargan, whose shape looks like an Aboriginal Man in a crouched position. A steep climb ensued, up a granite mountainside to a height of 400m and despite some sections having us question our sanity, the views from the top made it all worthwhile.

Climbing Mt Tibrogargan

Mum and Dad both had a couple of days off work so we decided to head into the forest to do some camping, to a place called Charlie Moreland camping area. It was a great opportunity to have some decent time with them sitting around the fire catching up on life. We also managed to see a platypus in the creek which was a first for both Tara and I and something I’ve been wanting to see for a long time.

Charlie Moreland camping area

Charlie Moreland camping area – crossing Little Yabba Creek

On the way out we “accidentally” took some wrong turns in the state forest and ended up taking a serious four wheeling track back to the farm instead of the main road. The track worked it’s way down the edge of a cliff and had been washed away back in the Queensland floods and I guess it wasn’t high on the priority list to be fixed, so we ended up putting the Prado through its paces, as well as testing Dads nerves and his new Holden Colorado’s abilities! We eventually all made it out in one piece and celebrated life with a pub meal at Kilkoy. In the heat of the action-packed adventure, no one thought to get a camera out so unfortunately no photos :-(

Back from camping we spent more time just hanging around the farm lazing in the Queensland weather before heading off again with Mum and Dad to Fraser Island. On the way up we stopped in to visit Tara’s Great Aunt Jan and Uncle Ted in their wonderful Queenslander style home at Buderim.

Tara, Jan and Ted

The Fraser trip started with some four wheeling through the state forest along the Cooloola way, then camping the night on the mainland at Inskip Point to wait the night out and get the cars across to the island on the barge the following morning.

Inskip Point camping, mainland near Fraser Island

Travelling on Fraser, the tides need to be considered to be able to travel along some sections of the beach so we planned to spend the first day exploring the inner sections of the island, such as Lake Mackenzie and Central Station. The crystal clear waters of the lake were spectacular and I couldn’t resist a swim.

Lake Mackenzie – Fraser Island

The rain forests on the island are truly impressive also. The biggest of the trees are among the biggest you will see anywhere and it’s crazy to think that this is a sand island. The bigger trees are those that were spared back when the island hosted logging trucks instead of tourists.

Fraser Island rainforest

We found camp for the night in a dune behind the beach and began what everyone seems to do on Fraser – fishing. We had an overly curious dingo hanging around us for the night wondering if we’d have any food for him, but he eventually gave up disappointed (I may have helped him give up by chucking coconuts at him).

Fraser Island – Dingo on the beach

We spent the next day driving along the beach and taking in some more sights of Fraser such as Eli Creek and the Maheno ship wreck, and continued up the beach aiming for the most northern point of the island at Sandy Cape. Dad still had a bit too much air in his tyres so got stuck in the soft sand getting around one of the headland tracks at Indian Head. This was a perfect opportunity to christen the Maxtrax I’d borrowed from Bernie and carried around the entire country without one use and they worked a charm!! We got Dad out without a fuss and let some more air out of his tyres to continue our journey up to Sandy Cape. We also found a shark that had accidentally beached itself chasing fish into the shallows and died, so we posed for a few photos pretending it was our most recent catch.

“A fisherman’s tale” pretending we caught a shark that was on the beach

We arrived at Sandy Cape and Mum found pleasure in watching both Tara and I with our jaws completely dropped off our faces. This place is absolutely amazing and no words can describe how beautiful it is. We found a private beachfront campsite and setup home for the next few days. The camps at Sandy Cape are literally right on the beach front and at high tide the beach is impassible so you get isolated into your own little piece of paradise.

Tara at Sandy Cape camp site – Fraser Island

Lunch time at Sandy Cape – Fraser Island

We spent the next few days just living the easy life and fishing for our lunch, surprisingly successfully. Then we began our journey back down the beach to the barge, with another overnight stay in behind the dunes and again for a couple of nights at Inskip Point on the mainland.

Fishing at Sandy Cape – Fraser Island

Mum and Dad had to get back to the farm for work commitments so Tara and I worked our way back slowly through Noosa, Coolum etc.

Noosa

Back at the farm we celebrated Dads birthday with some afternoon cocktails and took him into a restaurant in Brisbane for a six course French degustation which was lovely. Of course the theme of his presents were things to help him not get his car bogged again such as a tyre pressure gauge and a snatch strap! :-). Given Ash had spent much of his time while we’d been at the farm playing with his new race bike, his other road bike or his trail bike, it seemed like a match made in heaven when he landed some work for the day taking people on test rides at the local bike shop!

Dads b’day celebrations

We all spent the day after Dads birthday dinner down at the Gold Coast again at my brother Mick’s house. Us boys all headed out on his boat for some deep sea fishing and the girls went shopping at Harbour Town for the day which suited everyone fine.

Micks boat

We then went back up to Mum and Dads farm yet again to hang out and prepare ourselves for the next part of the trip which was a last minute decision to head north instead of south and go explore the Whitsundays! More about that in the next post though… So for now you can check out the photos page for SE Queensland leg here

Dave

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