• Eurimbula National Park to 1770

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    Date: Tuesday 4 September, 2018
    Distance: Paddle 11km, Walk 6km
    Conditions: Wind 20-25kn Southeast

    By now the SE was blowing with intent, as predicted. It was the reason we decided against returning from North Keppel via Corio Bay. With a couple of nights up our sleeve I was keen to return to Eurimbula National Park. The road in was more corrugated than we remembered, but then again the Rav4’s suspension didn’t have much give either. A pause for a red belly black was a reminder that creatures were starting to stir. Repeated adhoc references to crocs in Eurimbula Creek diminished my interest in exploring that particular neck of the woods.

    We arrived to find only a couple of the campsites taken. We secured a large space with a magnificent table and bench seats. When we stepped out of the car, we could hear an engine revving. Talk about timing. Walking down the track as we popped out onto the beach, the unmistakable pink LARC drove on by on their afternoon sunset tour to Eurimbula Creek. This holiday had a penchant for concluding with music and we had the pleasure of pitching tent to our nearest neighbour gently strumming and picking out melodies on their guitar.

    After a day in plastic boxes in a hot car, the damp spray decks and lifejackets were fragrant with eau de rotten coral spawn. We were all in need of a good salt wash and the SE made sure we got one. We set out near the ebb of the tide so had to head out to get around the sand banks at the entrance to 1770. Once offshore the 20 – 25Kn SE blow blasted us across on a fantastic beam reach and I was only too pleased to have plonked a 10litre dromedary up the snout of my boat. Unfortunately the SE was running amok and blasting the tops of the small incoming waves at the mouth of Round Hill Creek near 1770. I had had my heart on attempting to surf in on these. Mark’s disappeared on some great rides. I caught a couple, sprouted chicken feathers and headed for calmer waters to get out of the wind and warm up.

    We pulled the boats up high on the beach close to the base of Round Hill Head then set off on the headland walk. The track was excellent, views magnificent. As we neared the top you could have knocked us over with a feather. Here, at the intersection of two tracks we ran into Cherie for the third time. First was on the track to Long Beach walking back from Svensens on Great Keppel. Next was when we first pulled ashore after paddling from North Keppel – Cherie just happened to be driving by and spotted two kayaks and took a punt it could be us. And now here at 1770 on the headland tracks with her little daughter wriggling around in a back pack carrier. We all couldn’t quite believe our eyes and laughed at the chances. After keeping company we headed back to shore via the boats so Mark could check for a screw to fix one of the back pack carrier arms.

    We had a late lunch in the park. The SE was following the script and staying around 25Kn. With a full flood tide the ride back was just as much fun, sailing an easy 11kph, no paddle required. Landing at Eurimbula was amongst a lot of drift wood. As my bow nosed ashore the sail promptly hit the deck – one of the stay knots had given up the ghost and let go. After spending another night in this beautiful place, it was time to pack up and hit the road. Given the road conditions, and the shelter afforded by Round Hill Head from the prevailing SE, it would be worth considering leaving the car at 1770 and paddling up to the camp ground.

    All within a day’s drive from Brisbane. Highly recommended.