The approach to the barge looked very sandy and there were signs to air down the tyres before heading across the spit to line up. We, and most of the others did this in the sealed carpark before it become soft. One however failed to see the carpark!! And was stuck on the narrow approach. This was the only car we would see stuck for our whole trip.
After driving around the stuck cruiser and across some loose sand we lined up with a surprisingly small number of cars. The barge takes about 15 cars at a time. The trip only takes 5 minutes.
The tide was at it lowest for the day as we drove off the ferry and headed up the east coast. The beach is around 200 meters wide at this time so there is plenty of room for all the traffic. A quick flash of the indicator tells oncoming traffic that you have seen them and you are keeping out of their way.
A short pit stop at Eurong to have a look at the shop and then up the hill towards towards Central Station. The tracks are quite sandy but don't present much of a problem.
Central Station is set amongst some very tall Kauri Trees and is sheltered, quiet and very green. To our suprise there was only one family camped here. The hot showers, $1.00! were great and we spent the afternoon looking at maps of the island and having a read.
As the tides were getting later in the day we decided to head off on a day trip to Lake McKenzie, Kingfisher Bay Resort, and a few other closer tracks.
The lake was, as expected, chock full of backpackers. Good people watching for Jaks and not a bad view for me either! We only stayed briefly as the call of the hungover flat backer become louder and louder.
Jaks had been to Kingfisher resort as a youngster and was keen to see if it was still the same. A rough track lead downhill into quite a nice and flash resort. We wandered about, had lunch and made a few phone calls.
A meandering track lead us back through the forests, past Lake Wobby and down onto the beach north of Eurong.
A quick blast down the hard sand and a right turn had us back in the dingo proof compound.
Another short drive to the west coast in search of tv reception for the F1 grand pix resulted in lots of sandfly bites and no joy so back to camp it was.
We broke camp quite late the next day as low tide wasn't until the afternoon.
Heading down a new track to Eurong we emerged bang on time for the long drive up the beach to Waddy Point. Along the way we passed Eli Creek, too many back packers to stop, and the wreck of the Maheno. This wreck is standing up to the elements quite well and has not changed much since I was last here in 1990.
The sandy climb over Indian head was fine and we arrived at Waddy Point in the early afternoon. After setting up camp we wandered down to the beach. This end of the island is a favourite with the fishing folk and the were small groups of the scattered along the shore.
We debated heading further north but the tides were against us.
The following morning we walked along the beach to Orchid Beach township. The shop and servo here have just about everything and entertainment was provided by the Rangers who got bogged just coming into town.
Our trip back south started with a quick dip at Champagne Pools.
The tide was a bit low so no bubbles but a pleasant swim nonetheless.
After looking at Indian Head with several bus loads of tourists climbing it we pressed on. Steve had mentioned that you could see sharks and whales from the top but as we had seen several sharks on our walk to Orchid Beach we gave it a miss.
Jaks spotted several whales on our run south and somehow that cost me six beers.
We returned to Central Station for our last night and only some French back packers in a troopie were our company.
Aiming for the ferry we spent our final day driving the southern lakes route.
Lake Birrabeen provided a great swim, Lake Benaroon a nice view and Lake Boomanjin a funny sign.
We emerged on the beach after passing through Dilli Village, and headed south to meet the ferry. The beach was quite low and we sped along with only the occasional soft bit.
With perfect timing we met the barge and 5 minutes later we were in search of a car wash on the mainland.
After Hillary's facial and pedicure we hit the blacktop south to Noosa.