Last Sunday we set off on a 4WD trip for the first time since our big south-east Queensland explorer adventure. Admittedly we didn’t go very far this time, just some 100 km for the actual trip, exploring bushland in the Cooloola section of the Great Sandy National Park, and ending up on Rainbow Beach.
In my mind, I had pictured us lounging on the beach for a while but far from being able to take a stroll along Rainbow Beach, we got there just in time to watch the sunset… and some dolphins frolicking in the waves!
The ‘Cooloola Bush to Beach’ route we followed is outlined in the 4WD Treks Close to Brisbane book [NB: “close” to Brisbane is interpreted in a rather loose sense in the book unless you consider 350 km not to be a great distance to drive]. 🙂
I have my own personal gripes with the book (let’s just say we’ve gotten quite confused and lost on a few trips since there’s too much detail for some things and not enough at other times) but that aside, it’s got plenty of trips and gives you ideas on where to go 4WD-ing in the south-eastern corner of Queensland.
We started our journey just north of Cooroy, about an hour from where we live, travelling mostly along sealed roads until we hit the Cooloola Way, just past the Doggrell Forest Trail. The trail is a pleasant 10 min walk, offering the straightest trees I’ve ever seen!
From there we went off-road, which turned out to be much bumpier than expected. They’ve clearly had some rain through the Cooloola section of the national park and have evidently closed off some roads completely. We went on to Harry’s Hut, a really pleasant lunch spot and camp site on the Noosa River.
I could now tell you this big story about Harry, the pharmacist who lived in the area in the 1960s, loved fishing and bought himself a hut next to the river that now remains as a … hm… not sure as what exactly… a reminder of Harry?? But you’re probably not interested… here’s a photo of Harry’s Hut anyway… 🙂
Spotted a monitor lizard lazying about in the sun. I thought he was big but apparently not.
From Harry’s Hut we had to trek our way back to the main Cooloola Way, and things got a bit confusing for a while as there are two Cooloola Ways and one of them is closed off until further notice. Of course, it’s the shorter trek that’s closed off – not that we’d planned on taking it anyway – but even the longer one has a number of water crossings and some bumpy and rugged sections.
The sun was approaching sundown fast as we hit the sealed Rainbow Beach Road and raced the last 20 km into the sunset… Rainbow Beach certainly struck me as a really nice looking beach, and I can’t wait to get back there and actually get down onto the beach and do some beach driving on Rainbow Beach!
To finish off… my pitiful picture of a dolphin fin. I did glimpse much more than just a fin but my camera didn’t quite help me capture those moments.