29 November 10
Our first true beach-side camp was at the end of a long dirt road past sugar cane and pineapple plantations. We didn’t know where we were going, but our smouldering hope of something at the end of a road leading to the beach exceeded our expectations.
Locals have long used the stretch of casuarina forest along the beach north of Bundaberg as their personal holiday campground, and despite the best efforts by landowner Bundaberg Sugar to discourage camping, we found a graffiti-emblazoned sign encouraging us to camp down what looked like a four-wheel-drive track.
We drove down cautiously and passed a number of camps along the way. There was a sole man in his tent and two big 4WDs towing caravans parked in close quarters while their inhabitants chatted around a fire. The track extended parallel to the beach for miles.
We ventured down as far as we needed to — David spied a flat spot with good grass, and we stopped. We were thirty metres from the high-tide mark that was carving the sand dunes out from under the trees that stood as sentinels at the top of the dunes.
The sea was dark and forbidding, and the sand was tainted with very dark mud, turning the grains blue. Not quite the golden beaches of the Gold Coast, but the price was right!
The girls were happy to play on the beach. The alternated between burying their dolls in the sand and washing them in the pools left by the receding tide.
For the two days we spent at this location, we let the older girls go to the beach unsupervised. They know not to enter the water alone, and they enjoy playing in the sand so much.
David later encouraged them all to try entering the surf, and Aisha and Calista were happy in the larger waves. I let Delaney play at the top of the water one morning, and she was fascinated by the endless arrival and retreat of the bubbling waves. It was a lovely beach to collect unusual shells and rocks, and we’ve got quite a collection to take home with us.
When we weren’t on the beach, David and I enjoyed relaxing in the trailer with our books. It’s been nice to be so isolated after being in town for the last couple of stops. It’s great to have the knowledge of this location for future reference too. We may want cheap beachfront accommodation in the future!