Oct 22, 2010

Carmila Beach - Calliope River

I had heard about Carmila Beach many times but had never visited ourselves, this was our opportunity. Turning off the Bruce Highway at Carmila we drove approximately 12klms along the bituminous Carmila Beach road before taking the sandy track to the right and the many camp area's along the beach. All camps are well above the high tide mark which is just as well because the sea is very tidal here and can go out a kilometre or more, it reminded us of 80 Mile Beach on the West Coast except the sand at Carmila is muddy clay and difficult to walk on without sinking.

We choose a site about 1/2 way along the track, most spots had campers already set up but none were camped on top of each other. We put the awning out, even though it is damaged and doesn't roll easy it is better than not having any shade, i also put the shade wall up to protect us from the morning sun. Not long after getting our camp set up the wind started blowing and that set the scene for the next 48 hours.

The wind got worse and then the rain started coming down, we couldn't get the awing down as it was to dangerous, the shade wall was like a sail so all we could do was wait until the wind dropped off, this happened in the middle of the 2nd night, it was like a switch had been turned off. We quickly got out of bed and in record time removed the shade wall and rolled up the awning, washed our feet and got back into bed. Then the wind started again ... but we didn't care at this stage and went back to sleep.

Photos make me look like a liar ... Calm before the storm

Carmila Beach would be an excellent camp in the nice weather, fishing is reported to be good, two large creeks to explore with much evidence of mud crabs about. We would definitely return here but if it's windy - forget it!

The rain hadn't stopped for a day and it continued to come down in a steady flow, the track out was muddy but we had no problems. Before leaving we dumped our cassette contents in the dump site provided and headed back onto the Bruce Highway, and drove onto Calliope River a distance of around 340klm. We don't usually drive distances like that anymore but with the rain coming down it wasn't worth stopping apart from a quick stop for smoko at St Lawrence free camp site. This is another well provided camp area and worth staying at.

By the time we arrived at Calliope River the rain had stopped and we had a clear sunny sky, we initially entered the 48hr camp area from the Eastern side of the river there were a few vans camped along the edge of the road nose to tail and it didn't look to attractive to me, the other side of the river was different though with quite a few campers they had plenty of area to space themselves out. So we turned around and continued down the highway a couple of kilometres before being able to cross over the river and double back to the Calliope River camp ground.

Not to many spots available on the rivers edge so we choose to camp back away from the rest and found a nice level spot on green grass. One nice added touch was the hundreds of finches feeding in the long grass, our Friend Heather would have loved it. We also had a couple of Kookaburra's that paid us a visit looking for any handouts, of course with Vickie and her habit of feeding any animal we come across, they didn't leave with an empty stomach - so much for our steak for tea that night.

There is a small bridge crossing the river here but it is closed to traffic, it doesn't stop people walking over it nor fishing from it. I gave it a shot each day but apart from seeing some small fish and feeling the lure get hit a few times i had no luck, i didn't see anyone else catch anything either.

Our allowable 48hrs is up today and we will move on, no idea where we will end up, hopefully it wont be far.

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