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

Upper Noosa River (with a difference)
Date: 16-01-2010
You had to say everyone was game. The kids, the kids's parents and us. It would be hard to say who had the most nerve. We pulled out of the driveway on cue. The rules had been given out earlier in the week and we were now towing a trailer full of gear topped by Mark's kayak. In the back sat our neighbour's 10 and 12 year old children, Tony and Aliki. As a present for their birthdays we were about to take these kids camping and it would be their first real mccoy camping trip. We were not heading for some sensible civilian destination like a caravan park, but Campsite 1 on the Upper Noosa River.

You had to hand it to the kids, they travelled well. The Feroza does not come with the extras like the DVD player that keeps them entertained for the mere hour it takes to get to their regular family holiday destination. We learned how Twisted shared Internet gaming and got to have a go at Eye Spy. In case you need a clue EW is likely to be Ear Wax and B for Bolts on the guard rail. Being greenhorns at this kid thing, it was to my amazement that Mark thought to ask whether they had remembered their toothbrushes. The answers were even funnier. One said a clean "no - I didn't pack it", the other "I forgot". Another item to go with the fresh bread and marshmallows to pick up at Cooroy Supermarket. The bright red plastic shopping trolleys were a source of delight and amazement for the kids. Fortuitously some of the toothbrushes were on special and came in a choice of two acceptable colours. We pulled over at a park in Pomona for morning tea and ended up walking around a fitness trail. The kids had a great time figuring out what each piece of beautifully engineered exercise machine did before skipping onto the next one.

Having missed the turnoff to Yandina we extended the car torture by an extra 10 minutes. The steep driveway up to Natureline was a thrill and the kids were delighted to be greeted by a friendly white pig dog with black spotted ears. The kids loved him, and he them. Kerry's last dog had been a placid rottweiler. I watched carefully but this smiling muscle ball had a gentle nature which belied it's massive power. Unfortunately that was the greeting party - oops, Kerry forgot we were coming. Over the phone we were directed to help ourselves to a Marlin and a Mermaid double.

The Mermaid was a purple and yellow monster at well over 7m with a huge center hatch. The yellow and green Marlin was also in excellent condition and fitted with a combination of rubber and neoprene with fibreglass fitted hatches. We left Mark's kayak upside down on some padded bars then headed off down the driveway to a chorus of "how long now Uncle Mark ?". We turned right across the upper reaches of Kin Kin Creek where there was some diversionary interest with horses in the now rural pastures. When the road turned to dirt they said there was no way Dad would take his Kluger up here. And what a sensible stance that would be. Turning onto the Cooloola Way the road became rocky and rough. Not just corrugation rough but exposed rock rough. It was hard on the car and trailer and not a road I would happily go back on. The addition of gravel improved conditions markedly on the Harry's Hut road. There were some impressive diagonal humps in the sandier sections for directing surface run off. These called for careful negotiation so the tow bar didn't bottom out and had both kids fantasising about flying across them on a BMX.

On arrival lunch was had at the Day Table next to Harry's Hut. Unpacking the gear took too long for the kids who were positively chomping at the bit to "go kayaking". The boats were voluminous and swallowed the awkward profile of 1 litre milk cartons no problems. We thought that they might have to be a return paddle to collect some bulky items and wear a little fellow out but the gear just kept falling into those hatches and everything was soon heading upriver.

The paddle from Harry's to the under rated Campsite 1 was a good distance and it was mid afternoon when we pulled up at the jetty. Despite persistent shark themed questions Aliki was willing to swim to the other side to play on the rope hanging from the branch. Mark weight tested it and seeing that it felt and looked solid gave Aliki the green light. It is always a bit of a worry when kids say "I wish Mum could see me now - she would NEVER EVER let me do this". Understandably Tony, who was particularly shark focused decided to stay put by the jetty. Greenhorn lesson: Stop scary conversation topics sooner rather than later.

The loo was visited and disapproved. Fortunately the spider that was lurking behind the door stayed there - that would have been the end for Tony - one spider would have scared him off for good. The loo was in surprisingly good condition for mid summer. No evidence of scorching from the recent back burn or fire and it wasn't very fragrant.

I get grumpy when hungry so when Tony declared he was hungry it was drop everything to find the predinner plain biscuits chosen by the kids as an immediate stop gap while their selected meals were heated and dished up. With the tents up and kids fed it was getting dark. The cicadas continued to buzz, the cane toads started hopping and bushes rustling. It was getting all a bit much for one little person who had also had a late night the previous night. He stalked off for the safety of a tent and stayed there. Not even a hot pancake could lure him out.

It was a still night with clear skies. So clear it sucked all the heat right out of the tents. Should have listened to Mark and packed the extra sleeping bag, but then again have you ever had a cold night in high summer ? Usually we cook and are not zipping up flaps in the middle of the night in a futile attempt to trap all body heat.

Moods and bodies had thawed with a beautiful start to another glorious day. After a swim it was off to Fig Tree and possibly a walk along that section of the Cooloola Trail. Paddling down the river Mark gave the boat a really big waggle. However it was not appreciated by his paddling companion. How could you forget there are big sharks in the river just waiting for a munchkin. That set the mood for morning tea at Harry's Hut where one paddler was seen stomping off up the track declaring that life was not so good and it was time to go back home to play on the Internet. A change of paddling companion soothed the waters and soon there were songs floating down the river again.

We pulled in a At Fig Tree for lunch. The idea of walking had melted - it was just too hot and the bush had hardly started to recover from a recent fire. A paddle left in the water floated away. The paddler was asked to retrieve it before it went too far, but no there was a mushy bottom and those sharks must be everywhere, including ankle deep water. Clever these sharks. After another session of what must be some of the strident challenges of parenting it was onto lunch. It took a vigorous stomp, huff and clap session to ward off a bold goanna, a demonstration put to good use by the kids when they confronted another at Campsite 1.

We continued across to the Rangers Station at Kinaba for the bonus of a flushing loo and made this the turn around point for the day. Plenty of sand has been swept into that part of Cootharaba where the new channel is now marked by flags. On the way back we hugged the banks and slipped under the overhanging branches. Fortunately the boats were not laden as the junior paddlers spent their time splashing each other, tapping branches or just cruising with their legs up and feet resting on the deck.

More swimming at Harry's Hut and back at Campsite 1. By now the shark conversations had been banned and Tony decided to swim across the river to play on the rope. After dinner and pancakes we shared a hot milk chocolate topped with fused marshmallows down on the jetty. A small bat the size of a giant moth silently circled once, a large bird of prey settled in a tree across the river after the last vestiges of the day had quietly slipped away. By this stage Mark and I were flaked so it was bed ready or not. We even forgot to tip out the washing up water - not a good move. That night we cooked in the tent. A light shower accompanied a distant thunderstorm in the early hours of the morning. I heard sploshing in the bucket and put it down to some over athletic cane toad.

In the morning Tony discovered the tragic bush rat in the washing bucket with his nose just above the water. Gave poignancy to the saying 'like a drowned rat'. Suffering hypothermia after dusting himself and sitting in dappled light this poor little critter eventually lurched off into the bushes. Packing takes time, too much time for kids who are not used to the routine. However they made good use of the long reeds creating aerials for Internet reception. Another swim to cool down before arriving at Harry's once again for lunch. We paddled alongside the banks where the kids cajoled us to go under branches. I followed in the Marlin because if the Mermaid could then the Marlin would. Mark misjudged one log, but it was too late by the time he saw it, a fully laden 7m double Mermaid does not pull up and it left a nasty gouge under his seat.

Having a swim in the river before lunch was prudent as it was a scorching day. The kind of heat that had melted the label on the Aeroguard tin while sitting in the plastic boxes in the trailer. Then there was the long trip home with an extended wait for Mark and Kerry to discuss and decide what to do with the glovebox in Mark's Marlin. It had been such a hot weekend that the heat from the carpeted metal bar melted the gelcoat where the kayak had been resting. After more Eye Spy the hours soon passed and it was not much longer before the kids bounced back home to their parents who had had a busy but quiet weekend. After a mere weekend of it we greenhorns were knackered and in need of time out.
Take heed
This stoney surface is rougher than it looks
Exquisite gums
Radio check
Heading for Camp site 1
Aliki loved the reeds
Loo check
Testing Uncle Mark's knots
Getting comfortable
Morning tranquility
Anything to avoid the mushy bottom
Home for the weekend
Heading for Harry's Hut
Tucking into the energy pack
Swimming at Harry's Hut
Passing the entrance to Lake Como
Swimming at Fig Tree
Catching fish
Aliki's catch of the day
Uprooted trees in front of Kinaba
Pushing off the sand island
Return journey
Rest break at Harry's
Dinner followed by pancakes then hot chocolate
Drowned rat
Swinging off the rope across the river
Packed and ready to leave
Return journey