Category Archives: National Parks

The Ugly Side of Byfield

A sea of pumice and rubbish litters Little Five Rock Beach

A sea of pumice and rubbish litters Little Five Rock Beach

More rubbish.

More rubbish.

The campgrounds, while clean at first glance, as you look harder you can see the marks left by man. Cigarette packs, glass bottles, sheets of unidentifiable paper litter the corners and crevices of our camp.

As we make our way down to the beach we find it’s worse. Rubbish washed in by the ocean builds up where the beach meets the cliff. It is mixed in with piles of pumice stone. The only way to the beach is through these piles strewn with rubbish.

This disgusting mess reminds me of Moreton Island where the same atrocity has occurred. Unfortunately a number of national parks we’ve visited are in the same sorry state. It’s disgusting the way “visitors” treat these stunning natural and sometimes sacred places.

“Leave it better then you found it”, is that really so hard?

An old TV floating in a creek of sludge

An old TV floating in a creek of sludge

 

Welcome to Byfield National Park

From Carnarvon Gorge we headed east to Rockhampton. We stopped overnight in Duaringa at an awesome free camp and headed into Rocky early the next morning.

We only stayed one night in Rocky, to prepare for our 6 day trip in Byfield National Park. During the day we went to Rockhampton Heritage Festival at the Heritage Village and walked around. It reminded me of Pioneer Park in Griffith.

Rocky to Byfield Town

Rocky to Byfield Town

The next morning we drove to Byfield National Park, approx an hour and a half drive north east of Rockhampton. There is a tiny little town called Byfield, it is a small hippy town at the entrance of the park. We stopped briefly and I bought what could possibly be the most amazing brownie I’ve ever had in my life!

Our campground was at Little Five Rocks, about a half hour 4WD through sand dunes and forest, just outside of another tiny village called Stockyard Point Township.

A quick point about the village. It was a strange little place, which even the local lady at the petrol station in Rockhampton didn’t know about. There was a mixture of tiny seashacks, sheds and a couple of beautiful mansions. It seemed empty on our arrival, however we saw a lot more activity closer to the weekend.

View from the top of the hill looking down to Little Five Rocks Beach and the headlands in the background

View from the top of the hill looking down to Little Five Rocks Beach and the headlands in the background

Anyway, we loved the campground and the site that we booked. The campground was on top of a hill that backed onto the beach. The layout of the grounds was great with toilets and an outdoor shower in the site next to us. We were the only people staying there for the majority of the time so we had the whole place to ourselves.

Butterflies, thousands of them

Butterflies, thousands of them

Water running down the hill into the ocean

Water running down the hill into the ocean

The Little Five Rocks Beach was a short stroll through some lovely bush and a corridor filled with butterflies. BUTTERFLIES! A whole corridor filled with them and when you walked through they were disturbed and would fill the air like magic!

Past the butterflies and there was a little fresh water creek running down the hill into little waterfalls, rockpools and little wooden bridges before heading out to the ocean.

Further down the hill and onto the small, remote beach. No vehicle access and no one else around.

We enjoyed 6 relaxing nights in the park and had a couple of adventures, more info to follow.

Pretty grass in the afternoon

Pretty grass in the afternoon

A Trek Through the Heart of Queensland, Carnarvon Gorge

I can’t tell you of the first instance I became aware of Carnarvon Gorge, only that I knew it to be a place that was necessary to visit one day.

For thousands of years the Aboriginal custodians, the Bidjara and Karingbal tribes had lived in this area. In around 1850 white settlers had confiscated the land for farming, only to hand it back after vicious, but successful raids by the Aboriginals.

Today the spectacular sandstone cliffs form the towering walls of the gorge. The creek that formed the gorge over millions of years to this day continues to meander through the cliffs, sustaining a wide variety of flora and fauna to exist within the gorge walls.

We stayed at Takarakka Bush Resort for 3 nights to give us 2 full days to enjoy the Gorge.

Day 1: Visitor centre to the Art Gallery = 13.5 kms

Stop 1: The Moss Garden

Dripping water from the sandstone walls of the gorge have formed a tiny haven of moss and lush ferns, there is ever a little waterfalls.

Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge

Moss Garden, Carnarvon Gorge

Stop 2: The Amphitheatre

A 60meter deep chamber gouged from within the cliff. It was a cool, quiet place where we sat to have morning tea.

Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge

Amphitheatre, Carnarvon Gorge

Stop 3: The Gallery

A 62 meter wall of sandstone records the history of the tribe from this area. This wall contains over 2000 stencils, paintings and carvings. Unfortunately, it have been vandalised in the previous decades.

Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge

Art Gallery, Carnarvon Gorge

Day 2: Visitors Centre to Boolimba Bluff = 6kms

Boolimba Bluff gazes out above the cliff line of the gorge. We climbed a steep series of ladders to reach the lookout and once we made it to the top we sat and absorbed the view.

view From Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge

View From Boolimba Bluff, Carnarvon Gorge

Rain drops after a water night

Rain drops after a rainy night

Wongi Waterholes

Nestled in the heart of Wongi State Forest is the dark, tranquil water of the Wongi Waterholes and our first campground in QLD. The waterhole’s banks are lined with bull rushes and native trees whose reflection is mirrored by the tannin stained waters.

Reflections in the water

Reflections in the water

The illegal swing

The illegal swing

The tannin-steeped water, a common occurrence in South East QLD, is black to look at; however, it is sign posted that you can swim, but no diving.

The camping area is separate from the day use areas, although we stayed mid week so there weren’t many fellow campers and no one using the day use areas, nice and peaceful.

I really wish we had our kayaks still; a paddle would have been bliss. To be able to drift and weave around the bends and through the waterholes with nothing but trees and animal life for company.

Reflections in the water

Reflections in the water

Speaking of animals. On the first night our thongs went missing. Hubby asked me why I threw them away from the tent. “Why would I throw them?” I asked.  We walked out to where we could see my bright red thongs with pretty red bows and immediately I noticed that half a bow was missing, chewed off and lying next to the thong. Hubby’s thongs were a little further out and one had a big chunk taken out as well. The next day we saw a dingo in the camping area. Mystery solved.

A Dingo Ate My Thongs

A Dingo Ate My Thongs