Aah day trips. Didn’t you love them as a kid? Hours in a hot car, forced to listen to a parent picked radio station whilst you fought bitterly with your sibling in the back seat? All in the name of family togetherness? Good times… Such. Good. Bloody. Times.
It all started out quite well with an idea to drive up to Harry’s Hut, a campground in the Great Sandy National Park at the top end of the Noosa Everglades. It’s a lovely boat ride along the beautiful Noosa River, or a lovely drive through the beautiful countryside. Same same. But TOTALLY DIFFERENT in that strapped-into-seats children seem to whinge a lot more than kids who can move freely around a boat. Anyway, I packed the kids, a picnic of last night’s leftovers and our swimmers and off we went. Driving through the farms of Cootharaba and back blocks of Kin Kin, we came to Cooloola Way, the most delightful sounding 4WD track I’ve ever come across. (To be fair, at the moment it’s just a bumpy dirt road you could easily traverse with an AWD vehicle or even a high set 2WD, but with a bit of rain it would definitely be more challenging.)
There’s some lovely cabbage tree palmed forest along this section until you come to the actual hut of Harry’s in all it’s dilapidated glory, where there’s information on the history of the site, including it’s logging past. The reasonably small hut is now covered in phone numbers and the names of idiots (On a side note- this annoys the crap out of me- just look! Don’t touch!!!), and on a 30+Cel day, I’m glad I’m not a logger living out here in the 1950s.
We stopped in the day use area just long enough for the kids to whinge that they were hungry, so we fed them. After lunch, in which they whinged that their favourite food group- corn chips- wasn’t represented highly enough, Fiela and I stood united and launched Plan Bushwalk. Cue: more whingeing.
Luck was on the kid’s side though, as 100 metres into the Cooloola Great Walk was a big sign showing it was closed because of “Risk of serious injury or death.” Apparently the Rangers don’t love having to walk kilometres up the track to rescue stupid parents with small children who get dehydrated or step on a brown snake with just the thongs they’re wearing (not us- we were totes
underprepared). We walked back through the camping area though and made plans to come up and camp when the walking tracks opened. (Read here about why Rangers are awesome and why they close these long walks.) The campgrounds are beautiful, all tall eucalpyts and bloodwoods, birds and peacefulness with just enough lace monitors to keep you on your toes. Sites are clearly demarcated and you can only camp with tents or camper trailers (there are no fires permitted).
Finally, it was time to make our children happy and go for a swim in the tea-tree stained river. But not before they whinged about who got to paddle around on which flotation device. At this stage it was good to remember that sharks have been spotted in these waters and whilst I would never wish a shark attack on anyone especially not my children, it would have been helpful if some kindhearted sharp-toothed thing took the gentlest of nibbles out of these kids’ toes after the umpteenth request to stop calling each other ‘a baby’ or ‘a bergen’ (guess who’s been watching Trolls on repeat).
We left after the swim, heading to Pomona and the Bonsai Brewery for some adult thinking-with-beer time. But no. They’d closed suddenly three days prior due to unforeseen circumstances and would not be opening any time soon.
And so we drove home, down trodden but not defeated! For we will road trip another day!! (Just not, like, for a few weeks. We’re still getting over this one.)