Sunday, October 28, 2012

Queensland holiday - final instalment

We'd been told, when we were planning this holiday, that you couldn't just turn up to a camping area in a national park in Queensland. You need to have pre-booked and paid for your site before arriving at a campground. On the Thursday afternoon we rang the number to book a campsite on Inskip Peninsula only to find that the booking system was out of action, had been unavailable all week and there was no expected date for it be up and running again. We were advised to just turn up and find a campsite then contact the ranger to sort out payment. So we did just that. We headed through Rainbow Beach and made our way to one of four camping areas out on Inskip Peninsula. There was plenty of room so we found a suitable spot and set up the tents. It was about a 15 second walk to get onto the beach. Fantastic!

We doubled back to Rainbow Beach to sort out paying for the campsite and to purchase some firewood.

Rainbow Beach looking down towards the coloured sands

View from the sand dune just along from Rainbow Beach
Coloured sands - much more dramatic when you're there
We stayed at this campsite for a week and spent our days pretty lazily. One morning after breakfast we wandered along to the end of the peninsula to watch cars boarding the barge for Fraser Island. After checking with the crew we found we were able to go across on the barge at no cost so we hopped on. We weren't very prepared for this - no shoes, no water, no food - just what we stood up in. For me that was my bikini, sarong and hat.

View from the barge looking back at Fraser Island.
A couple of days later we got ourselves better organised and hopped back on the barge to spend the day out on Fraser Island. We walked around the coast for a couple of hours, had a picnic lunch and a swim before heading back towards where the barge would pick us up again.
View from our picnic spot on Fraser Island looking back at the mainland
Goanna on Fraser Island
View from Fraser Island back to Inskip Peninsula
The most delightful thing about both our trips out to Fraser Island were the pods of dolphins we saw. There were several pods and some came very close to the shore - almost within arms reach when we were swimming.

The camping areas on Inskip are pretty basic. There are composting toilets and there is rubbish disposal and that's it. You're not allowed to collect firewood and you need to bring all your water in with you. Rainbow Beach is just down the road and has cafes, supermarkets, takeaways, etc. We had some great meals cooking over the fire and using our little gas stove. A week after we arrived it was time to pack up and head for Brisbane and our flight home. We'd had fantastic weather for the week so didn't mind the torrential rain we encountered on our drive back down to Brisbane. With an early check-in time at Brisbane Airport we had booked ourselves into a cheap hotel out by the airport. The shower was complete luxury after a week of beach camping. The next morning we were up early and off to the airport after having had a wonderful relaxing holiday in the sun.

If you're thinking of heading to Queensland I can recommend the company we booked our car through. For $582 (Australian dollars) we had a medium-sized car (Camry) for two weeks with unlimited kms and a wide area we could travel within (which we only went outside a little!). We had great service from the pickup at the airport right through to collecting and returning the car. The only issue we had with the car was the alarm malfunctioning in the early hours of the morning at the Inskip campsite. That was soon solved with a quick disconnection of the horn.

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