Trip Diary

08-2012 Peel Island (An Ekka tradition)
08-2012 Moreton Island
07-2012 Rocky Point
06-2012 Blakesleys
06-2012 The Bedroom
05-2012 Breakfast on Karragarra
05-2012 St Helena
05-2012 Perigee Bedroom
02-2012 Queen Mary II
02-2012 Mud Island
11-2011 St Helena
11-2011 Shorncliffe to Redcliffe
10-2011 Weinam Ck to Dunwich
10-2011 Peel Island
10-2011 Breakfast on Karragarra
10-2011 St Helena and Green Island
09-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
08-2011 Fraser Island
08-2011 Canaipa Passage
08-2011 Karragarra
08-2011 Stradbroke Island
07-2011 St Helena
07-2011 So long, and thanks for all the fish.
05-2011 Green Island
05-2011 Wivenhoe Dam
04-2011 Upper Noosa River Weekend
04-2011 Easter at Woodgate
04-2011 Mud Island
04-2011 Karragarra for Breakfast
02-2011 Bongaree
02-2011 St Helena
01-2011 Weinam Ck to Blakesleys
10-2010 Moore to Blackbutt Rail Trail
10-2010 Whitsundays
09-2010 Mud Island
09-2010 Redcliffe
09-2010 Girraween
08-2010 Upper Noosa River
08-2010 Potts Point
08-2010 Peel Island
08-2010 Gateway to City Bike Ride
08-2010 Mud Island
07-2010 Blakesleys Afternoon Paddle
07-2010 Kedron Brook to Scaborough (and return)
04-2010 Colmslie Beach
04-2010 Brighton Park
01-2010 Nundah Creek
01-2010 Blakesleys
01-2010 Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
01-2010 New Year Paddle
12-2009 Potts Point
08-2009 Raby Bay to Peel Island
08-2009 Wynnum Creek to King Island
07-2009 Sandgate to Redcliffe
05-2009 St Helena
04-2009 Wellington Point to Peel
04-2009 Breakfast on Karragarra
03-2009 King Island
03-2009 Mission Point
03-2009 Mud Island
01-2009 Morning Tea at The Pin
01-2009 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
01-2009 New Year Recovery Paddle
12-2008 Caniapa
12-2008 Pine Rivers
11-2008 Coochie Night Paddle
10-2008 Breakfast at Karragarra
10-2008 Girraween
10-2008 Coomera Falls Circuit
09-2008 Hinchinbrook Island
09-2008 Manly Harbour Festival
09-2008 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2008 Weekend at Blakesleys
08-2008 Old Woman Island
08-2008 Circumnavigate Macleay Island
07-2008 Upper Noosa River
07-2008 Weinam Creek to Dunwich
06-2008 Scarborough to Bongaree
06-2008 Wellington Pt to St Helena
06-2008 North Stradbroke Jazz Weekend
05-2008 Point O'Halloran to Blakesleys
04-2008 Upper Noosa River
04-2008 Aquatic Paradise to St Helena Is
04-2008 Eprapah Creek
03-2008 Paradise Point to Moreton Island
03-2008 Wynnum Ck to Tangalooma Point
03-2008 Amity Point weekend
03-2008 Bremer River
03-2008 Brisbane River - Gregors Ck to Barneys Rocks
02-2008 Play Day - Coochie Mudlo
02-2008 World Wetlands Day Paddle
02-2008 Brisbane River night paddle
01-2008 Australia Day Week
01-2008 Blakesleys 3/4 Moon Paddle
01-2008 Shorncliffe to Nudgee
01-2008 Brisbane River - Barneys Rocks to O'Sheas Crossing
12-2007 Raby Bay to One Mile via Blakesleys and Potts Point
12-2007 Diamond Head to Tipplers
12-2007 Wynnum Ck to Green and St Helena Islands
11-2007 Bike Ride Bay Islands
11-2007 Tingalpa Creek
10-2007 Potts Point Night Paddle
10-2007 Return to Gilligans Island
10-2007 Salt Water Creek and Coomera River
09-2007 Elimbah Creek
09-2007 Scarborough to Caboolture River
09-2007 Fraser Island Whale Watching
09-2007 Circumnavigate Russell Island
08-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
08-2007 Linville to Blackbutt Rail Trail
08-2007 Brisbane River City Reach
08-2007 Peel Island
08-2007 Brisbane River
08-2007 Green Island Day Trip
07-2007 Pine Rivers Night Paddle
07-2007 Mooloolah River
07-2007 USS Kitty Hawk in Brisbane River
06-2007 Black Tie on Peel Island
05-2007 Harrys Hut Camping Weekend
04-2007 Theodolite Creek
04-2007 Upper Burrum River
04-2007 Circumnavigate Big Woody
04-2007 Walkers Point to Toogum
03-2007 Boat Passage to Big Sandhills
12-2006 Woodgate to Mon Repos
10-2006 Fraser Island Whale Watching
04-2005 Keppel Islands
12-2004 Fraser Island
10-2004 Munna Point Camping Weekend
10-2004 Mooloolaba to Maroochydore
09-2004 Coochie Mudlo Island
08-2004 Karragarra Island
07-2004 Wellington Point to St Helena Island
06-2004 Noosa River Camping Weekend
05-2004 Brisbane River Night Paddle
04-2004 Budds Beach to Moreton Island
10-2003 Bulwer to Tangalooma
05-2003 Eatonsville to Harwood Island


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Adventurer Anthony Malloch

Hinchinbrook Island
Date: 15-09-2008
Hinchinbrook Island. After a year of travelling around Australia, two British backpackers said that if they could only return to one place, then this would be their choice. Ever since it has been a place I have wanted to see. Fifteen years later it is time to head north. The harness of my Macpac had rotted and the Thorsborne Trail disappeared from my sights. Converted to the comforts bestowed by the immense stowage capacity of a kayak, no 300g orange was going to break my back. This venture to the tropics would be Hinchinbrook luxury class.

This was one seriously slow cruise. We planned to saunter up Hinchinbrook over 5 days then onto Goold, Coombe and Dunk Islands. Travelling over 2000Km to get to the start at Lucinda set the theme of the 'no stress' paddle. Any one feeling pressured could opt out with a hand up and they would be given all the time and space they needed. Sure you can paddle Hinchinbrook Island in 3 days, but why would you ?

Getting there gave an impression of the scale of mining operations. As we drove in a controlled cortege, oncoming cars, semi and b-doubles were pulled well off the road - whatever was in the lead had to be big. Well make that massive. It was a mining cat truck (less the tyres) and it took the entire road. Arriving in Sarina first, Mark had tabs on it having to turn left in the centre of town. This was morning tea spectacle in the making as surely there was going to be some collateral damage. Parking the car on the opposite side of the road we armed ourselves with our coffee flask and muesli slice then took up a strategic position in the centre of the town median strip and waited. We left disappointed - this driver must have done it before.

2000Km is a long drive and while it can be compressed into two days, chopping it into smaller segments gives you a chance to see some of the places hiding amongst endless miles of sugar cane. We never made it to the spectacular Wallaman Falls as the last 10Km of unsealed road was too rough. The car would not have been up to it, in fact it was not up to much according to the belligerent goose that stood its ground in the middle of the road and charged as if to peck a hole in the radiator. The car wasn't even scary to Brahman calves which chased us back down the road. In some ways I was relieved not to have encounterd a cassorwary given the attitude of so called domesticated animals.

Returning to Ingham we could only find the one caravan park. I gladly accepted a possie right down the back as far away from the road as possible. The night before it had sounded like the trucks were passing through the tent in the caravan park we had stayed at in Rockhampton. The cane harvest was in full swing and the park operator assured us that the last train would be around 8:30PM. In the dead of the night all hell broke loose, there was an almighty roar, the ground rumbled. Flight and fight were foiled by the tent zips while a goods train on the main trunk line passed a mere 20 feet from the perimeter fence and scared more than sleep out of us.

In Ingham the Tyto Wetlands Information Centre is worth a visit. The centre displays information about the local birdlife encouraged by the restoration of the remaining wetlands which had not succumbed to cane plantation. The area of land under reclamation takes a couple of hours to wander through and it looks like much is still at the stage of removal of pests such as african tulip and particular grasses. Seems like this is the place for twitchers to twitter as the diversity of birdlife is impressive. There are even birds for twots like us to spot - from magpie geese, spoonbills, ducks, swamp hens around the waters edge to gorgeous finches in the rushes. We had a bonus snake cross our path for added interest. When the sun sets finding your way back may lead you up a few dark alleys. Now the owls come out and one just about took Mark's head as a suitable landing post while we were standing on a walkway. We were privileged to an eyeful of owl in the carlights as we left the car park.

Back in town you could not miss the Nissan towing the six kayaks, all we had to do was find the occupants. I really should think twice about sticking my head in the pub asking if anyone had seen four guys asking for a meal. We found the rest of the crew in the local pizzeria where we all had a meal that provided energy to burn. The following day was filling the kayaks to capacity before doing the car shuffle. The caravan park at Mission Beach was not interested in having the 4WD and trailer, instead Ray was directed to a local builder who charged a small fee to have it left down the back of his yard out of sight. On our return we spent a night in the caravan park and it became obvious as to why the 4WD and trailer were not welcome.

Mission Beach is a beautiful place. It is so lovely that it is surprising that it has not been overrun by apartment blocks. Maybe the cyclone threat helps keep the balance. On the way back we took a walk along the trail from the lookout with a magnificent view over Hinchinbrook. While the landscape is dramatic, on the lowland almost every square inch seems to be planted out in sugar cane. The industry and its mills dominate the landscape. The amount of machinery required during the harvest is immense and the logistics required to feed the mill running 24/7 using a network of cane trains must be impressive.

The weather remained fine, the wind light and balmy. It was nearing full moon and the 3m night tide was still racing under the old Lucinda jetty as people threw lines baited with fresh prawns to catch large grunters. The camp ground was over run with grey nomads of the fishing type. They were quick to say that there were plenty of big (ie 5 metre) crocs up the passage but they usually made themselves scarce, it was the 3 metre ones that tended to hang around. Terrific. Here we are plopping around in an area inhabited by fearless crocs. It provided fertile fodder for vivisection a la croc in my dreams.
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Mining cortege
Here she comes
Cane harvest time
Complete with ashen fallout
Alligator Creek (Cape Bowling Green National Park)
Hinchinbrook from the road to Wallaman Falls
Religious segregation at Ingham
Agile wallabies at Tyto Wetlands
Magpie geese
Corkscrew pandanus
Dusk over the wetlands
Capacity packing
Mission Beach looking towards Dunk Island
Hinchinbrook Passage from the lookout
Beautiful emerald dove
Sugar loader at Lucinda
The crew

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