The Noosa River, hey.
Day 1 was filled with logs, branches, tree trunks and more. As we maneuvered our canoes over, under, round the logs in the creek. They had a pretty decent storm in the area a couple of weeks ago which had of course brought more trees down into the river. However, we are all tough and after a handful of hours we made it to the junction of Teewah Ck and Upper Noosa River.
We were extremely lucky that we only had one big log that we had to totally unload the canoes to lift them over for. Whilst at times it felt crowded with 4 canoes in the creek, at times like this you really appreciate having multiple canoes as you have an easy place to unload gear into.
Thinking back now, we did have a smaller log that we had to partially unload for but it was nothing compared to the one in the previous photo. Mum and I took water twice in the space of about 30/45mins on Teewah Ck when we didn’t quite aim for an opening between logs correctly. We of course also took water easier since our canoe had relatively less gear in it than the others since we were the only “couple” on the trip and thus shared a tent, cooking etc etc.
Whilst there were quite a few logs you could slip under by tucking down in the canoe or standing up and stepping over the log, there were still quite a number which you needed to walk the canoes through due to the mess the river was in. The one below is a two huge trees that had fallen across the creek with a lot of branches in between them. I was given the job of photographer up on one of the logs taking photos of everyone as they came through the logs etc.
These two photos also show a pretty good idea of what the creek is like for a fair bit of its path. How fun does it look?
(I should make a note, that along vast sections of the creek, the vertical banks were covered with sundews and I managed to spot a few with flowers still even though their flowering period ended in November. )
Like many Australian children, May Gibb’s Snugglepot and Cuddlepie was a large part of my childhood (coincidently today is her 130th birthday), so seeing the seed pods of the Banksia aemula or Wallum Banksia and then making the link to “Big Bad Banksia Men” made me smile. I also then referred to the the seed pods as Banksia Men whenever I saw them again.
Here is Mum and I paddling in a pretty open section of the creek.
We were extremely thankful when the creek started to open up and the water began to get deeper as that meant we were closer to the mouth and then the short paddle down the river to Campsite 13. Just as we were last time we were “led” down the creek by an Azure Kingfisher (Alcedo azurea). It was cute to see it “wait” for us before flying further down stream.
I shared one of my reflection photos from Campsite 13 in the previous post so I will share the other one now. In the early morning the water is dead still and looks like a large mirror.
Day 2 was a relatively short paddle from Campsite 13 to Campsite 3 which only took 3 hours or so. Just before we reached Campsite 3, we stopped at a little sandy beach for a long lunch.
After we had set up camp, some people had a lazy time and the others explored the Wallum Heath behind the campsite, where we found an incredible range of plants. (I will post photos from here in the next post). Later that night
There is one thing in life that extremely freaks me out and that is cane toads. As far as I am concerned the sooner they find a way to destroy them, the better. Of course, Campsite 3 had to have some of the biggest toads I have seen, though thankfully, they seemed to limit themselves to down near the river and not up at the campsite. That however did not stop myself from wrapping myself up in my sleeping sheet, tucking my quilt round me and moving my thermarest more towards the middle of the fly.
I can report that whilst the cane toads stayed away from me the mozzies didn’t. (Why do I have to be the mozzie magnet?) Though thanks to the magic of the 80% Deet in Bushmans and Fexofenadine in Telfast, I was able to reduce the edge off the bites.
Day 3 was an optional trip up to the Cooloola Sandpatch and then over to the beach and back again. 2/3 of the group went on this walk. I don’t have photos from the trip. Think about that :). The other 1/3 of the group spent the day reading by the river, chatting to those who went past, swimming and napping.
This is the view up the river from the campsite
It had rained on and off through the night as it had the previous night and it was actually the rain that sent us all to bed the night before. We got up at 5am, had breakfast, broke camp and was on the river shortly before 6:30 as we aimed to get to Lake Cootharaba as early as we could in the afternoon before the wind and waves would arrive.
In the early morning the river was magical and we enjoyed observing the reflections, animal life and the changes in the vegetation as we changed from fresh to salt water as well as just the general vegetation changes due to the lay of the land. We stopped at Harry’s Hut for morning tea and a chance to take photos of the resident Lace Monitors (Varanus varius). I have to make a mention here of the wonderful morning and afternoon teas we had been provided by Aunty Susan in NZ. When Mum went over for NYE, she brought home a big slab of cathedral cake (stained glass cake/jeweled cake) which was pure heaven in a mouthful. When we go over in a couple of weeks for my cousin’s wedding I am getting that recipe!
We kept up the pace and made our way through the everglades to Fig Tree Point where we went on a short boardwalk that took us through a range of vegetation but mainly through a Cabbage Tree Palm forest.
Then it was another shortish paddle to Kinaba Information Centre where we had our lunch on the decking, relaxed in the shade, watched the mullet swim in the waters below the centre, re-applied sunscreen and decided on the best course of action for crossing the lake.
We were extremely lucky with the lake in that the wind was relatively low and hence the waves were not so rough. When we crossed it the last time I know we walked the canoes over a fair section of it (it is quite shallow in parts) so that we would actually make progress. Stopped in for a quick breather at Mill Point and then made the short distance to Elanda Point. Where we unpacked and throughly enjoyed the hot showers to remove the sand and dirt from the last couple of days. As well as the chance to stay under the shower for that little bit longer than we do in Brisbane due to the water restrictions.
On the way home we enjoyed a bite to eat in Pomona with Cathy and Liz, a visit to a patchwork shop just off the highway near Yandina and a visit to Grandad.
Over the course of the 4 days we paddled the 32km or so from Campsite 15 at the mouth of Teewah Creek to Elanda Point plus whatever the distance is from the Teewah Creek Pumping Station to the mouth of the creek. All in all I think it was a very successful outing for NPAQ with five members and one guest.