I was keen to get this trip on the road. So keen in fact that Lucy and I packed the trailer the weekend before we left – I know right? Whoda thunk we could be so organised?
This organisational brilliance lasted until “someone” forgot to set their alarm – and then the other idiot forgot to set his as a super-dooper emergency backup. Long story short, a quick snappy message to Pete and Leanne telling them to go on without us and we will meet them at the barge / 3rd cutting and we ended up getting on the road about an hour late.
A not so snappy fill up at COSTCO – even the high-flow pump took a while to throw 250ltrs into the cruiser – and off we went.
We finally managed to meet up with Pete / Leanne and Bec at the 3rd cutting and aired down. The tide was on the way out, however it was still a decent way up the beach, so the going was pretty slow and bumpy.
I was surprised at how few people were there. Based on last year, I expected us to struggle to find a camp spot, but we struck for me, beach camping gold. Shade, slightly elevated, big enough for all of us to spread out and tons of grass.
I know, I know. I’m beach camping, why the hell would grass be an almost pre-requisite? Simples… more grass = less sand in your tent / bed.
Eventually everyone was set up and geeze it was humid. It was feral just how much we were all sweating. I didn’t even bother to get changed. As soon as we were finished getting ourselves sorted, I headed straight for the water fully clothed.
It was awesome.
Pete and Leanne had the bright idea of setting up their gazebo on the dune at the front of our camp site and it was the best idea ever!
Even though we were only 20 feet back from the beach, there was no breeze whatsoever. Sitting on the dune however, got us far enough onto the beach that allowed the North Easterly to bring some relief to the humidity.
As it was so hot, we didn’t really achieve much. Dinner was planned and promptly forgotten about once I cranked out the cheese and bikkies and we all had a few adult beverages in us to cool down while watching the late comers cruise up the beach looking for their own piece of grass.
Friday dawned hot and muggy. I discovered last night, that while midge-proof flyscreens are an awesome bit of kit for keeping out the bitie things, it really sucks when it comes to letting the breeze through.
We had breakfast and the plan was to basically chillax and spend the day not doing much at all… so that’s what we did.
Well at least until dinner time. We decided to head for the Bowls club for dinner. This would also give us the chance to do the Freshwater track at night and get some good photos of the ghost gums lit up by the spotlights.
Saturday we were more than ready to do a bit of exploring around the area. Lucy discovered the Kings Bore track on one of her maps and since Bec and ourselves hadn’t done that track before and it had been a while since Pete and Leanne had driven it, we loaded up and headed off.
Because we had been lucky with having a bit of rain in the proceeding few days, the Freshwater track was nice and hard. We made good time and once hitting the main road, hooked a left and headed about 5km up the road where we hung another left and back onto the sand.
You should have seen how much noise our phones were making once we came back into mobile range.
The Kings Bore track is a great one for people that are new to sand driving. I would grade it as an easy track however, that could change to slightly more difficult if we had another massive dry spell and the sand turned to powder once again. Drop a bit more air out of your tyres and you would be fine.
The KBT took about 2 hours to complete and it was decided that we would head for lunch at the bakery at the Shell servo – Leanne was hanging for a jam and cream bun, which she didn’t get to have as Bec nailed the last one from right in front of her…
After lunch we headed for the beach entry track to make our way up to Double Island. This was a first for me as every time I have been up there before now, Mudlow rocks were totally exposed and there was no way I was going to risk that!
This time however, the sand was all the way up and the rocks were fully hidden so we got to travel the entire way to DI via the beach. It was incredible just how many land slides there are along the cliff face that runs almost down the water’s edge – king tides would easily see the beach disappear.
We didn’t stop for a swim at DI this time, after having a quick drive out to the headland, we decided that it was getting late in the day, so we pointed the 4wd’s south and headed back to camp.
Sunday being Australia day we decided to pack up the vehicles and head for Double Island to spend the day chillaxing under the foxwing. We headed north and all was going well until we got to almost the end of the Leisha Track.
Apparently the tide was up really high and so everyone was waiting for the chance to go forward. Well actually not everyone…
From here on in the title of this trip report is changed to the “Dickheads of Double Island 2020”.
Seriously, there are some idiots out there and I swear that 95% MUST have been up the beach that weekend.
Lucy, Pete & Leanne went for a wander down the track to have a look at what was holding up the traffic and, in the meantime, the traffic backs up behind us. Then the idiots start pushing to the front of the cue and blocking up the other lane of the track.
Eventually Lucy comes back and tells me that the tide is up way too high and that some idiot had pretty much sunk his 200 trying to go left around to the lagoon. We quickly decided that we would head back to camp and relax for the day and head to DI tomorrow and that we would come in from the Rainbow Beach end.
I managed a 75-point turn and got the cruiser pointing back the way we had come and after moving about 50m we came to a screeching halt. Because OF COURSE you would naturally see that traffic was stopped on the track and then try to overtake and go against the flow which then meant that you would come nose to nose with people trying to go in the other direction.
It was chaos.
Luckily for me, the wife doesn’t cop any crap and made her way on foot pretty much down the entire Leisha Track cajoling and browbeating the idiots to turn around or simply move off the track so that the rest of us could get moving again.
I have it on good authority that she didn’t swear at them even once.
Eventually we got back to camp and assumed the position on the dune under the gazebo and watched the world drive by. This was of course after we saw several idiots doing circle work / literally parked up the dunes / unsupervised toddlers trying to walk in front of the 4wds as well as dozens of cars – including the police – going well above the 50km/h speed limit.
Now I am in no way a prude, I also wasn’t born at 35 and grumpy. If you want to do circle work on the beach go for it. Just do it waayyy up the north end where I do not have to see you risk either running over a little person or ploughing through a camp site of your boozed-up bogan mates when you screw up and bin it.
And if you reckon I am having a rant, you should have seen / heard Leanne let go at the actions of some of these muppets.
Ok I’m stepping down off my soap box…
One of my more brilliant ideas was that for Australia Day that we would have a Webber-thon. Basically, I bought the lamb, Leanne did the veg and Bec had a crack at a pineapple cake for dessert. While we were waiting for the food to cook, we took the opportunity to go for a swim – dodging the huge jelly fish – or in Pete and Leanne’s case, throwing a line in the water and trying to catch tomorrows lunch – fail!…
We also realised that when Lucy was using the drop slide, due to the bouncing around of the car, the fridge had moved slightly on the slide and when it moved, it severed the power cable to the fridge.
Luckily for us, Pete came to the rescue and had a spare in the back of the Patrol. We all ended up having some sort of electrical / solar / fridge gremlin this week.
Oh yeah, by the way. Dinner was awesome.
The 27th saw us up nice and early – Lucy even managed to make everyone late by actually being on time for once, so we took the opportunity to sit in the AC and cool off for a while. Eventually we headed back up the beach and onto the freshwater track where we made our way into Rainbow beach where Leanne FINALLY got her hands on a jam and cream bun. We then headed for a new – for me – pub / restaurant type thing that is on the corner opposite the surf club.
The food there was pretty dam nice and the portion sizes were huge. After lunch Pete took the lead and we went for a cooks tour of the beach camping spots along the road before you get to the Fraser Island barge – yes there might be a few plans in the works for a dog friendly beach camp in the future – and then we headed down to Mudlow rocks once again for the drive to a massively uncrowded double island.
We circled the wagons, set up the awnings, inflated the inflatable things that the ladies had bought then headed for a swim.
It was so terrible that I think I spent at least 2 hours wallowing in the water. It was super calm and there was only a tiny bit of swell. Lucy lost one of her inflatable toys and started swimming towards Fraser to get it back when a nice guy on a jet ski grabbed it for her.
Eventually we realised that time was getting on and that we wanted to make a bit of a start on packing up as we wanted to head off fairly early tomorrow morning, so we packed ourselves up and headed back to camp.
Of course, when we got up this morning to pack up and head home, it was bucketing down – sods law.
We made an attempt to try and pack everything away neatly in the trailer, however the decision was quickly made to just get it into the trailer and sort it out at home.
Lucy and I got ourselves packed up a bit before the others, so we opted to head up and dump the toilet and our rubbish rather than add it to the list of things to do once we got home. By the time we made it back onto the beach, the others were ready and we told them to head off and we would catch up to them.
We were making good time down the beach – wouldn’t you know it, the sun came out – and we were slowly catching up to the others when Bec zigged when she should zagged and got herself buried in a nice soft patch of sand.
Pete dropped his camper then came back to recover the Hilux, but the sand ended up being softer than what we expected and so Pete ended up buying the Patrol. We dumped the trailer and came back to snatch Pete out and while that was going on, a group of P platers came along and managed to get Bec out of the way of the incoming tide.
I gave them the rest of Lucy’s carton of cider to say thanks and then I backed the Cruiser into position and towed the Hilux and its camper onto harder sand.
It was about then that I remembered – was reminded over the radio – that my bride was about 1km back up the beach with our trailer, was I ever coming back to pick her up?
Eventually though, we made it to the car wash and spent the time getting as much sand off the vehicles as we could as well as knocking the tyres back up to road pressure. We got to the barge and went on our separate ways for home.
What a week!
Written by Lee Hunt