The McElholum Cape Tribulation Road Trip travel blog

Dingo at campground

coloured sand Grace

Coloured sand Hayden

Knife Blade sandblow

giant trees

Maheno shipwreck

Maheno shipswreck

The Pinnacles

View from Indian Head

Champagne Pools

Wanggoobla Creek

Wanggoobla Creek

Sept 10th

Delayed our departure to avoid towing the camper at high tide. Moved to Cathedral private campground for electricity re-charge and a washing machine. No phone access even with aerial. Spot not nearly as nice as our last two camps and surprised there was no dingo fence. So kids still having to be within direct eyesight and 10mts at all times. A dingo wandering around the campsite in the afternoon, but keeping to itself. Walked behind the campground up to Corrigan sand blow. We looked back behind at our footprints to see they were of different colours. There were layers of different colours of sand.

Sept 11th

Northern Forest Scenic drive. Stopped at Knife Blade Sandblow. The largest dune on Fraser, 55km long and advancing 1metre per year. Driving through Eucalypt forest then suddenly into lush rainforest patches with 20mt Picabeen palms amongst the giant satinay and Kauri trees. Sat by Lake Allom and watched all the turtles. The tracks were only as wide as the landcruiser, both side mirrors being simultaneously brushed/hit by foliage.

September 12th

Left camp by 8.30 to beat high tide and moved to another QPWS site further up the beach, Dunduburra. Another great camp site, fenced, communal camp fire rings, good facilities - proper flushing toilets! Only milled wood is permitted to be used in fires on the island and fires are no longer permitted on the beach. Risking fines to even use twigs for kindling but diesel is ok! Still no phone access. Partially set up and back in the car by 10am. Now driving at high tide and could not have done it with the camper. Deep soft sand with sudden dropoffs, 10kmph. Walked up Indian head for magnificent views of the coast. Drove further to 'Champagne Pools, the only safe salt water swimming on the island. Just as the name states, bubbly froth cascades down over the rocks and then all over you. Our drive back to camp an enjoyable breeze at 60kmph as it was low tide. Hot water showers available with gold coins, our car shower handy.

Sept 13th

Drove north again past Indian Head to Waddy Point QPWS camp ground. Had tried to book here before arriving at Fraser but was booked out! Camp ground actually pretty empty but surprised to find only 4 'caravan sites' in grounds all other sites have posts to allow only tents. Another swim at Champagne pools on our way back.

Sept 14th

No big drives today. Quiet morning, paddle in stream on beach at front of campground. Re-visited beautiful Eli Creek in the afternoon for a float and a swim.

Sept 15th

Leaving Fraser today. We do hope to get back here within the next couple of years with surf rods and high vis running gear, considering its proximity to Melbourne. before school holidays is the best time to come. School hols would be too busy on the tracks. Sand flies become a problem as it gets warmer. In summer with constant heat it is even more difficult to drive as the sand is very dry and soft. Looking forward to green vegies and fruit other than apples and oranges. A couple of very basic shops on island and bakery at Eurong so have totally relied on stock we brought over with us. Sand coming out of our ears! Have not gone for a run because of advice not to walk alone and September running incites dogs further.

From south, Inskip, is the cheapest and easiest access onto Fraser. Next trip would consider staying again at Central Station for a couple of nights for rainforest experiences (spiders, scorpions and antichinus rats) and access to inland walks and lakes. Beach camp on Gabala and/or Wyuna just over Wyuna Creek. Waddy Point fenced campground for easier access to Champagne Pools, Orchid beach shop and bar and exploring further north. Remember to book 'caravan site", as no camper trailer sites. Consider bringing milled fire wood from Gympie. Shop before Rainbow Beach.

Allowed plenty of time, in case things didn't go to plan to get back to Wanggoobla Creek ferry by 3pm. Drove south along beach at low tide. Stopped at Eurong and then across island to Central station for a picnic lunch. Had forgotten camera for the creek walk last time so did it again! Arrived back on the mainland by 4pm. Picked up the bikes, did a quick and necessary food shop, automated under-car car wash, fish and chip dinner in car and drove to Rainbow beach. Arrived at 8.30pm, kids all asleep. Luckily able to drive through onto site and had kids in beds still asleep within 20 minutes.

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