Sunday, October 21, 2012

Queensland holiday - part 1

The recent October school holidays provided us with the opportunity to escape Wellington's miserable spring (hah!) weather and head for warmer climes. This was to be a relaxing holiday in the sun on a shoestring budget. We sorted out flights and a cheapo rental car and that was the organising finished. NZ school holidays had a week overlap with Queensland and New South Wales holidays so we were expecting that camp grounds, etc could be pretty busy.

We flew into Brisbane on the morning flight, picked up the rental car then headed to the second hand shops to get some supplies. After visiting three shops we had what we needed - a fry pan, a pot, cutlery, crockery and a bowl. We'd brought our tents and a little gas cooker so we were all set. We spent our first night at a holiday park in Kingscliff. This was our most expensive camping night at $55 (ouch!). The place was pretty chocka but there was a little corner for our tents so we set ourselves up for the night and used the gas bbq to cook our dinner.

The holiday park was right on the beach so a dip in the sea before breakfast was a great way to start the first full day of our holiday. With the weather forecast for the coast looking less than ideal and all the warnings about the busyness expected due to school holidays we made the call to head inland. So, after breakfast we packed up and headed to our next destination - Border Ranges National Park. While our holiday was primarily in Queensland, this park is over the border in New South Wales.

We stopped and had lunch at the Murwillumbah Services club. I'd been there before a couple of times with my parents so I was on familiar ground. After lunch we carried on and into the Border Ranges National Park. Here's the view of one of the worlds largest calderas.

The lump in the middle is Mt Warning and that's about the centre of the caldera. It's the biggest erosion caldera in the southern hemisphere.

We camped for two nights in the Sheepstation Creek campground within the National Park. Fees to camp here were $16 / night - a nice price after paying through the nose at Kingscliff. After numerous warnings about how busy all the campgrounds would be we were pleasantly surprised to find that there was plenty of room. Here's our site.

On our second day there we headed off for a walk around the Rosewood Loop track. The following are a few nature shots we took while on the walk.

Sheepstation Creek

Rather large, interesting tree

Waterfall (obviously)
Two freaking snakes - mating or fighting?
Another freaking snake
Seriously?!? We weren't expecting to see any snakes on our trip so to see three in one day was a little daunting.  All three were within a metre or so of the track we were walking on.
Reptile with legs for a change
Here's a short video of those snakes.

The next day we packed up and headed further west. On checking our comprehensive resources (a freebie tourist map of South East Queensland) we decided to head for the Coolmunda Conservation Park thinking we might find a spot in the park to camp. Sadly when we got there it was all fenced off and didn't look particularly attractive so we headed back towards the main road and booked in for the night at the Lake Coolmunda Caravan Park. This was about as attractive as the conservation park was but did have the advantage of having hot showers. It cost us $30 for the night. The park itself is sandwiched between the railway line and the Cunningham Highway. Nice! Only one train went through in the middle of the night. Anyway, here's a couple of photos.

Campsite at Lake Coolmunda

View of Lake Coolmunda from the campground
I think that's enough for the first episode. I'll get to work on the next one and post that in the next day or so.

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