Posts Tagged With: camping close to Brisbane

Bribie Island Camp

DSCF2162Probably my favourite ‘practice run’ camping trip leading up to our big trip around Oz has been our long weekend away at Bribie Island in late November last year.

Bribie Island is less than an hour’s drive north (65km’s to be exact) of Brisbane.  It is linked to the mainland by a road bridge.  It is beautiful, with lots to see and do and such an easy camping weekend away!

We camped at site ‘K’ in the Ocean Beach Camping Area which was a site suitable for a camper trailer and a tent – perfect for us and Ben, Amy and the kids who joined us on this camp.  It was lovely and secluded and we had our own private stretch of beachfront!  This was our first experience camping without any amenities, and our first attempt at taking Karen Camper on to the beach.  We were very nervous!  Especially when we stopped in the car park entrance to ‘air down’ (drop the air pressure in the car and camper tyres to a suitable level – about 20 PSI – for sand driving) and we had some people come over and say to us that they weren’t sure we would get the camper down onto the beach – eeeek!  But we decided to give it a go anyway as the whole point of this camp was to test out the camper and ourselves with some beach driving/towing.  We were fortunate that a nice man offered to drive ahead of us down on to the beach and make sure we made it through the ‘cutting’ okay.  We were chewing our fingernails even more when we hit the cutting and saw a Prado bogged in the sand in front of us and they were not even towing anything!!!  But – we followed the car in front who had visited Bribie many times and we made it through just fine – phew!

On the beach in front of campsite 'K'

On the beach in front of campsite ‘K’

The next challenge was then getting the car and camper up the sand dune and into our campsite!  It took two goes for Matt to get the camper in after backing out on the first run when he realised he hadn’t given himself enough of a run up and power to get up, and managing to reverse out!  It is very nerve-wracking being on the beach, knowing the tide is coming in and not being sure if you are going to be able to get your camper off the beach and up into your campsite – I had visions of our camper having to be left on the beach at the mercy of the ocean while we watched from the top of the dunes!  I guess this is what doing something new/having an adventure is all about, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t get stressful sometimes!!  The campsite was quite small so it was definitely a test for Matt’s reversing skills to finally get the camper in to position for the weekend.  We suffered a small dent to the front of Peter Prado when Matt hit one of the National Park ‘bollards’ (posts that mark out the campsite) so we didn’t entirely avoid a small amount of swearing!

Great view from our campsite

Great view from our campsite

Our setup - there wasn't a lot of shade

Our setup – there wasn’t a lot of shade

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Kids having their before breaky swim at 7am in the morning

Over the course of the weekend we tackled the ‘Fort Bribie’ walk which was a 5km return trek that ended up being quite tough for the kids but they managed!  The walk wasn’t very well signed so we got a little lost a few times but did make it to the Fort in the end with hot faces and scratched arms and legs!  This is an extract about the walk from the National Park website;

“Near the northern tip of Bribie Island, you can take a walk through coastal plant communities featuring casuarinas, melaleucas and some rainforest species to heritage-listed remains of gun emplacements and searchlight buildings. Wayside signs provide information about the forts and the men and women who served here during World War II (1941–1945).

During World War II, Fort Bribie was strategically located near Bribie Island’s northern tip to secure the passage south. Moreton Bay’s shallow waters are scattered with small islands, banks and sandbars, so large ships are limited to the main north-west shipping channel that runs close to shore near Bribie Island.”

A bushwalking challenge!

A bushwalking challenge!

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Jack having a look at one of the gun emplacements

Fort Bribie

Fort Bribie

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We were pretty cranky to find that we could have just driven up the beach to the Fort rather than bashing through the bush!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We opted for the walk home along the beach rather than through the bush again!

We also had a fun afternoon four wheeling driving along the Northern Access Inland track and checking out the Poverty Creek camping area.

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland norther access track on the island - Roma Rav bogged!

An afternoon of 4wding along the inland northern access track on the island – Roma Rav bogged!

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new 'snatch strap' and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Can you tell that Matt is just a little happy to have a chance to use the brand new ‘snatch strap’ and get bragging rights over Roma Rav??

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek - beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Afternoon stop at Poverty Creek – beautiful Glasshouse Mountains in the background

Amy at Poverty Creek

Amy at Poverty Creek

And other than that we just spent time lazing on the beach and cooling off in the Welsby and Mermaid Lagoons on the island.  The lagoons were very shallow and lovely and warm – perfect for young kids!

Mermaid Lagoon

Mermaid Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Cars on the beach in front of Welsby Lagoon

Another great weekend getaway so close to Brisbane – I think Bribie Island would even be an awesome day trip!  We loved it and just wish we had more time to go back again.  The kids, and me, even survived our first bush toileting experience of digging our own ‘bush toilet’ hole!  If you live in Brisbane and have a four wheel drive then definitely go and check out Bribie Island!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there - going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

I cooked my first chocolate cake in the camper oven while we were there – going to take some getting used to cooking with but tasted ok after we cut the burnt bits off!

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Kangaroo visiting our camp site

Evening fishing on the beach - very quiet and peaceful

Evening fishing on the beach – very quiet and peaceful

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

Tackling the cutting after racing the tide up the beach to head home

The worst bit about beach camping - the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

The worst bit about beach camping – the cleaning up and hosing down when we get home

Very thankful for 'sand grabber' floor mats!

Very thankful for ‘sand grabber’ floor mats!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Elanda Point Camp

Elanda Point November 2012

Elanda Point November 2012

We still have so many blog posts to add about our lead up camping forays before we head off, but time seems to be galloping now!!  We really should have been blogging as we were doing these things like we planned, but hopefully better late than never!

Our third trip away with Karen Camper and Peter Prado was in November last year to Elanda Point which is a one and a half hour drive north of Brisbane.  We camped at the Elanda Point Education Centre and Adventure Park which had great facilities but unfortunately no campfires allowed – bummer!  The campground is set right on the edge of Lake Cootharaba.  When we arrived it was very windy so despite the fact that I desperately wanted to camp right on the water, we opted for a quiet spot at the back of the campground after several campers who had been there the night before showed us the damage that had been done to their annexes and awnings – we couldn’t risk having that sort of damage to our camper.  Apparently it is very common to have severe winds down on the water at Elanda Point.

Our 3rd setup - Elanda Point

Our 3rd setup – Elanda Point

Heaps of Kangaroos all over the campground

Heaps of kangaroos all over the campground

Kangaroo

Kangaroo

We had Matt’s brothers and Amy join us on this trip, along with the Fealy cousies.  Elanda Point is great for young kids as the water in Lake Cootharaba is very shallow – basically knee deep for hundreds of metres out and very warm.  Our kids had a ball playing in the water – especially on the Monday when we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Gotta love Uncle Jimbo!

Lexi Lou!

Lexi Lou!

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy's new tent.

Helping to set up Uncle Ben and Amy’s new tent.

We camped here for three nights and could have easily stayed longer.  There was heaps of room for the kids to run around and lots of lovely shady spots.

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

Took the hammock this time but I think the kids were the only ones who got to use it!

The kids doing some 'rest time' activities in the shade

The kids doing some ‘rest time’ activities in the shade

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree - and trying to bring them home!

Jacko spent the whole weekend rescuing baby birds that kept falling out of their nest in the tree – and trying to bring them home!

Lace Monitor

Lace Monitor

There are a few great walking tracks that you can tackle from Elanda Point.  As our kids are still quite little – we choose a walk that left from the campground and which was just a short 3km return walk to Mill Point, the place where a timber mill township flourished from 1862 to 1892.  It was a really easy and scenic walk with quite a few interesting spots to stop and see along the way – a fun way to give the kids a bit of a history lesson!

An afternoon walk to the old 'Mill' site at Elanda Point - an easy 3km return walk for the kids and quite interesting

An afternoon walk to the old ‘Mill’ site at Elanda Point

The 'Family Tree' - Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

The ‘Family Tree’ – Fealy Cousins at Mill Point

We used Elanda Point as our base to try out the first of our 4wd tours from the ‘Dirty Weekends’ book.  It was a bit of a disaster!  We blew a fuel line on Peter Prado at about 20kms into the drive so spent the rest of the day worrying about how much diesel we were losing!  Then we got a bit lost and couldn’t pick up the track that the Dirty Weekend’s book was directing us to (a first lesson for us that we are not going to just be able to rely on our iPhones/Ipads for help when lost as we had no reception!!!) so we ended up driving all the way to Rainbow Beach along a forestry track, which was not the scenic 4wding experience we were hoping for!  We would definitely like to go back and do a bit more exploring of the Cooloola National Park!  Despite the frayed tempers, frustration and disappointment, we still managed to have a pretty good day and see some beautiful spots!

Time to go 4wding!

Time to go 4wding!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok - Harry's Hut.  It all went down hill from there!

We found the first stop on the 4wd tour ok – Harry’s Hut. It all went down hill from there!

Noosa Everglades - beautiful - would love to go back with Kayaks.

Noosa Everglades at Harry’s Hut – beautiful – would love to go back with Kayaks.

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground - Rainbow Beach where we stopped for a very late lunch!

Group photo (credits to James) at Freshwater Campground – Rainbow Beach, where we stopped for a very late lunch!

A bit of beach driving - it was a spectacular afternoon!

A bit of beach driving back from Rainbow Beach to Noosa North Shore – it was a spectacular afternoon!  We drove past the beach camping at Teewah Beach – it looks great, definitely something we would still love to do!

Red Canyon - Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon – Rainbow Beach

Red Canyon

Red Canyon

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

The car ferry back to the mainland at Noosa North Shore

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

Zip tying the fuel hose back up with the assistance of a very helpful man at the Noosa North Shore car wash.

A pretty good weekend away but we did blow our first tyre on the camper on the highway on the way home, which was a bit of a downer way to end the weekend, but all a learning experience for us!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home - this is where we discovered we had no tools - not even a tyre iron that fit!  Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

We blew our first tyre on the camper coming home – this is where we discovered we had no tools – not even a tyre iron that fit! Definitely a wake up call and thankful for our RACQ membership!

Categories: Camping, Qld Camping | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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