We had it all sorted out…
Seven days off (plus weekends) over Christmas and New Year’s meant we could finally go away again and do some exploring. Given the intense heat that inland Queensland succumbs to during the summer months and the fact that we have the beach right outside our doorstep 365 days a year, we decided to head south across the state border into New South Wales, hoping for some cooler weather and the chance to explore the national parks around Armidale.
Well, that was until the husband discovered that this region is officially one of the wettest in NSW and a big, fat storm front was approaching, bringing literally buckets of rain.
I love camping. But camping in the rain isn’t much fun, not even for me.
So, instead of going south where we wouldn’t have to worry about camping permits and the like, we decided – on Christmas Eve, basically hours before we wanted to leave – to head north along the Queensland coast towards Rockhampton. Hot weather and beach guaranteed! And for some miracle, a group had cancelled their permits and we snuck into a couple of campsites at the eleventh hour.
While this perhaps doesn’t look like an enormously big trip, we still managed to clock up some 1,800 km on this amazingly relaxing trip.
First stop was Deepwater National Park, some 100 km north of Bundaberg, which, by the way, is much bigger and nicer than I expected!
Bundaberg’s town centre actually had some life in it and people milling about… I mean, after all it was Boxing Day and shouldn’t everyone have either been at the beach or at the cricket (or is that only what Melbourne people do?!?).
I was keen to visit the Bundaberg Barrel for some outrageous ginger beer flavours but alas, they were closed (unlike the Bundaberg Rum Distillery, they were happily open… hm… interesting…). Following a quick detour to the Burnett Coast and its not so sleepy towns, we headed off towards Deepwater.
You’ll need a decent 4WD to get to Deepwater as there’s a bit of soft sand driving involved in getting to the campground. Plus, you don’t know how much water you might encounter crossing Deep Water Creek. At Christmas, it wasn’t very high but a few months later when we returned, it was so deep we couldn’t cross it and had to get to Deepwater the long way.
We stayed at Deepwater for three nights, camping at Wreck Rock, arguably the much nicer of the two available camping areas within the national park. It’s super close to the beach, features a lovely little cove, and is a designated marine turtle breeding spot!
Read more: Camping at Wreck Rock: Review
I didn’t see any baby turtles toddling along the beach, due to me being lazy and well and truly asleep by midnight. But… we did see some Loggerhead hatchlings that the residing research group rescued from the claws of greedy goannas the night before.
Apparently goannas are quite a menace there and keep eating the turtle eggs. There’s research going on with turtle nests being marked and goannas’ movements being tracked. We talked to one of the researchers for quite some time and I couldn’t believe that, due to DNA testing, they now know that the Deepwater turtles swim all the way to Peru (!) and only one in 1,000 makes it back!!!! Talk about endangered species…
And here’s one of the greedy goannas…
And finally, some beach pictures… the water temperature was just so oh-my-goodness-how-do-I-describe-this-deliciousness?!? I could have stayed in there all day, and I would have if I hadn’t got stung by a bluebottle on the very first day and then became a tad paranoid.
I’m now sporting two lovely, but thankfully small, scars. I’ve since heard that Australia inflicts pain and scars on those it wants to claim as its own… yay, go me! 🙂
Whilst I was content to just relax, read and go for a swim every now and then, the husband was a bit peeved that he didn’t bring his surfboard as the beach at Wreck Rock turned out to have surfable waves. Instead, he had to content himself with body-surfing all day…
Beyond swimming and body-boarding (keep in mind that the region does experience stinger season – personal experience!), relaxing and reading a book or two, there isn’t much to do there. But it’s the perfect spot if you just want to take some time out, and don’t want to hang out with 500 other people.
Check out Queensland National Park – Deepwater for more details on how to get there, campgrounds, etc.
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